VFS Partners with The Coalition & Blackbird Interactive to Announce The Roberta Williams Scholarship Awards for Game Design

Announcement Highlights:

  • VFS will be awarding two full-tuition scholarships, as well as several smaller partial tuition awards, for their award-winning Game Design program to global finalists.
  • Recipients of the full scholarships will receive monthly mentorship from design professionals at The Coalition and Blackbird Interactive, as well as six-month paid design contracts at their respective game studio upon graduation.
  • Submission process opens on June 25, 2019 and closes on July 31, 2019, at 12 a.m. PST.
  • New scholarship fund and paid work experience opportunity honours the work of pioneer video game designer Roberta Williams.

(Vancouver, BC) June 25, 2019 - Vancouver Film School (VFS) is proud to announce a $250,000 scholarship fund and paid work experience program aimed at game developers who identify as a woman or non-binary person. The Roberta Williams Women in Game Design 2019 Scholarship is a collaborative initiative between VFS and Vancouver-based game studios The Coalition (Gears of War) and Blackbird Interactive (Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak). Two full Game Design scholarships, as well as smaller prizes ranging from $1,000 to $30,000 will be awarded to the best qualified applicants for the January and May intakes in 2020.

In addition to the scholarship, the two chosen students will each receive private mentorship and, upon graduation, a paid six-month work contract (resulting in a game credit) at The Coalition or Blackbird Interactive.  

The co-founder of Sierra On-Line (later known as Sierra Entertainment), Roberta Williams is a pioneer in the video game industry. She is best known for her work in the field of graphic adventure games, with titles including Mystery House, the King’s Quest series, and Phantasmagoria. In 2014, The Game Awards honoured her with the prestigious Industry Icon Award.

"Game designers are storytellers. They create worlds, characters and moments that envelop and inspire the player. Through this partnership with VFS and Blackbird Interactive, we are hoping to find and inspire future game designers as they bring their unique perspective to The Coalition and help us shape game experiences for years to come.” -Rod Fergusson – Studio Head, The Coalition

"The games we make today are enjoyed by the most diverse player base in the history of the medium billions of players across dozens of platforms in hundreds of countries. With the Roberta Williams Scholarship, we hope to bring new voices into the industry who are passionate to craft games as varied and unique as our players.” -Rory McGuire – Studio Creative Director, Blackbird Interactive


For more information about the Roberta Williams Women in Game Design 2019 Scholarship, or to apply, visit https://vfs.edu/scholarships/women-in-games



About Vancouver Film School

In 1987, VFS revolutionized entertainment arts education with the introduction of the world’s first one-year intensive film production diploma program. Today, VFS is Canada’s premier post-secondary entertainment arts institution, offering acclaimed and award-winning one-year diploma programs in 3D animation, film, TV, programming, video game, motion and interactive design. For the past 30 years, VFS has been devoted to delivering the highest quality education, and developing the next generation of leaders in the entertainment and creative media industries.

VFS Media Contact:
Christopher Ian Bennett,
Executive Producer & Head of Marketing
Vancouver Film School

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