Women in Game Design


2022 Scholarships



It’s Back! Scholarship and Work Experience Opportunity for Women in Game Design


Game developers recognize that 44% of their customers are female and that equity in the gaming workspace should be a priority. The best way to bring about this change is by having more women build games in the industry. Therefore, Vancouver Film School has partnered with The Coalition, Blackbird Interactive, and A Thinking Ape to create a scholarship fund of over $150,000 exclusively for women and non-binary persons looking to enter the game industry.

Full-tuition winners will be selected personally by The Coalition, Blackbird Interactive, and A Thinking Ape. Full scholarship recipients will receive monthly mentorship from design professionals at these Vancouver-based game studios and, upon graduation, will also receive a six-month paid design contract at their respective studio. In certain cases, partial-tuition winners will also be awarded the mentorship and internship opportunities.

**All mentorship and work opportunities are for Canadian candidates, unless recipient has a valid work permit.


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New This Year:

For 2022, partial-tuition recipients of the Women in Game Design Scholarship may apply their award to VFS’s Game Design, 3D Animation & Visual Effects, Programming for Games, Web, & Mobile, Sound Design for Visual Media, VR/AR Design & Development, and Writing for Film, Television, & Games programs.

VFS recognizes that these programs, collectively, prepare students for the many careers available in the video game industry, and all winners will therefore be able to apply to the program of their choice listed below.

The Coalition, Blackbird Interactive, and A Thinking Ape will each personally select one full-tuition winner. The three full-tuition scholarships will include mentorship and a paid internship post-graduation, one with The Coalition, one with Blackbird Interactive, and one with A Thinking Ape.

Additionally, The Coalition will also offer mentorship and a paid internship to two partial winners, one who enrolls in 3D Animation & Visual Effects, and one who enrolls in Sound Design. Blackbird Interactive will also offer mentorship to one partial winner who enrolls in Game Design. A Thinking Ape will also offer mentorship and a paid internship to one partial winner who enrolls in 3D Animation & Visual Effects.

Scholarship Details:

The following scholarships will be awarded, with a total value of over $150,000:

  • Three (3) full tuition scholarships, which may be applied to the following program:
    • Game Design (12 Months)
  • Three (3) $10,000 scholarships AND five (5) $5,000 scholarships, which may be applied to any of the following programs:
    • Game Design (12 Months)
    • 3D Animation & Visual Effects (12 Months)
    • Programming for Games, Web, & Mobile (12 Months)
    • Sound Design for Visual Media (12 Months)
    • VR/AR Design & Development (8 Months)
    • Writing for Film, Television, & Games (12 Months)

*This scholarship is open to students 17 years or older at the time of application, from anywhere in the world. (International applicants outside of North America will be subject to student study permits and visa requirements).

About VFS Game Design

VFS’s 12-month Game Design program focuses on three core specializations: Coding, Game Art, and Level Design. Students tackle individual and team-based projects involving collaboration with other VFS programs including 3D Animation, Programming, Sound Design, Writing, and VR/AR. Recognized as a Leading Game Design School in North America by Princeton Review Journal, the program is continually updated to remain in lockstep with the industry.

In 2021, VFS alumni were credited on 8 of the top 12 best-selling video games worldwide, including Minecraft, Far Cry 6, Fortnite, and Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, in a global industry worth $180 billion in 2021 and estimated to reach more than US$257 billion by 2025.

Blackbird Interactive

Blackbird Interactive is an independent game development studio located in Vancouver, BC, Canada. Founded in 2010, Blackbird is dedicated to creating uncompromising immersive games with a strong narrative and distinct art style. Blackbird Interactive is best known for its 2016 release Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak™, it's 2020 early access release Hardspace: Shipbreaker, and is currently working on Homeworld 3 and two other major unannounced projects.

The Coalition

The Coalition is a growing team of talented, creative, fun-loving professionals, united in their passion for Gears of War. As a Microsoft first-party studio, they focus on pushing the limits of interactive entertainment and taking Gears to new heights.

A Thinking Ape

A Thinking Ape was founded in California in 2008 as a chat platform. The studio relocated to Vancouver in 2010 when it shifted into mobile free-to-play game development. They’ve developed mobile games such as Party in My Dorm, Casino X, Kingdoms at War, and Kingdom of Heckfire.

Application Process



The application process is simple, and is broken into two very important parts:

Part 1 – Official Scholarship Application
Part 2 – Official Application to Enroll at Vancouver Film School

(*Note to applicants – there is a standard $150 application processing fee for this section and it can take up to 30 minutes to complete.)

No official application will be considered or reviewed unless both parts are successfully completed by the applicant.

Application Process will require applicants to provide general contact and background information and provide the following information for review and consideration by VFS:



Link to your portfolio. Do you have any creative or artistic work samples that might relate broadly or specifically to the program of your choice.

3D Animation & Visual Effects / Animation Concept Art / Classical Animation

You will be required to submit a visual art portfolio of your work.

Send us samples of your work that can include still-life drawings, life drawings, character or environment sketches, and 3D computer artwork (e.g., Flash, Photoshop, Illustrator, etc.). Maximum 12 pieces. Specific to the 3D Animation & Visual Effects program, we expect that you have some prior 3D experience.

Game Design

You will be required to submit a synopsis of a game that you are passionate about creating. Explain the concept, vision, or idea. Include the genre of game you would utilize. Make references to other games to explain how you would make your game (one page maximum).

In addition, provide an outline detailing your story, possible levels, and characters (one page maximum). Finally, provide diagrams explaining any features or game mechanics (one to two pages maximum) and a simplified map of the game world described in your synopsis.

Programming for Games, Web & Mobile

You will be required to submit a technical portfolio that contains 1-3 examples of programming work. Include a 1-2 page excerpt of source code you want to show off, and a 1-page descriptive summary for each project. You must also have intermediate PC computer skills, including working knowledge of Microsoft Office. Familiarity with HTML is an asset.

Sound Design for Visual Media

You will be required to submit a letter of intent (maximum 500 word) on why you wish to take the Sound Design program. This should detail your passion for Sound, and why you feel you would be successful in the industry. Detail any previous experience in music or sound recording, sound mixing, etc. Outline why you feel you can be successful in sound design. If you have examples of audio work you have done, this should also be provided. You can send a weblink to a sound file or a compressed audio file (mp3 etc).

VR/AR Design & Development

You will be required to submit a portfolio of your digital and visual work that includes at least 1 example of source code along with a one-page document that describes the code, and 2-3 of 3D animation or modelling. You must also be at least 19 years old and have successfully completed high school or GED equivalent. Prior learning in computing and/or digital media preferred. Familiarity with Javascript, C#, C++, and Unity and/or Unreal engines an asset.

Writing for Film, Television & Games

You will be required to submit a one-page (maximum) synopsis of an original feature film, television, or video game project that you are passionate about making. Provide the genre and use references to other movies, television shows or games to explain how you would write the project. Explain the concept, vision, or idea. In addition, provide a minimum of two and a maximum of four other creative writing samples in their original form (maximum 20 total pages).


We recommend Dropbox or Google Drive for easy review by our scholarship selection committee. Upload your files then “share” using the share link. When sharing, set the sharing permissions to “public” or “anyone with the link can view the file/document.

If we cannot view your files your scholarship application will be considered incomplete.

Get Started Below

Personal Submission PT. 1

  • Q1 – In 100 words or less, tell us why you want to be a game designer and what your dream project would be?

Personal Submission PT. 2

  • Q2 – In 100 words or less, tell us about your personal connection to the video game industry, and how this scholarship would benefit you in your pursuit of a game design career.

Personal Submission PT. 3

  • Q3 – When in-class instruction is allowed, we inform every applicant that Vancouver is considered one of the best cities in the world to live, but it’s also an expensive city compared to many others. It can cost you at least C$25,000 a year for basic food, travel, and accommodations. This scholarship will only cover partial school tuition costs. Tell us in your words how you plan to be able to make this opportunity work for you financially for 12 months.

Upon successful completion, applicants will be given a confirmation of completion notification email.

Get Started Below


Upon successful submission of application, a VFS Admissions advisor will contact you to connect personally, and provide you with an introduction of the school, online learning options, and life in Vancouver.

Winners will be notified sometime by the end of May 2022 and will be announced publicly by VFS shortly thereafter.





Sorry, this scholarship is now closed.

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Artwork by VFS GD56 PG17 & SD95 graduates, 2020