"The concept of winning student scholarships for being an ultimate gamer should come as no surprise. After all, young athletes -- even bowlers -- can win scholarships for college based on their ability to play, score and outperform others. It's no different at ScholarGamers.com."
Beginning November 1, when the site launches its first 2011 scholarship contest, Scholar Gamers promises to award "big cash for college" (first place nabs 10Gs) to several contestants who must work their way up from at-home Flash game phenoms to The Wizard-like big stage at Disney's BoardWalk Resort.
But, you know, if you're that good at clicking smiley faces, why even bother with college? Just go pro.
Paying for College Has Never Been So Much Fun
Holmdel, NJ (October 21, 2010)-Offering a new solution to the problem of escalating educational costs, ScholarGamers.com launches today. The innovative platform channels teenagers' enthusiasm for casual online games by inviting them to compete to win scholarship money in an arena that is free and fun, secure and social.
The first in a planned series of sponsor-supported platforms by Internet Sport Games Associates (ISGA), ScholarGamers.com is the brainchild of marketing executive Angelo Tartaro. Recognizing the increasing popularity of casual online games among middle- and high-school students, a demographic which will also bear the burden of skyrocketing educational costs, Tartaro assembled a team of marketing, technology and video game professionals to develop the ScholarGamers.com solution.
"With the average annual cost of a college education exceeding $30,000, and the average debt load of a college graduate exceeding $20,000, a college degree is a significant financial burden," said Tartaro. "We're aiming to make that goal more attainable for kids who aren't necessarily the star athletes or valedictorians, by leveraging one of their favorite pastimes for educational purposes."
Although registered members may play any of the site's flash games for free any time they wish, competition for scholarships is grouped into a series of 75 day rounds. Players will compete against the entire ScholarGamers.com community to generate the highest cumulative scores for 45 days. A time limit of 20-minutes is imposed on each competition. Within 30 days, the 15 players with the highest scores are flown to Disney's BoardWalk Resort to compete head-to-head for the scholarships. The first round of competition kicks off November 1, with participants playing for a $10,000 first prize. Each of the 15 finalists will receive scholarship money, in the form of 529 plan contributions that can be used towards educational expenses. Scholarships will only be awarded to middle-and high-school students, aged 13 and above. Competition rounds will repeat every 45 days, for a total of 120 planned scholarship opportunities in the next year.
"As the site grows in reach and popularity, we plan to increase the number and amount of scholarships awarded. For students trying to pay for an education, everything that can help defray costs-from tuition to text books-is valuable" added Joe Roth, president and COO, IGSA. "ScholarGamers.com provides advertisers with a unique opportunity to engage with a coveted demographic of teens and their parents in a wholesome and educational context."
Funded by carefully-vetted advertising and sponsorship of competitions, ScholarGamers.com is at the nexus of several of fastest growing areas online-including casual games and social gaming. Comscore reports that online games are growing at ten times the rate of the total U.S. Internet population and reach nearly one out of every two Internet users, while NPD Group reports that the percentage of online gamers ages 13-17 increased from 17 percent in 2008 to 22 percent in 2009. Marketer forecasts that advertising in online games will increase 133% from 2007 to 2012.
"Studies show when played in moderation, online games can offer many benefits–building self-esteem, fostering camaraderie, and developing motor and problem-solving skills," said Tartaro. "By adding purpose to the games, ScholarGamers.com enhances the positive experience."
ScholarGamers.com is an innovative platform offering middle- and high-school youths ages 13 and above a chance to compete for educational scholarships through no-fee online games. Simple in concept and elaborate in reward, ScholarGamers.com doesn't limit scholarships to those with the usual special skills. Developed as a response to escalating educational costs, ScholarGamers.com's secure environment fosters a sense of pride, accomplishment and fun. The site is the first in a planned series of sponsor-supported initiatives developed by Holmdel, NJ-based Internet Sport Games Associates. For more information, please visit www.scholargamers.com. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.