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Sony Interactive Entertainment Pledges $3 Million Donation to USC Games Program – USC Viterbi

Image Credit: Sony, USC Games.

Today, USC Games, ranked the #1 North American games program by Princeton Review eleven years running, and Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) announced a multi-year partnership starting with a $3 million contribution to support the USC Games Gerald A. Lawson Fund with backing from the PlayStation Career Pathways Program. The partnership solidifies SIE as a major partner of USC Games’ efforts to provide support for Black and Indigenous students studying game development and design.

“We are beyond excited to be one of Sony Interactive Entertainment’s partners and share their same vision to inspire and enable more diversity within the gaming industry,” said Jim Huntley, USC Games professor and the program’s head of marketing. “Representation in gaming matters. We hope the USC Games Lawson Fund Supported by PlayStation Career Pathways Program inspires other corporations, publishers, and developers to reach out to us and invest in tackling a chronic problem that the industry has struggled with since its inception.”

Ensuring the gaming industry is diverse and inclusive is a key pillar of SIE’s core mission. As part of these efforts, SIE has implemented a Strategic Partnership portfolio to support the Black Community and has established the PlayStation Careers Pathways Program. The goal of this innovative program is to prepare the next generation of Black and other underrepresented talent who wish to pursue a career path in the gaming industry.

“The USC Games’ Lawson Fund is more than a scholarship,” said Tiffany Johnson, senior director and global head of DE&I at Sony Interactive Entertainment. “It’s our commitment to creating opportunities for Black and other unrepresented talent that want to enter the gaming industry. We have a responsibility to drive change and build an industry that is more diverse, inclusive, and welcoming for all. This contribution is just one of many efforts and it all starts with investing in the next generation of talent and creating more exposure and visibility for underrepresented communities.”


For those who would like to donate and provide support for future game designers and developers from underrepresented communities, donations can be made here.

The Gerald A. Lawson Fund provides support for Black and Indigenous students who wish to pursue undergraduate or graduate degrees in game design or computer science from USC’s prestigious program. Returns from the Endowment will support qualifying graduate and undergraduate games program students in both the School of Cinematic Arts and the Viterbi School of Engineering, beginning in the Fall 2022 semester. SIE’s contribution will support incoming students effective Fall 2023. The donation will also subsidize the recruitment of Black or Indigenous faculty as well as an ongoing USC Games racial justice research initiative that will be announced in detail at a future date.

About USC Games

USC Games is a flagship collaboration offered jointly by the USC School of Cinematic Arts’ Interactive Media & Games Division (IMGD) and the USC Viterbi School of Engineering Computer Science Department. This unified brand brings our programs under one umbrella, allowing students and faculty across the University of Southern California to collaborate together in creating innovative games.

The program at the USC School of Cinematic Arts focuses on both the design and production of interactive media and games. Students emerge as creative media leaders, fluent in many forms of visual expression and storytelling, with a sophistication in designing and developing innovative interactive experiences that expand the state of interactive art and play across domains, such as entertainment, education, health care and social action .

The Computer Science Games program at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering provides students with grounding in the fundamentals of computer science and a cross-disciplinary background in game development. Students emerge with an engineering-oriented game-programming skillset, with an understanding of key technologies and the ability to lead complex technical teams in the development of games.

In addition to an Advanced Games class, USC Games presents the annual USC Games Expo, an event showing games created at the university that is open to the public, and also produces an industry event at the annual Game Developers Conference. USC Games also collaborates with game design programs at other colleges and universities. For more information go to games.usc.edu; or connect at uscgames@usc.edu.

About Sony Interactive Entertainment

Recognized as a global leader in interactive and digital entertainment, Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) is responsible for the PlayStation® brand and family of products and services. PlayStation has delivered innovation to the market since the launch of the original PlayStation in Japan in 1994. The PlayStation family of products and services include PlayStation®5, PlayStation®4, PlayStation®VR, PlayStation™Store, PlayStation®Plus, and acclaimed PlayStation software titles from PlayStation Studios. Headquartered in San Mateo, California, SIE is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony Group Corporation and has global functions in California, London and Tokyo.

Published on September 6th, 2022

Last updated on September 6th, 2022

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