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Gaming Industry Aims to Ignite Girls’ Interest in STEM Careers

Careers ESA, Activision Blizzard, Riot Games, and LAUSD’s First All-Girls STEM School Host a STEM Careers Networking Event

LOS ANGELES, MAY 19 2017 – Today, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) celebrated the Girls Academic Leadership Academy’s (GALA) participation in the ESA Digital Living Project by hosting a STEM careers networking event. The ESA Digital Living Project is a series of web-based curriculum modules designed to prepare students for the complex digital world and spark their interest in STEM careers. The digital program, powered by education technology company EVERFI, serves both middle and high schools throughout Los Angeles, Austin, and New York at no cost, thanks to a sponsorship from ESA, the U.S. trade association representing computer and video game publishers. In the 2016-2017 school year alone, the ESA Digital Living Project has served over 6,000 students across the Los Angeles area.

Two video game industry leaders, Activision Blizzard and Riot Games, played a key role in the event, sending several women to the school to speak with students about working in the gaming industry. The students and professionals discussed topics such as pathways to STEM careers, qualifications, potential salary earnings, diverse employee characteristics, and experiences of being a woman in the STEM industry.

Troubling national statistics around STEM and digital literacy have created urgency to provide these educational opportunities to students in Los Angeles and across the country. Due to stereotypes about the type of work STEM professionals do and the narrow range of people in those jobs, only 29% of the science and engineering workforce are women with representation even lower in computer science and engineering. According to a recent study, improving ethnic and gender diversity and inclusion in the U.S. technology workforce could create between $470 billion and $570 billion in new value to the industry. The ESA Digital Living Project curriculum is specifically designed to appeal to a wide range of students, particularly those least likely to consider STEM a viable career option.

“The ESA Digital Living Project aims to inspire the next generation of students to see themselves working in the STEM space and to break conventional stereotypes of what a STEM professional looks like,” said Tom Foulkes, Vice President at ESA. “We are proud to have already served over 30,000 students over the past five years through this partnership and are committed to keep innovating the program to meet the needs of today’s students and workforce.”

The ESA Digital Living Project has already received recognition from education leaders and elected officials, such as LAUSD Board Member Steve Zimmer, the Office of Mayor Eric Garcetti, Assemblymember Cristina Garcia, Assemblymember Ling Ling Chang, among others. (Closing sentence).

About ESA

ESA offers services to interactive entertainment software publishers, including conducting business and consumer research, providing legal and policy analysis and advocacy on First Amendment, intellectual property and technology/e-commerce issues, managing a global anti-piracy program, owning and operating E3, and representing video game industry interests in federal and state government relations. For more information, please visit www.theESA.com or follow us on Twitter: @ESAGovAffairs.

About EVERFI, Inc.

EVERFI is the leading education technology company that provides learners of all ages education for the real world, through innovative and scalable digital learning. Founded in 2008, EVERFI is fueled by its Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) subscription model and has certified over 16 million learners in critical skill areas. Some of America’s leading CEOs and venture capital firms are EVERFI investors including Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt, Twitter founder Evan Williams, TPG Growth, The Rise Fund, Advance Publications, and Rethink Education, and Rethink Impact. The EVERFI Education Network powers more than 4,200 partners in their education initiatives across all 50 states and Canada. Learn more at EVERFI.com.

About Activision Blizzard

About Activision Blizzard: Activision Blizzard, Inc., a member of the S&P 500, is the worldʹs most successful standalone interactive entertainment company. We delight hundreds of millions of monthly active users around the world through franchises including Activisionʹs Call of Duty®, Destiny and Skylanders®, Blizzard Entertainmentʹs World of Warcraft®, Overwatch®, Hearthstone®, Diablo®, StarCraft®, and Heroes of the Storm®, and Kingʹs Candy Crush™, Pet Rescue™, Bubble Witch™ and Farm Heroes™. The company is one of the Fortune ʺ100 Best Companies To Work For®ʺ. Headquartered in Santa Monica, California, Activision Blizzard has operations throughout the world, and its games are played in 196 countries. More information about Activision Blizzard and its products can be found on the companyʹs website, www.activisionblizzard.com.

About Riot Games

Riot Games was founded in 2006 by Brandon Beck and Marc Merrill with the commitment to change the way video games are made and supported for players. In 2009, Riot released its debut title League of Legends to worldwide acclaim. The game has since gone on to become the most played PC game in the world. Players form the foundation of our community and it’s for them we continue to evolve and improve the League of Legends experience. Riot Games is headquartered in Los Angeles, CA and has offices worldwide.

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