Level Up Event To Benefit ESA Foundation

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The ESA Foundation will be the beneficiary of the upcoming Level Up Charity Games competition in Austin, Texas, the charitable organization announced today. Proceeds from the September 17 event will support the ESA Foundation's Scholarship Program, which provides tuition assistance to women and minority students studying video game subjects.

"The ESA Foundation is committed to helping improve the lives of young people," said Jenny Lai, Vice President of the ESA Foundation. "The proceeds of this event will allow us to give back even more and enable students from across the country to pursue studies in computer and video game development and design."

Hosted by game industry partner GameRecruiter, the Level Up Charity Games competition will take place during the Austin Game Developers Conference at the Four Seasons Hotel Austin. The event is open to gamers of all ages and types and the competition will feature four popular game titles: Rock Band 2, Madden 08, I-Play Bowling and Super Smash Bros. Brawl.

The event's $20 per competitor entry fee will benefit the ESA Foundation Scholarship Program. The program assists women and minority students continuing their education in video game development, including those studying graphic design, computer science, animation, programming, digital entertainment or software engineering. The Foundation's scholarships are awarded annually to full-time students at accredited four-year colleges and universities.

"We have a long-standing commitment to supporting the educational needs of minority and female students who are interested in being part of the video game industry," said Marc Mencher, CEO of GameRecruiter. "By providing this support to the ESA Foundation's Scholarship Program, we hope to allow deserving individuals to further their education and expand workplace diversity within our industry."

The Level Up Charity Games are scheduled from 6 to 10 p.m. on Wednesday, September 17, with early registration beginning at 5 p.m. The event will be staged in the ballroom of the Four Seasons Hotel Austin, which is located at 98 San Jacinto Boulevard, directly across the street from the Austin Convention Center, the site of the Austin Game Developers Conference.

Competitors are invited to come and play for prizes, including cash, video games, T-shirts, caps, gaming accessories, video game collectibles, 3D art software and more. Each player has opportunity to play in single elimination competitive play. Prizes will be awarded to the first and second place winners for each game title, plus two grand prize winners for overall score, excellence and sportsmanship.

The event's co-sponsors include MTV Games, IGN.com, Obsidian Entertainment, McDonald's, Southwest Airlines, Powered by Game Spy, Havok, TransGaming, I-play, 1-up Network, Belkin International, DAZ 3D, Bethesda Softworks and Petroglyph Games, with game competition elements sponsored by Midnight Gaming Championships.

The ESA Foundation was created by the American interactive entertainment software industry to support and provide opportunities that can make a difference in the lives of America's youth. One of the foundation's key efforts is scholarship program that assists women and minority students studying for careers in the video game industry.

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