Ms Katie Salen

Executive Director of The Institute of Play

United States of America

Katie Salen works in the field of game design and serves as the Executive Director of a non-profit organization called the Institute of Play that focuses on games and learning. She is also Professor of Games and Digital Media at DePaul University, and former Director of the Center for Transformative Media, a research center at Parsons The New School for Design that studies emerging trends in design and media. Katie led the team that founded Quest to Learn in 2009, a 6-12th grade public school in New York City, as well as ChicagoQuest, a 6-12 charter school that opened in Fall 2011 in Chicago. 

Katie is co-author of Rules of Play, a textbook on game design, The Game Design Reader and Quest to Learn: Growing a School for Digital Kids, and is Editor of The Ecology of Games: Connecting Youth, Games, and Learning, all from MIT Press. She has worked as a game designer for over 12 years and is a former Co-Editor of The International Journal of Learning and Media.

Katie’s non-profit organization runs an afterschool program focused on immersing middle-school students in game design, technology, and global collaborations via physical and mobile computing expertise, and she once co-designed a karaoke ice cream truck driven by a squirrel. Katie has been involved in the design of slow games, online games, mobile games, and big games in both the commercial and independent games sectors. She was an early advocate of the then-hidden world of Machinima and continues to be interested in connections between game design, learning, and transformative modes of play.