Professor and Game Designer Katie Salen on Games, Learning, and New Media

Katie Salen is Executive Director of the Institute of Play, and Associate Professor in the Design and Technology program, Parsons the New School for Design in New York City. She lectures and writes extensively on game design, design education, and game culture, including authoring some of the first dispatches from the previously hidden world of machinima.

“We think that ‘design thinking’ is actually a way of looking at the world,” Salen explains. “It’s a way of looking at the world as someone who is active in thinking about how to solve problems, is active in kind of analyzing and understanding how things work and we think that’s a great stance to have to look at the world generally. So, we believe these kids are gonna grow up, that they still will have this perspective on how they look at the world and that will inform any discipline that they go into.”

Quest to Learn is a new public school in New York City that uses video game-based learning models as the basis of its curriculum. To learn more about it, please visit

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