Katie Salen Tekinbaş

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  • Education & Non-Profit; Other

  • New York, NY

  • Istanbul, Turkey, Global

Katie Salen Tekinbaş is a game designer at heart and the founder of Institute of Play, a non-profit doing work in games and learning. She is Professor of Games and Digital Media at DePaul University and once co-designed a karaoke ice cream truck driven by a squirrel. Katie led the team that founded Quest to Learn in 2009, a 6-12th grade public school in New York City. The school uses a game-based learning model and supports students within an inquiry-based curriculum with questing to learn at its core. As the lead designer on the school, Katie led development of the school’s pedagogical vision and research agenda. She has extensive experience working with young people and has a deep knowledge of issues surrounding the integration of digital media, games, design, and technology into learning environments, like schools, libraries, and museums. Katie has published three books considered seminal in the research field of games and learning: Rules of Play, The Game Design Reader, and The Ecology of Games: Connecting Youth, Games, and Learning, all from MIT Press. She has worked as a game designer for over 15 years and is a former co-editor of The International Journal of Learning and Media. 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. Katie holds advanced degrees from the University of Texas at Austin and the Rhode Island School of Design. She currently splits her time between New York City and Istanbul, where she lives with her very large extended family and fails daily to speak fluent Turkish.