Katie Salen

Katie Salen is an Associate Professor in the Design and Technology, Parsons The New School for Design and the Executive Director of a non-profit called The Institute of Play, which received a $1.5 million MacArthur Foundation grant to develop a proposed 6th -12th grade public school in New York City, themed around creativity, innovation, and games. She is co-author of Rules of Play: Game Design Fundamentals, a textbook on game design, as well as The Game Design Reader, and The Ecology of Games: Connecting Digital Youth and Learning, all from MIT Press. Interested in games as aesthetic, educational, and cultural forms, she has developed a critical practice that includes designing games of many different types, from big games, to downloadable games, to conference games and game-hybrids that take gaming as points of creative departure. She writes extensively on game design, interactivity, and game culture, including authoring some of the first dispatches from the previously hidden world of machinima. This summer she is starting collaboration with the Arts, Engineering, and Media program at Arizona State University to develop a series of game-based simulations for a mixed reality environment called SMALLab. Katie is co-editor of The International Journal of Learning and Media (MIT Press) and sits on a number of international advisory boards.

Katie recently worked as lead designer on Gamestar Mechanic, an online game that allows players to create, modify and share games. Supported through a 1.5 million dollar MacArthur Foundation grant, it was produced by Gamelab, and New York City-based commercial game developer. She has worked on a range of projects for Microsoft, Gamelab, the Hewlett Foundation, the Design Institute, mememe Productions, Salty Features, the Buckminster Fuller Institute, and others. She is a former member of Playground, a design team focused on large-scale, experimental, urban games. Playground has been recognized as helping to pioneer a genre of games know as Big Games large-scale urban games that engage players in activity both in physical and online space and recently explored another new genre of games,Slow Games in the 25th anniversary issue of Metropolis magazine. Slow Games take 25 years to play.

A contributing writer for RES magazine, Katie worked as an animator on Richard Linklater's critically acclaimed animated feature Waking Life, as well as two music videos for the band Zero 7 (In the Waiting Line; Destiny). In 2003-04 she partnered with screenwriter and director Hampton Fancher (Minus Man; Bladerunner) on a project for the XEN division of Microsoft to develop an animated storytelling experience distributed through Xbox Live. She teaches and lectures widely, and has helped curate programs at the Lincoln Center, Cinematexas, ZKM, Exploding Cinema, and the Walker Art Center on games and culture.

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