Video: Katie Salen
Filmed on October 13, 2011, at “Pivot: AIGA Design Conference”
About this video
Designers of all kinds are key players in the game of change that so typifies the opening decades of the 21st century. Called on to imagine, build, guide, demystify, explain, provoke, enable and inspire, we deal daily in the currency of transformation—of places, practices and perspectives. For this designer, play has become a key strategy in developing a design practice that is agile enough to entertain a constant need for transformative thinking but substantive enough to throw its strategic weight around when needed. This talk will delve into the power of game design and play to challenge expectations, retool one’s practice, and amplify design’s potential as drivers of innovation and change in some rather unusual places.
Katie Salen is a game designer and professor of games and digital media at DePaul University. She also serves as the executive director of the Institute of Play, a nonprofit focused on games and learning. Salen led the team that founded Quest to Learn (Q2L), a sixth- through twelfth-grade public school in New York City organized around principles of game design and play. Q2L is expanding to Chicago this fall. As the lead designer of the school, she led development of the school’s pedagogical vision and research agenda. Salen is co-author of Rules of Play, a textbook on game design, The Game Design Reader, and editor of The Ecology of Games: Connecting Youth, Games, and Learning, all from MIT Press. 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.