Institute of Play
|Headquarters||New York City, New York, United States|
|Executive Director||Katie Salen|
The Institute of Play is a 501(c)(3) corporation founded in 2007. Based out of New York City, the Institute’s mission is to promote game design, games and gaming as a model tool to enhance personal and social development, in particular learning in secondary school students. Within six months of its formation by a group of game designers from Gamelab, the Institute of Play received a grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to develop Quest to Learn, a New York City public school designed around game design principles and based on over thirty years of learning research.
Quest to Learn
Quest to Learn (Q2L) is a public school in District 2 of the New York City Department of Education and is the result of a partnership between Institute of Play and New Visions for Public Schools. Quest to Learn is based on the model of "game-like learning," in which the curriculum is based on and mimics the design principles of games, increasing interactivity and fostering systems thinking. "[It] is organized specifically around the idea that digital games are central to the lives of today’s children and also increasingly, as their speed and capability grow, powerful tools for intellectual exploration." The school's curriculum is co-designed by teams of teachers, curriculum specialists, and game designers. At Quest to Learn, students both play games and learn to make them.
Q2L opened in Fall 2009, beginning with a founding class of sixth graders, and added another class of sixth graders in Fall 2010. It will continue to add grades until 2015, when it will become a full middle- and high school. The school is located in the Bayard Rustin Educational Complex on West 18th Street between Eighth and Ninth Avenues in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan, which it shares with a number of other small schools.
In conjunction with the school, the Institute of Play also hosts a week-long summer camp called MobileQuest, which is entering its third year. The Mobile Learning Institute, a Pearson Foundation program, supports the camp, which focuses on mobile game making platforms and devices. The curriculum introduces campers to basic ideas in game design utilizing the mobile phone platform.
In August 2011, the Institute of Play and the Chicago International Charter School opened a charter school – a privately managed public school – in Chicago based on the same model as Quest to Learn, with support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Digital Youth Network, based at DePaul University.
- "New 6th-12th Grade School Will Use Games And Game Design as Pathways to Creativity and Learning". MacArthur Foundation Press Release. Jun 21, 2007.
- "About Institute of Play". Institute of Play.
- Ash, Katie (Feb 17, 2009). "Quest to Learn: A School for Gamers". Education Week.
- Corbett, Sara (Sep 19, 2010). "Learning by Playing: Video Games in the Classroom". New York Times Magazine.
- Iasevoli, Brenda (Apr 6, 2010). "Game Theory: A City School Explores the Educational Power of Playing - And Designing - Games". Village Voice.
- "The Mobile Learning Institute". Pearson Foundation.
- "What is a Charter School" on the Chicago Quest website
- "ChicagoQuest Charter School Approved to Open in Fall 2011". MacArthur Foundation Press Release. Jan 26, 2011.
- "FAQS" on the Chicago Quest website