Institute of Play

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Institute of Play
Formation 2007
Type 501(c)(3) corporation
Headquarters New York City, New York, United States
Area served
Executive Directors
Rebecca Rufo-Tepper, Arana Shapiro

The Institute of Play is a 501(c)(3) corporation founded in 2007. Based out of New York City, on a mission to transform education through play, and guided by a set of 7 Game-Like Learning Principles, the institute offers school design services, educator programs, game & curriculum design, and corporate trainings / workshops. Their initial work promoted game design, games and gaming as a model tool to enhance personal and social development, in particular learning in secondary school students.[1] 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.[2]


Quest to Learn[edit]

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.[3] 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."[4] 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.[5]

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.[4] 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.

Mobile Quest[edit]

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.[6]

Chicago Quest[edit]

In August 2011, the Institute of Play and the Chicago International Charter School opened a charter school – a privately managed public school[7] – 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,[8] and the Digital Youth Network, based at DePaul University.[9]


See also[edit]



  1. ^ "New 6th-12th Grade School Will Use Games And Game Design as Pathways to Creativity and Learning" (PDF). MacArthur Foundation Press Release. Jun 21, 2007. 
  2. ^ "About Institute of Play". Institute of Play. 
  3. ^ Ash, Katie (Feb 17, 2009). "Quest to Learn: A School for Gamers". Education Week. 
  4. ^ a b Corbett, Sara (Sep 19, 2010). "Learning by Playing: Video Games in the Classroom". New York Times Magazine. 
  5. ^ Iasevoli, Brenda (Apr 6, 2010). "Game Theory: A City School Explores the Educational Power of Playing - And Designing - Games". Village Voice. 
  6. ^ "The Mobile Learning Institute". Pearson Foundation. 
  7. ^ "What is a Charter School" on the Chicago Quest website
  8. ^ "ChicagoQuest Charter School Approved to Open in Fall 2011". MacArthur Foundation Press Release. Jan 26, 2011. 
  9. ^ "FAQS" on the Chicago Quest website

External links[edit]