Katie Salen locates her work in the field of game design and serves as the Executive Director of a non-profit called the Institute of Play that is focused on games and learning. She is also Professor of Games and Digital Media at DePaul University, and Learning Director of GlassLab, a lab focused on developing game-based assessments created via a partnership between Electronic Arts, the Electronic Software Association and Institute of Play.
Katie led the team that founded Quest to Learn in 2009, a 6-12th grade public school in New York City, as well as ChicagoQuest, a 6-12 charter school that opened fall 2011 in Chicago. Katie is co-author of Rules of Play, a textbook on game design, The Game Design Reader, Quest to Learn: Growing a School for Digital Kids, and editor of The Ecology of Games: Connecting Youth, Games, and Learning, all from MIT Press.
She has worked as a game designer for over 12 years and is a former co-editor of The International Journal of Learning and Media. 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 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 once co-designed a karaoke ice cream truck driven by a squirrel.
Katie holds advanced degrees from the University of Texas at Austin and the Rhode Island School of Design.