Institute of Play Shutting Down After 11 Years of Operation

Published: June 7, 2019 1:30 PM /


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The Institute of Play, a forerunner for school design services and educator programs that cater to game design, is shutting its doors.

According to an announcement made by board and staff of the Institute, the programs are expected to cease operations towards the end of the summer this year, by the Third Quarter of 2019.

"We are beginning the process of winding down the organization and expect the wind down to be complete by the end of summer." reads the statement by the Institute's board and staff. "You have been one of our valuable community members and we thank you for believing in us and supporting our work for all these years."

Based in New York City, the Institute of Play was founded in 2007 and wore many hats as a 501 (c)(3) Corporation. Most prominently, they partnered with schools and other organizations in game design. Most of this would be through education programs and providing playtests and production credits for student-made games. Groups such as the Boys and Girls Club of America, Brainpop, and The Museum of Modern Art were previous clients who worked with the IOP in game design.

In addition to game design, the IOP also worked on professional development programs for teachers, mostly through programs designed to introduce "play" in their curriculums through student-centered learning environments. The Institute also supported school design projects, most notably the New York City public Middle and High School Quest to Learn, which officially opened in 2009.

Upon their closure, the Institute is planning to give access to their archives to the Connected Learning Lab at UC Irvine, which is part of the Connected Learning Alliance. The CLL will not only have total access to the IOP materials but will also continue to offer those materials freely to designers and other educators.

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| Staff Writer

A longtime player of games, creator of worlds, and teacher of minds. Robert has worked many positions over the years, from college professor to education… More about Robert