DML: Mission Galaxy


The Institute of Play is a non-profit organization that leverages games and digital media as critical contexts for learning, innovation, and change in the 21st century. As a founding partner of Quest to Learn, a New York City public school that opened it’s doors in 2009, the Institute of Play has developed an innovative curricula around 21st century skills; systems thinking and the design of games and digital media. At the core of this effort is MissionLab, a group of game and curriculum designers situated within the school who support teachers and students on a daily basis.

At MissionLab, the design of game-based curricula relies on simple core values: structuring learning around specific goals, creating “a need to know” and developing opportunities for students to apply prior knowledge to new situations. Through this work, the Institute of Play argues that games provide the basis of learning that is both situated and engaging.

In an effort to share some of the theories and practices that support the Institute of Play’s approach to game-like learning, Chloe Varelidi, Creative Director of MissionLab and Claudio Midolo MissionLab’s Senior Game Designer propose to lead a hands-on workshop in the design and creation of a simple, challenge-based curricular unit or “mission.”

The Mission Galaxy workshop will explore the Institute of Play’s game and curriculum design process and have participants create their own “mission” by playing a mission-creation game called “Mission Galaxy.” Participants will work in teams, take on roles and use a set of game cards, graphics and prompts in order to create their own version of a ‘“mission”. The workshop will culminate with a share out session, as well as voting and awards ceremony for the best mission in the galaxy.