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Welcome to Ludology, an analytical discussion of the hows and whys of the world of board games. Rather than news and reviews, Ludology explores a variety of topics about games from a wider lens, as well as discuss game history, game design and game players.

We post a new Ludology episode every other week. In these episodes, hosts Emma Larkins and Gil Hova (sometimes with Professor Scott Rogers) deep-dive into a single topic within game design, often with a well-regarded guest from the game industry. We generally focus on board game design, but we often pull in experts from all forms of games, from video games to slot machines.

On weeks where there is no flagship Ludology episode, we will alternate between two smaller mini-sodes.

GameTek is a long-running feature from the Dice Tower podcast by Ludology co-founder Geoff Engelstein that explores the math and science behind games.  GameTek Classic episodes were once broadcast on The Dice Tower podcast, while other GameTek episodes were recorded specially for Ludology.

Biography of a Board Game is a series hosted by Scott Rogers that explores the history behind classic and modern board games. It was once on The Dice Tower, but has since moved full-time to Ludology.

We aim for most Ludology episodes to be timeless, so you are welcome to explore our entire catalog. Most of it should age quite well. The podcast was started in 2011 by Geoff Engelstein and Ryan Sturm, with Mike Fitzgerald taking over for Ryan in 2015. Gil joined the show in 2017 when Mike stepped aside, and Emma joined in 2019 when Geoff ended his tenure as host.

Have your own thoughts about our topics? We encourage you to visit us at our guild on Boardgamegeek to get involved in a continuing discussion.

You can also email us at gil@ludology.net or emma@ludology.net.

Ludology is made possible through the support and donations of listeners like you.

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Ludology is part of The Dice Tower Network, the premier board game media network.

Dec 21, 2014

In this classic GameTek, Geoff discusses Reputation as an antidote to Cheating, and how it breaks down as groups grow in size.

Duration: 06:40


Dec 14, 2014

Ryan and Geoff are thrilled to welcome Ben Brode, Senior Game Designer for Hearthstone, the online card game from Blizzard Entertainment.

Ben joins us to discuss the design considerations behind Hearthstone, how they took advantage of the digital medium while still feeling like a physical card game, and why you should...


Dec 7, 2014

In this classic GameTek, Geoff begins a two-part exploration of cheating with a personal admission.

Duration: 6:10


Nov 30, 2014

With Geoff goofing off, Ryan is very pleased to welcome noted designer Bruno Faidutti to discuss his article Postcolonial Catan, about how boardgames use cliches and stereotypes as shortcuts to generate theme.

DurationL 56:30


Nov 23, 2014

In this classic GameTek episode, Geoff explores an experiment that uses loss aversion to create an incentive. Is this a new type of carrot?

Duration: 07:15