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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.

Mar 29, 2020

In today's Biography of a Board Game, Scott takes us through the long history of The Game of the Goose, which became a template for almost every roll-and-move game into Victorian times and beyond.

Show notes:

1m49s: The ancient Egyptian game of Mehen 

2m04s: History of the labyrinth

2m24s: The Discus of Phaistos, also...


Mar 22, 2020

Emma and Gil welcome Jonny Pac, designer of Coloma and other games set in the Gold Rush West. Our main topic of discussion is multiple paths to victory: what it brings to a game, what kinds of games need it, what kinds of games don't, and how to avoid the dreaded "point salad" effect.

Jonny's published...


Mar 15, 2020

Geoff welcomes Dr. James Wootton, quantum computing expert and one of the people behind the digital game Hello Quantum, which is made to teach its player about the fundamentals of quantum computing. 

Here is Dr. Wootton's blog.

Here is the Quantum Information Science Kit (QISKIT) blog Dr. Wootton mentioned.

If you're...


Mar 8, 2020

Emma and Gil welcome Jennifer Ellis and Keith Baker of Twogether Studios. We discuss their approach for integrating stories into their game, whether directly embedded in their game, letting them emerge from the players, or evoked from the look of the product. 

Show notes:

05m03s: Check out Keith and Jenn's games:
Gloom


Mar 1, 2020

Scott leads us through the history of Trivial Pursuit, from its conception from two Canadian journalists after trying to play a game of Scrabble with missing pieces, to a full-fledged global 80s fad, to a billion-dollar empire.