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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.

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

Feb 23, 2020

Professor Scott Rogers joins Gil and Emma once again! This time, we're discussing Scott's time as an Imagineer designing games and experiences for Disneyland, and his subsequent work designing VR attractions. It's a fascinating topic, with a surprising amount of overlap into any kind of game design! 

Show notes:

05m45s: More info about Disney Play here. 

08m06s: Scott is right, sportscaster Al Michaels was indeed traded for Oswald the Lucky Rabbit

18m16s: Ludology 189 - Missing Selinker, wherein Mike Selinker shares a funny story testing Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom: 

30m20s: The Design of Everyday Things, by Donald Norman. Highly recommended to anyone who wants a better understanding of how people interact with objects. 

40m53s: The history of how Tetris has chosen its pieces is really fascinating! 

41m29s: Some more information about Legends of Frontierland: Gold Rush.

46m09s: We discussed dark rides and the challenge of choice in an immersive environment Ludology 214 - Escape from Reality with Strange Bird Immersive. 

52m34s: Two-Bit Circus, the place in LA where you can experience the Terminator-themed dark ride that Scott worked on. 

1h02m46s: Geoff interviewed Curtis Hickman, CCO of The Void, in GameTek 134

1h05m51s: More info about Dreamscape.

1h06m37s: More info about Evermore.

1h10m58s: We discussed emergent vs. embedded narrative in Ludology 213 - Your Humble Narrator.

1h11m24s: Look, it was a long recording session, okay? :)