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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.

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:...


Feb 16, 2020

Geoff discusses Alpha Zero, a neural net that can play Go, Chess, and Shogi better than anyone in the world. It defeated the best AI in those respective games (each of whom had previously defeated the best humans in the world) with only a few hours of training. What does this spell for the future of AI, and the...


Feb 9, 2020

Emma and Gil welcome Geoff Engelstein and Isaac Shalev back to the show to discuss their new book Building Blocks of Tabletop Game Design. This is a reference of board game mechanisms that any designer, new or experienced, can use to look up different tools they can use to solve problems in game design.

Games and other...


Feb 2, 2020

Scott uncovers the history of the classic game Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots, which has been delighting kids (and kids-at-heart) since 1964. He discusses the influences that converged in making the game, why the combatants are robots, and how it's influenced everything from video games to real-life combat robotics.