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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 Erica Bouyouris, Gil Hova, Scott Rogers, and Sen-Foong Lim deep-dive into a single topic within game design, often with a well-regarded guest from the game industry. We generally focus on tabletop game design (mainly board games and RPGs), but we often pull in experts from all forms of games, from video games to escape rooms 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. Emma left in 2021, and Erica and Sen joined us.

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 hello@ludology.net.

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

Become a Patron of Ludology:

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Make a one-time donation here. The donation will take you to "Bedbug Comics" - that's Scott's account.

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

May 30, 2021

Erica and Scott welcome Ryan and Malorie Laukat, the couple behind Red Raven Games. Ryan is known as the designer and illustrator for games like Eight Minute Empire, Above and Below, Near and Far, Islebound, Empires of the Void, Artifacts Inc., Megaland, and the forthcoming Now or Never. They are also the subject of an...


May 23, 2021

Scott takes us through the history of El Grande, from its beginnings as a game about the Trojan War to its influence on the current board game scene.

BIBLIOGRAPHY OF A BOARD...


May 16, 2021

On a special milestone episode of Ludology, Gil Hova and Scott Rogers say goodbye to our beloved Emma Larkins, as she departs as a co-host after 50 amazing episodes. Geoff Engelstein drops by to check in on us. And we're also joined by new co-hosts Erica Bouyouris and Sen-Foong Lim!

SHOW NOTES

05m02s: Emma has earned...


May 9, 2021

Geoff parachutes into the world of battle royale games like Fortnite, and how they eclipsed MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena) games like Heroes of the Storm. Is there something special about battle royales that we can study as general lessons in game designs?


May 2, 2021

Emma and Gil welcome returning guest Eric Zimmerman, who last appeared on the show on Episode 79 to discuss the magic circle in gaming.

This time, Eric discusses his idea of the 21st century being a "ludic century," and what makes games especially important today. We also discuss how games' powers can be used for evil,...