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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.

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Aug 9, 2020

Emma and Gil welcome game designer, educator, and birder Chidi Paige to discuss how games and play benefit education, how she designed her bird-themed game Birdwiser, and how competitive birdwatching has affected her as a person.


0m22s: From "STEAM Education is an approach to learning that uses Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Mathematics as access points for guiding student inquiry, dialogue, and critical thinking." It is an evolution of the older STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) approach in that it adds the arts.
1m29s: The Newark Museum in Newark, NJ. Fun fact: back when Chidi was working at the museum, Gil was a block away working at Small world!
1m36s: Columbia University in New York, NY.
2m45s: Wonderstar Foundation has no web presence yet. Hopefully soon!
7m11s: ClassCraft
7m36s: Labster
8m01s: Chidi is referring to polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for DNA replication, and to CRISPR for genome editing.
13m43s: Explorer's Program at the Newark Museum
23m06s: Our episode with Dr. Mary Flanagan was Ludology 226 - Buffalo Buffalo Buffalo Buffalo Buffalo Buffalo Buffalo Buffalo
23m43s: You can hear more from Elizabeth Hargrave on Ludology 203 - Winging It.
25m31s: The Big Year on IMDB.
27m29s: Sadly, we could not find the video that Emma mentioned!
30m40s: Chidi's web site for Birdwiser.
32m00s: Whot and Uno are variations on the public domain game Crazy Eights.
33m18s: Birdwiser’s illustrations are by Emily Willoughby, with graphics by Kristine Mathieson of Tropikality Designs
36m26s: Sibley and Peterson are two of the best-known bird guides out there.
38m43s: We discussed Emma's Infinite Potato Problem in Ludology 225 - A Study in Emma-rald.
41m09s: The site Chidi is referring to is Upwork, originally called oDesk.
42m29s: Gil is talking about his word game Wordsy.
42m45s: "Complexity Budget," an idea Richard Garfield popularized.
47m09s: More info about certifying your garden for wildlife.
50m01s: More info about the World Series of Birding.
1h00m05s: The scientists Chidi mentions are Eric Kandel and Richard Axel.