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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.

Aug 23, 2020

In the past few years, Ludology has recorded a live episode at Gen Con. We weren't going to let a global pandemic stop us this year! 

Recorded as part of Gen Con Online 2020, Emma, Gil, and Scott streamed this recording live on Twitch. We had an excellent turnout in the chat, and everyone seemed to really enjoy this new twist on Ludology Live!

You can watch unedited video of this chat here.

It's possible we may return to this format in the future! Stay tuned…

SHOW NOTES

1m54s: We mention Gil's Twitch channel several times in this episode.
2m13s: Of course, this note to turn it tickets doesn't apply to people listening to the podcast. Don't let that note trigger any vague feelings of guilt! Also, for reference, we began recording at 5 pm EDT.
3m29s: "This much on the timeline" - at this point, Gil is holding up his finger and thumb with a few centimeters of space in between.
4m46s: Scott is holding up a Gamemaster DVD at this point.
5m40s: You can watch the Gen Con Gamemaster panel here.
6m01s: The shot in question (no Gil to be found, sadly).
7m16s: Alas, neither the Instagram Live nor Table Takes interviews are archived anywhere. :(
8m36s: Remote Playtesting (#rpt) is the playtest group that Gil helps to run. You can see and buy the t-shirt with Aaron Wilson's logo here.
8m54s: Aaron's new publishing company with Ian Zang, Gravitation Games.
9m55s: Here's Scott's quarantine playlist.
10m10s: Abandon All Artichokes
11m43s: High Rise is almost sold out! And Rival Networks pre-orders are still going strong.
12m02s: Check-In Cards.
12m37s: Here's the video for Animal Crossing Fiasco. More info for one of Gil's favorite games, De Vulgari Eloquentia.
14m38s: draw.io, a collaboration tool that Emma really likes.
14m56s: Here's a tweet that sums up Emma's game Unravel quite well. Emma also mentions the Our Innermost Thoughts Kickstarter project by Travis Hill.
18m27s: More info on the Tabletop Mentorship Program.
18m42s: Glenn Cotter's Fickle.
22m01s: Gil presented a lot of these thoughts in this blog post.
25m47s: The "G" Gil is trying to point to would be a fraction of a millimeter large in most screens.
26m21s: There will be another Virtual Gaming Con in November.
32m59s: GenCan't has been an online alternative to Gen Con for several years now.
36m21s: Here is an example of BuonoCardboard making the rounds.
39m27s: Scott's 50th episode of Biography of a Board Game just dropped, and it's wonderful! He covers the history of his own game, Rayguns and Rocketships
40m24s: We at Ludology were all touched by Marcel Claxton's thoughtful analysis of Ludology's recent direction and its significance in the current age. 
43m21s: Jason Morningstar appeared in Ludology 161 - What's The Story Morning Glory?
50m32s: There aren't many board games about falling in love, but quite a few digital and RPGs! (Gil would also like to suggest wargames and games coming out of that historical/political sphere as the board game parallel to documentaries.)
59m34s: For those who may not have heard of it, the MacArthur Fellows Program is awarded to 20-30 Americans every year who show "extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction." Between the high criteria for being named and the generous amount of money received ($625,000), it's nicknamed the "Genius Grant."
1h03m49s: Emma mentions a few tools here: Tabletop Simulator, Tabletopia, Trello, and Slack.
1h06m25s: At this point, Scott holds up a Playstation controller.
1h14m57s: This Discord Has Ghosts In It.
1h17m57s: Scott's links: his blog, his Patreon, his Twitter, and his Instagram.
1h18m54s: Emma's links: her website, her Twitter, and her Instagram.
1h19m28s: Gil's links: his company website, his personal website, his Twitter, and his Twitch.