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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 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. Erica and Sen are happy to announce that Sarah Shipp of Shippboard Games and Stephanie Campbell of TTRPGKids will be joining us for the next year, providing additional content between our longer episodes.

Sarah's segment, Thinking Beyond Mechanisms, is a monthly feature that dives deeper into the other aspects of games beyond the dice and cards we're all familiar with.

Stephanie's segment, TTRPGKids, explores how parents and teachers can use role playing games with children in the home and in the classroom.

We hope you enjoy the additional content!

Our History

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 and Scott 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. Since then, Scott stepped down in 2022 and Gil will be hanging up his mic in 2023, leaving Erica and Sen to carry on this amazing legacy.

Erica and Sen are working to bring new voices to Ludology and have some great things to announce as gaming expands to include even more people!

Contact 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

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

If you have questions that you'd like answered on Ludology, let us know by filling out this Google Form; you can also leave an audio question that we can use on the show, if you wish! 

Burning Questions for Ludology

Burning Question

Support the Show

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

We currently have 3 "First Listen" series that will go out to Patrons well in advance of the audio being released to the wider audience.

  • The Memories that Made Us (monthly) - memories about gaming experiences that helped shape the people that bring modern games to life
  • Tales from the Designer Toolbox (monthly) - tips and tricks from industry pros learned from both success and failure
  • Ludology Live - recordings from conventions around the world

Patrons will also get extra consideration for any giveaways that we might have!

Become a Ludology Patron

Become a patron

You can also make a one-time or monthly donation here. The link will take you to Erica's account. People who donate in this way will not have access to the Patreon page - sorry!

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!


05m02s: Emma has earned quite a few awards for her game Abandon All Artichokes: the Golden Geek Light Game of the Year, the American Tabletop Award for Early Gamers, and yes, the Parent's Choice Silver Award.

07m25s: Here are Emma's favorite episodes:

15m06s: The two books Geoff mentions are Achievement Relocked: Loss Aversion and Game Design, and Game Production: Prototyping and Producing Your Board Game.

16m30s: More information about the Zenobia Award.

19m56s: Here's the most recent episode we did with Sen, Ludology 236 - Role With It.

20m38s: More information about the Meeple Syrup Show.

21m59s: "Jay" is Sen's longtime co-designer Jay Cormier. Jay joined Mike and Geoff in Ludology 134 - There's No "I" In Team. "Jessey" is game designer, developer, and Meeple Syrup co-host Jessey Wright. "Helaina" is Helaina Cappel, who runs publishing companies Burnt Island Games and Kids' Table Board Gaming. 

26m13s: "Daryl" is prolific game designer and former Meeple Syrup host Daryl Andrews. (The shout you hear in the background is one of Sen's sons playing Magic.)

31m41s: Here's Emma's streaming co-host Javion Smith.

32m10s: Here's Emma's list of games:

41m06s: Renys is very much a Maine thing.

43m20s: Sue Grafton wrote the "alphabet mystery series" of detective novels featuring investigator Kinsey Millhone, starting with A is for Alibi and ending with Y is for Yesterday. She sadly never got to the last letter, passing away in 2017. Her daughter said since Grafton never finished what was to be the final book in the series, Z is for Zero, and they did not wish to hire a ghostwriter, "as far as we in the family are concerned, the alphabet now ends at Y."

44m59s: Emma’s pen of choice, the Pilot Precise V5 Rollerball Extra Fine.

46m18s: Sen recommends for all your writing needs.

47m13s: Here's what we're all working on!

50m03s: Emma's Twitter, Twitch, and web site.