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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.

Dec 18, 2011

Are the kids out of school yet? If so, here's a bonus GameTek that is sure to keep their math skills freshly honed during the break. Geoff discusses how to estimate the 'Expectation Value' and how you can use that to help your gaming.


Dec 11, 2011

Ryan and Geoff are pleased to be joined by special guest Phil Eklund, designer of many games including High Frontier and Origins: How We Became Human.  

We discuss designing games as simulations, rather than just as games. What are the specific design challenges that are faced? How do you balance accuracy, playability,...


Dec 4, 2011

Following up on the last bonus GameTek episode about Regression Towards the Mean, Geoff discusses the USCF chess rating system with it's developer, Dr. Mark Glickman.  How are they calculated? How is the system designed to prevent 'gaming' the system? And once again we tackle the question of how you know if you're...


Nov 27, 2011

It's Thanksgiving in the USA, so everything is bigger than usual. In this supersized 90 minute Ludology, Ryan and Geoff tackle the question of innovation in games. Where does innovation come from? What games are innovative and which build on existing mechanics?  Is it possible for a game to be too innovative?

Plus Ryan...


Nov 20, 2011

Why do we get worse after we get better? In this classic GameTek Geoff explores the concept of 'Regression Towards the Mean', and tries to figure out how we can really tell if we're improving or just getting lucky.