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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 30, 2020

Geoff ponders a tricky question: how come we get iconic characters from video games, like Mario or Pac-Man, but none from board games?


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...


Aug 16, 2020

This is the 50th Biography of a Board Game episode! To celebrate, Scott takes us through the history of his first board game, Rayguns and Rocketships.

BIBLIOGRAPHY OF A BOARD GAME

0m36s: Video game publisher THQ
0m51s: God of War, Pac Man World, Soul Blade
1m37s: The Star Wars Album
1m43s: The legendary filmmaker Akira...


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.

SHOW NOTES

0m22s: From educationcloset.com: "STEAM Education is an approach to learning...


Aug 2, 2020

Geoff muses on the difference between explicitly calling out the way a game system works, versus letting players implicitly discover how the players discover how the system works. Is one clearly better than the other?

Tell us how you feel in the Ludology forums!

Here's more information about Geoff's game Versailles...