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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 tabletop game design (mainly board games and RPGs), 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.

Feb 28, 2021

Scott delves into the history of the first big board game success on Kickstarter: Tory Niemann's Alien Frontiers.

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Feb 21, 2021

Emma and Gil chat with Jeeyon Shim, game designer, nature fan, and mushroom enthusiast. Jeeyon's games are about connecting with one's environment, and we discuss what it's like to make games like this. We also discuss playtesting (or not playtesting) indie games, the conception of "nature" and its connection with...


Feb 14, 2021

Geoff considers a classic problem: how do two parties in two different locations agree on a random number result, like a die roll? We cover the clever solution wargamers worked out, as well as an ultra-modern approach.


Feb 7, 2021

Emma and Gil chat with Sam Rosenthal and Stephen Bell of The Game Band, known for their bizarre cosmic horror sports sim Blaseball. We discuss the unique feedback loop between Blaseball's fans and its creators, the benefits of apophenia, and how baseball was uniquely suited for this treatment at this moment in...