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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.

Jan 17, 2021

Geoff takes us through what he (and many other people) feel is a flaw in the rules of basketball, and a possible solution that was first implemented by a new league in 2018. The Elam Ending is designed to eliminate the incentive for teams trailing on the scoreboard to constantly, intentionally foul the leading...


Jan 10, 2021

We continue our annual tradition of bringing board game industry veteran Stephen Buonocore, now retired from Stronghold Games/Indie Game Studios and focusing on media and podcasting. We explore the bizarre, catastrophic year of 2020, and consider what's in store for us in 2021.

Note that this episode was recorded on...


Dec 13, 2020

Emma and Gil welcome Adrienne Smith, designer of the card game Blitz Champz and wide receiver for the Boston Renegades women's gridiron football team. We discuss the intersection of mass market, kids, and sports game design, the state of women's football in modern America, and serial entrepreneurship.

This episode was...


Dec 6, 2020

Scott takes us through the history of Dark Tower, the legendary electronically-enhanced board game, and its modern spiritual successor, Return to Dark Tower. The story's twists and turns include every designer's worst nightmare: a huge company stealing a designer's idea and making it their own.

BIBLIOGRAPHY OF A BOARD...


Nov 29, 2020

Emma and Gil welcome Kathryn Hymes and Hakan Seyalıoğlu to the show to discuss the impact of language on play, and how to design games that revolve around the building, modification, and demise of a language.

SHOW NOTES

2m52s: Here's the Kickstarter for Thorny's new game Xenolanguage.

6m45s: Among Us is a social...