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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.

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!

SHOW NOTES

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 jetpens.com for all your writing needs.

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

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