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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 Erica Bouyouris and Sen-Foong Lim 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 escape rooms to slot machines.

On weeks where there is no flagship Ludology episode, we will alternate between two smaller mini-sodes. Erica and Sen are happy to announce that Sarah Shipp of Shippboard Games and Stephanie Campbell of TTRPGKids will be joining us for the next year, providing additional content between our longer episodes.

Sarah's segment, Thinking Beyond Mechanisms, is a monthly feature that dives deeper into the other aspects of games beyond the dice and cards we're all familiar with.

Stephanie's segment, TTRPGKids, explores how parents and teachers can use role playing games with children in the home and in the classroom.

We hope you enjoy the additional content!

Our History

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 and Scott joined the show in 2017 when Mike stepped aside, and Emma joined in 2019 when Geoff ended his tenure as host. Emma left in 2021, and Erica and Sen joined us. Since then, Scott stepped down in 2022 and Gil will be hanging up his mic in 2023, leaving Erica and Sen to carry on this amazing legacy.

Erica and Sen are working to bring new voices to Ludology and have some great things to announce as gaming expands to include even more people!

Contact Us 

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

Ludology is part of The Dice Tower Network, the premier board game media network.

If you have questions that you'd like answered on Ludology, let us know by filling out this Google Form; you can also leave an audio question that we can use on the show, if you wish! 

Burning Questions for Ludology

Burning Question

Support the Show

Ludology is made possible through the support and donations of listeners like you.

We currently have 3 "First Listen" series that will go out to Patrons well in advance of the audio being released to the wider audience.

  • The Memories that Made Us (monthly) - memories about gaming experiences that helped shape the people that bring modern games to life
  • Tales from the Designer Toolbox (monthly) - tips and tricks from industry pros learned from both success and failure
  • Ludology Live - recordings from conventions around the world

Patrons will also get extra consideration for any giveaways that we might have!

Become a Ludology Patron

Become a patron

You can also make a one-time or monthly donation here. The link will take you to Erica's account. People who donate in this way will not have access to the Patreon page - sorry!

Mar 20, 2022

Gil sits down for a one-on-one with game designer, teacher, and lecturer Marc LeBlanc to discuss some of his game design ideas, especially his 8 Kinds of Fun and the Mechanics/Dynamics/Aesthetics (MDA) framework

NOTE: Towards the end of the episode, Gil's mic cable started to get unhappy. Apologies for the static!


0m50s: Looking Glass Studios, Ultima Underworld II, Thief, System Shock, Defense of the Oasis, Heroes Welcome

4m30s: Marc's 8 types of fun: Sensation, Fantasy, Narrative, Challenge, Fellowship, Discovery, Expression, and Submission.

9m31s: Wildermyth

11m28s: Nicole Lazzaro's 4 Keys to Fun, Self-Determination Theory, Quantric Foundry's Gamer Motivation Model, Jason VendenBerghe's Engines of Play

12m46s: Tim Fowers was on Ludology 165 - Fowerian Slip. Gil also mentions philosipher Roger Caillois and his book Man, Play, and Games.

23m52s: Reiner Knizia's classic auction game Ra.

31m34s: Spy Party

33m39s: Geoff discussed the Incan Gold experiment in GameTek 213.5.

36m46s: Gil's talk at Tabletop Network has been lost to tech gremlins. Fortunately, he gave the same talk online during the pandemic.

38m01s: Any mention of Caylus would make Ludology co-founder Ryan Sturm happy.

39m34s: Sharang Biswas was on Ludology 230 - Design Re-Verb. Geoff discussed his most recent game, Super Skill Pinball, on Ludology 268 - Pinball Wizard.

47m21s: 7 Wonders

51m08s: Slay the Spire

54m38s: Alan Moon's Oasis vs. Reiner Knizia's Through the Desert

56m05s: Return to Dark Tower, the Through the Ages digital adaptation, Pokemon Unite, Titan, Zach Gage's really bad chess.

1h00m02s: The Lynx web browser.