A neologism – the art, science or profession of facilitating learning through play or games

Welcome to Ludogogy Magazine

This magazine relies on the generosity of its contributors who have committed time and effort to creating articles for us. I am sure that you will enjoy reading what they have created as much as I have. Please see our Contributors’ page to see details of and links to our contributors’ work.

– Sarah Le-Fevre (Editor)

Since the last issue

As part of our Prototyping & Playtesting week, regular Ludogogy contributor Terry Pearce of Untold Play gave a demo of his new product, the Transform Deck – here it is on YouTube. You will be able to read my review of it soon.

The deck launches via www.untoldplay.com on Oct 28. It’s a practical tool to inspire learning designers to transform learning content into engaging activities. Distilled and curated from twenty years of learning design experience, each card is a way to take content and transform it into a different kind of activity. The deck includes 45 activity types in five suits, together with seven instruction cards detailing new ways to combine, lay out, and play with the cards to transform your learning.

Since the last issue of Ludogogy came out, it’s mostly been school holiday time here in the UK, which has coincided with a certain level of relaxation of the COVID-19 restrictions. So, like a lot of people, your editor took the opportunity to take some time out and get away – although, I hasten to add, still very much keeping my distance and wearing a mask – because we definitely aren’t out of the woods yet.

So apart from preparing for this issue, and keeping a couple of other projects ticking over, I’ve been able to spend quite a lot of time at play. And it occurred to me that despite the business I’m in – and I’m sure this applies to a lot of us – I really don’t get as much time as I would like to play – or indeed even enough time as would be useful to play to keep my CPD ticking over.

So, I have no appearances in interviews, guest blogs or podcasts to share, but I would like to share some new (and some that are just new to me) games that I’ve been playing – and what I find fun, or interesting, about them.

Wanderhome – As a keen player of RPGs since D&D first arrived, I’m always keen to see what’s new in the world of roleplaying. This decidedly non-violent, inclusive (Possum Creek Game’s mission is grounded in the ‘liminality of queerness’) and gently heartwarming game of simple creatures going about their business, has much to recommend it. From a games design perspective, its accessibility as an RPG is increased by the use of the ‘playbook’ and a simple points-based system to facilitate action – as opposed to games with complex dice-based processes to progress plot.

Everdell – Another game featuring cute forest critters – who are striving to build the best woodland city.  Like another new favourite, Wingspan, this game has a central tableau building mechanic, which not only allows for interesting and challenging strategic play, but means that each game is also very different from those that have gone before.

Concept – Had it for ages – never got round to playing it (to my shame, this applies to many games on my shelves). Really, really, interesting from a learning perspective, especially if thinking about communications and cultural perspectives. Think of it as picture-based ‘Charades’ with an extra emphasis on order and context.

Love Letter – not new at all, even to me. But it’s been the game of the Summer for my family.  I always marvel at the elegance of this game. If, as a designer, you want an object lesson in how to achieve maximum gameplay with very few playing pieces, this game is one to check.

I’d love to hear your game recommendations – and what you think about the idea of Ludogogy hosting regular game nights, with discussions. A bit like a book club but with games.

Make sure you keep checking back at the page link below over the next couple of weeks, as recordings of September’s tie-in events are added. Most of these will not yet have happened at publication date.

https://www.ludogogy.co.uk/focus-on-make-break-live-events/

We are now accepting submissions for the following themes:

  • Issue 14 (November) ‘Economics’ – deadline 31 October – The intricacies of designing and implementing in-game economies, creating value ‘sources’ and ‘sinks’ in gamification applications, using games for learning about real-world economies, different economic models or ideas e.g. Doughnut Economics, Triple Bottom Line, as implemented in games etc.
  • Issue 15 (January) ‘Winning’ – deadline 26 December – Designing ‘win-states’ in games to keep players playing, competition vs cooperation (or balancing the two), designing and implementing scoring systems, the psychological/pedagogical implications of winning (or losing) in learning games, how different player types ‘win’ etc.

Contact info@ludogogy.co.uk for either submissions, or for any other suggestions, questions, or even to just have a chat.

Stay at a sensible distance, Stay Safe, Stay Playful