There are so many great books, courses, games, theories, approaches, blogs, podcasts…..(well you get the idea), out there on the topics of games-based learning, gamification and all the sundry other topics beloved of Ludogogy readers. This is a space for our readers to submit reviews of anything they feel would be useful for you to know about. We are looking for reviewers – likely tasks will include tasks reading, listening, watching or playtesting. Also, if you have a book, game or whatever you would like to see reviewed here, we want to hear from you too Please get in touch in either case at using ‘review’ in your subject line.



Top Ten Games book cover Review of  Games you can Play in your Head by Ludogogy - I’ve long been a fan of ‘elegant’ games, by which I mean games that achieve a great deal of gameplay – and therefore fun – without having lots of materials or overly complex rules and mechanisms. I also, at times, especially since lockdown, struggle to gather together sufficient people to play some of my favourite tabletop games, so I’ve come… [...]
Transform Cards Review of Transform Deck and Toolkit by Ludogogy - The Transform Deck follows the fine tradition of inspirational decks such as Michael Michalko’s Thinkertoys and Thinkerpack, IDEO’s Method Cards and, a favourite of mine, Brian Eno’s Oblique Strategies. What all of these decks have in common is a focus on inspiring ideas and sparking creativity – some in a very general sense.  How they differ is in their potential… [...]
Gameful Habits book cover Review of Gameful Habits by Ludogogy - Victoria Ichizli-Bartels is the author of numerous books on different facets of her ‘Self-Gamification’ approach to turning one’s life into games – for enjoyment, motivation and achievement. Using a combination of Kaizen (small continuous improvements), an anthropological approach to self-reflection and gamification, self-gamification opens up possibilities for helping oneself in countless areas of one’s life. While Victoria has already specific… [...]
Building Blocks Review of Building Blocks of Tabletop Game Design by Ludogogy - Many years ago, I attempted to create my own encyclopaedia of game mechanisms by playing/reading the rules of all the board games I owned (which was a considerable number, and has only increased since then) and noting each separate mechanic on a card, and then attempting to sort them into categories on a Roladex. I’m not sure whether I would… [...]
Cover of designing games and gamification for leearning Review of Designing Games and Gamification for Learning by Ludogogy - Over the last couple of weeks, a conversation started, in a games-based learning community to which I belong, about how to talk about games-based learning, to two groups of people, in particular – those who know about games and games design, but lack skills in and knowledge of, learning design and practice, and those who know about learning, but don’t… [...]
Liviing complexity book cover Review – Living Complexity by Ludogogy - Living Complexity is described by its author, Luca Minudel, as a catalogue of practices for use within teams, with an eye also at the broader organisation. The readers who will probably find most value here will have an interest in Agile, but there is plenty here for all. Anyone who found interest in Ludogogy’s Systems Thinking issue will find in… [...]
Framing Play Design cover Review of Framing Play Design by Terry Pearce - I’m passionate about play — its power and its importance. I believe that one of the worst ideas out there is the need to put away ‘childish things’ on adulthood. When we play, we explore and create things that can never come into being when we are focused on doing things right and achieving, and all the other things we… [...]
Ideas Arrangemetn Effects cover Review – Ideas Arrangements Effects by DS4SI by Ludogogy - Ideas, Arrangements, Effects (IAE) by the Design Studio for Social Intervention (DS4SI) starts with a simple premise. Ideas are embedded in social arrangements, which in turn produce effects. This is, in itself, a very simple idea, but the power of the insights that can be achieved if you go along with this idea, is great indeed. In the main the… [...]
Reality is broken Review – Reality is Broken by Jane McGonigal by Erik Agudelo - Erik Agudelo from Play Learn Develop reviews Reality is Broken. To give you a sneak preview of what he thinks of this book, he says he ended up 'highlighting whole pages of the book.' Starting with 'What is a Game?' and working through to how games can help us to save the world, via a reference to another great book,… [...]
Ludogogy gameloop Review – Yu-kai Chou’s Behavioural Design Masterclass by Ludogogy - I bought a copy of ‘Actionable Gamification: Beyond Points, Badges and Leaderboards’ the very day it became available. I had been a fan of Yu-kai Chou’s Octalysis framework for some time by then, and I was using what I already knew of it regularly in my learning design work. I was keen to increase my knowledge and expand my practice,… [...]
Will Wheeler Book cover Review – The Book of Dyslexic Motivation in Pictures by Ludogogy - The Book of Dyslexic Motivation in Pictures, by Will Wheeler, is a game of two halves, both of which have lots to teach us about becoming a successful professional (dyslexic or otherwise). The first half of the book consists mostly of anecdotes from Will’s own past. Sometimes extremely painful to read, one might question what place they have in a… [...]
Wargaming Experiences Book cover Review – Wargaming Experiences – Soldiers, Scientists and Civilians by Dr Pascal van Overloop - Ever wondered what the recent use of gaming-based methodologies in typical NATO scenarios could look like? Natalia Wojtowicz presents her personal insights from her practice in “Wargaming Experiences – Soldiers, Scientists and Civilians”. Lately, there had been a push for new wargames and related publications, so why there is a need for this new 188-page paperback? To put it briefly,… [...]
Crystal Ball Review – Coursera’s Futures Thinking Specialisation – Part 2 by Ludogogy - Since last month, I've now finished this specialisation, by working through the last two courses, Collaborative Foresight: How to Game the Future and Urgent Optimism: How to Turn Foresight into Action. To see my review of the first three courses, go to Review - Coursera's Futures Thinking Specialisation Course Four: Collaborative Foresight: How to Game the Future This course built on… [...]
Crystal Ball Review – Coursera’s Futures Thinking Specialisation by Ludogogy - I’ve been neglecting Coursera recently, and to be honest, I’m not sure why.  Back in 2012, I was pretty constantly taking courses on the platform - sometimes two or three at a time! But, looking now at my past courses, I haven’t actually taken a course since 2014. I got an email a while back about a five-course specialisation in… [...]
Evivve screenshot Review of Evivve by Terry Pearce - Memcorp calls Evivve a MOGL, a multiplayer online game-based learning platform. It’s a mobile-based game for up to ten players, played in a learning environment with a facilitator. If you want to experience it for the first time as a player with no ‘spoilers’, I’ll give you the TL;DR version of this review (‘it’s really good’), and recommend you stop… [...]
Emotify cover Book Review – Emotify! by Terry Pearce - ‘Emotify!’ covers a lot of ground. It starts by making its (virtually watertight) case for game-based learning over lectures (or anything akin to them), and taking an illuminating tour through the landscape of game-based learning. The rest of the book is split in two. The ‘professor’ gives us implementation frameworks: models, approaches, planning and evaluation tools). The ‘ad-man’ gives us… [...]