What is Ludology?
Ludology is the study of games and play as a cultural, social, psychological and aesthetic phenomenon. It focuses on analyzing and understanding the nature of games, how they work, their meaning and their impact on players and society in general.
Ludologists study games from different angles, such as their design, mechanics, storytelling, aesthetics, culture, and history. They are also interested in different types of gamers, how they interact with games, and how games impact their behavior, attitudes, and perception of the world.
What discipline is this?
Ludology is an interdisciplinary discipline that combines elements of psychology, sociology, anthropology, aesthetics, computer science, and cultural studies to provide a comprehensive perspective on games and their role in society.
Microsoft Flight Simulator is an example of a serious game. Wasim Ahmed, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Example of Ludology
An example of ludology might be the study of a popular video game like Minecraft. Ludologists could analyze game mechanics, level design, storytelling (if any), characters, and player interactions. They could also look at the gaming community that surrounds Minecraft, studying how players interact with each other, how they create content for the game, and how they influence the game’s future development.
Ludologists could also study Minecraft’s impact on video game culture in general, as well as its influence on individual gamers, by examining how the game can affect their cognition, behavior, and perception of the world. Finally, ludologists could examine how Minecraft can be used for educational purposes, investigating how teachers and educators can use the game to teach skills such as problem solving, creativity, and collaboration.