Research: Games Businessmen Play

The lord of the manor, an unfeeling fellow, imposes a rent increase on his poor tenant farmer. In his turn, the farmer cuts his field hand's wages to nearly nothing. In the next move, the destitute worker is sent off to debtors' prison.

Is this a synopsis of Dickens' Hard Times? Not at all. It is a typical sequence in a game called Manchester, in which the participants replay Britain's Industrial Revolution.

Unlike Monopoly, which gets parlor fun out of make-believe real estate transactions, Manchester cannot be bought at the nearest toy store. It is produced, under contract, for various business,...

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