Nation: Games Theory

Nearly two years of sporadic strikes, riots, sinking trade balances, a franc devaluation and other troubles led French Economist Jean-Marie Albertini to invent a Monopoly-like game called Ec-oplany. In it, players assume the role of finance ministers and try to outwit each other at running a national economy. By rolling dice, each participant is tossed from recessions to failing harvests to baby booms. Unless he learns quickly, a novice will find himself strikebound, bankrupt or on the verge of civil war in no time.

The game, which sells at $12 a set, suggests some transatlantic variations. In a direct adaptation, Americans could...

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