Lab experiments—such as word games that mimic different intellectual property regimes—have a unique ability to test policies, says Paolo Crosetto.
Imagine a game of Scrabble. Players take turns, acquire letters, and form words. For each word they get points. After an hour or so, the board is criss-crossed by sometimes arcane and uncommon words, and the most creative anagram wizard has won.
Now imagine a tweak to the rules: whenever a player wishes to attach her word to another players’, she has to pay its creator a fee. Intellectual property rights have been introduced. What will happen?