While reading the cereal sections of Structures of Everyday Life, I could not help thinking of the board game Age of Renaissance. In a friendly-ish game—one in which, for example, Genoa and Venice come to an agreement wherein one takes Italian cloth and the other Italian stone, and where Genoa does not, say, press north into French territory*—it is not at all uncommon for grain to be evenly distributed among players, thus no one is disproportionately hit when Famine comes out. I am somewhat ashamed at the number of times in general that I will use Age (or other games) as markers for real world events. When I walk through the Room of Pointy Things in the Art Museum, I am mindful of the various crit ranges and do try to mentally correlate those stats to intended use.
* For the record? This ends very badly for Genoa, and increases the real life misery of all the players.