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Codger
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Corrupt Dictatorship

Postby Codger » Mon Jan 14, 2019 4:05 pm

Good read Escade.
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Ryccia
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Postby Ryccia » Mon Jan 14, 2019 4:38 pm

How interesting...nice job, Escade.

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Valentine Z
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Postby Valentine Z » Mon Jan 14, 2019 4:46 pm

I like it! I tend to hop around forums and sad to say, I didn't really go into Gameplay aspects that much, but now I see what I have been missing.

Gloriously done, and I hope you don't mind as posting here, in case of future expansions. :P
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Escade
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Liberal Democratic Socialists

Postby Escade » Sun Jan 20, 2019 10:47 pm

Codger wrote:Good read Escade.


Thanks :)

Valentine Z wrote:I like it! I tend to hop around forums and sad to say, I didn't really go into Gameplay aspects that much, but now I see what I have been missing.

Gloriously done, and I hope you don't mind as posting here, in case of future expansions. :P


Thank you! Comments are welcome :)

The plan is for a monthly magazine so next issue will come out sometime in February!

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Escade
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Liberal Democratic Socialists

Gameplay Magazine - Issue 2

Postby Escade » Sun Feb 03, 2019 12:33 am



Issue 2
February 3, 2019

In this second issue of the magazine, we sit down with four NationStates personalities. First we interview the vivacious delegate of Lazarus and eminent artist Imkitopia. Then we met up with Jamie, one of the notable players who has made a return to NationStates after a hiatus. Next, we sat down with NS Moderator and Senior Roleplay mentor, and WA delegate of Greater Dienstad Lamoni. Finally we had an in-depth interview with the recently WA commended, former delegate and writer of an amazing bookXoriet.

For this month's art and culture study we examine tattoos in honor of Imkitopia and [nation]Rigel's Light[/nation] along with several other NSers who have tattoos or are in the process of getting them.

Then we introduced a new section Happenings which highlights GP community events and projects. Finally, we looked at what several NSers are reading - which is Webtoons!

Contents

Forum -| Dispatch

Featured Personality: Imki
Dispatch

Arts and Culture: Inkredible Tattoos
Dispatch

Featured Personality: Jamie
Dispatch

Arts and Culture: What We're Reading
Dispatch

Featured Personality: Lamoni
Dispatch

Happenings: Highlights from the Gameplay World
Dispatch

Featured Personality: Xoriet
Dispatch

Special thanks to all my interviewees for being patient with me (and helping with edits) and to Rigels Light!
Last edited by Escade on Mon Feb 04, 2019 7:58 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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Escade
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Liberal Democratic Socialists

Postby Escade » Sun Feb 03, 2019 12:34 am

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Forum | Discord | Dispatch

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Featured Personality: Imkitopia

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Our guest today is Imkitopia, Delegate of Lazarus and a premiere artist in NationStates. Anyone having the pleasure to converse with Imki will be charmed by her vibrant, honest, and creative spirit. NationStates has been blessed with her beautiful art but Imki also roleplays and has created an intensive nation backstory (check out her factbooks). She also became delegate of and led a revival in Lazarus. We also share something in common in that we both have had a rough time at the hands of particular players from the South Pacific.

So first and foremost, how did you start playing NS? What brought you here?

Well, I originally played NS back at school I think, I can't remember the exact date or even my nation name from back then but I do remember friends getting quite into it and we made a little region together. Interest waned pretty quickly and I never made any impression on the game then but apparently it left one on me as, quite a few years later, it randomly popped into my head and I wondered what ever happened to that funny little nation game and decided to see if it was still going. Made my first nation, Imkitopia, and got hooked on making my imaginary little country and drawing things for it.

That's really cool, I've never met anyone who's played NS in school before. Do you remember where and how you first founded (post school)? Did you start out focused on roleplay or factbook building and then get involved in gameplay?

I do! I first founded in the South Pacific and just kinda stayed there originally out of lack of curiosity but I then became more involved as I realised there was so much more going on besides the Gameside issue answering and stuff. It was the roleplay and world building that really caught my eye and caused me to stick around NationStates. Answering the issues got me thinking about how my country would really be (a crazy hippy run tropical island!) and taking part on the RMB led me to finding out the region had a map which helped my nation building. Seeing what everyone else had created for their own also inspired me and taking part with others in the community eventually led to becoming involved in the regional politics too

Were you already an artist\writer before joining NationStates and\or did NS give you a platform for displaying your creative skills?

I've always loved drawing and making graphics for as long as I can remember. I dreamt of becoming a tattoo artist and as any poor soul who's made the mistake of mentioning tattoos around me knows, I am still very enthusiastic about that particular art form. Graphics have always been a passionate hobby of mine and NationStates has allowed me to expand my skills and experience with all kinds of various projects and ideas I never would have thought of otherwise. It's been a wonderful learning experience and the reason I enjoy taking requests and making gifts for people! Writing is a creative skill I've always admired and have also tried to exercise in my time in NS although to a lesser extent. I struggle with words a lot more.

I think anyone who has the pleasure of getting to know you a bit gets to admire your tattoos and also your art skills. Have you worked as a tattoo artist? What are the most common tattoos people get? What's the strangest or most interesting one you've come across? Then, can you tell us a little about your ink and what's inspired it?

Aw thank you! I haven't been a tattoo artist myself but I was lucky enough to land myself a job working front of shop (reception/cleaning/etc) at a world class tattoo studio for a few years. It taught me a lot and made me realise I'm not really cut out to be a tattoo artist but I still adore the art and am glad I got the experience there with such talented people. Our studio had multiple artists all specialising in their own style but we were particularly known for our high contrast black and grey realism artists so designs were geared more towards what worked in their styles, most popular designs I saw were roses, pocket watches, religious themes and portraits of famous people and family members.

It's hard to pick the most interesting one I've seen, there have been so many amazing ones and even the most simplistic of design can have a fascinating backstory to it that makes it so much more interesting! One that particularly sticks out in my memory though is a little 80 year old grandmother who came in to get her very first tattoo! It was just a little rose but she was such a great character and just a real pleasure to meet.

I have quite a few tattoos myself, I'm slowly turning myself into a living canvas! My favourite style for my own ink is bold, bright and colourful Neo-Traditional designs with fantasy and natural themes. I love things that make me smile when I see them and bring a bit of colour to my otherwise horribly pale skin.

I love that "living canvas" way to view it, and what I've seen so far has been beautiful! You've done quite a lot of exciting and beautiful artwork in NS as well. What is some of your favorite art that you've made for NS and what are you working on now?

Ohh, that's a tricky one! I've made so much over such a short time... I just find NS and it's community so inspiring! There's so much creativity here and it just feeds more, I love it! I think some of my personal favourites haven't even seen the light of day like some of the graphics I made for a UCR I was working on but eventually gave up with. I enjoy almost anything with an animal or mythical beast in, I just can't get enough of critters and monsters! But also anything that pushes me out of my comfort zone and gets me trying something new. Some of the new LazCorp graphics have been real fun to work on just because the whole corporate vibe isn't something I've really considered before. My background was more illustration than graphic design, so I've learned a lot from trying stuff out for them. Currently I've been playing with animations. Only simple ones and likely a passing fad as it's frustrating but again, it's the trying new things and having fun doing it I really enjoy! :D



An Exhibit of Imki's Art
While we could have selected quite a few dazzling pieces made by Imki, here are some that show her range and styles:

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Imki's signature nation symbol has many versions and this space theme one shows a clean design and attention to details.

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A detailed digital painting Imki made as a mascot for Kiwa, a tribal themed UCR she was working on that ended up not being used. We had a few conversations around the mythical hippocampus sea horse as a striking symbol and I really like the sense of movement in this piece.

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An SPSF logo that Imki created which has the swashbuckling vibe and as you observe it many intricate details.

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A radiant seal made for Osiris, I really appreciate the effective use of shading here and the rich tones.

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Finally a coat of arms for Laz Corp. which appropriately eschews the more traditional heavy looks for a minimalistic look.


Beyond the beautiful artwork and writing, you've also been a force to be reckoned with in GP. What have you enjoyed most about being a political player on the NS stage and what are you focused on right now?

I mean, I never really set out to be a political player to be honest. I am not power hungry, I don't crave (or even really like) glorious titles and fame, I just like to draw things, have fun and help out when and where I can. It sounds silly, all things considered and where I've ended up, but I've never set out to be anything more than Imki, your friendly local graphics dudette! I have always enjoyed getting to know and chat with people though and I think that has been my ultimate favourite part of being a part of gameplay. I never would have met all the wonderful people I have if I had just stuck to roleplaying in TSP which would have been a shame because NS is full of amazing, intelligent, interesting people. My focus right now is Lazarus. I throw myself into things whole ass and while I may never have intended to be Lazarus' delegate, now that I am I'm going to try my hardest to do the best possible job for that region I humanly can!

What is it like being delegate of Lazarus and also helping to form or reform this region that's seen a lot of turmoil?

It's definitely been interesting, another learning experience for sure. It's my first delegacy so I'm having to learn on the job so to speak but after the initial rocky start things have been going rather well if I do say so myself. It's not been easy and I'm not one for responsibility when I can avoid it but the residents and citizens have been great at pulling together to try and make the region something we can all be proud to have been a part of. It really gives me a glowing sense of pride watching them debate in the assembly and chat about various things there again without the constant threat of uncertainty hanging over our collective heads. We're far from finished rebuilding but I am so very happy with how it has been going for the most part.

What has your favorite historical event or moment in NS been so far?

I think my favourite NS event was my first Zombie Apocalypse, it was so much fun trying to work with everyone and coordinate with others working to defend against and eradicate the hordes! It seems to have lost its glamour a bit for me since then but that first one was amazing, I was so hooked I was spending every waking second on it!

I definitely think the first time you experience an event you really do get caught up an then later, depending on time and life, it varies. Let's talk about the new Lazarus theme and what inspired it?

LazCorp as a theme was floated among a trusted group I was bouncing ideas with a little while before I announced Mandate 12 which inspired me to make graphics for it and try out some new styles despite eventually going with a themeless constitution to let the residents decide for themselves and keep it all nice and simple to start with. After showing the region some of the graphics I had made the idea also took some of the citizens and they passed the Lazarene Corporation Act to make it official! I don't think themes are particularly important in a GCR but they do add some fun regional flavour and I think our theme is quite fun and unique amongst the other Feeders and Sinkers.

What do you do for fun (outside of NS)?

Drawing! That's probably my main use of my downtime besides NS. I also enjoy playing other computer games (usually RPGs, Simulators, Platformers and MMO's), playing Dungeons and Dragons, socialising with friends and drinking! I also love swimming but I rarely get the chance to go anymore unfortunately.

Oh, what are some of your all time favorite games (or the one you love the most right now)?

My all time favourites are games like Stardew Valley, Harvest Moon, Minecraft, Terraria and so on, games that don't really have much of a storyline but let you be creative. Lately I've been playing Fallout 76 with my RL partner. It's lacking for a Fallout game and buggy as hell but I've been enjoying roaming around and building my post-apocalyptic shelter. :P

I loved Fallout as well but have not tried Fallout 76 because of the lukewarm reviews. Favorite music?

My favourite music is generally more rocky sounding sorta stuff but I'll listen to anything, I'm particularly fond of bands that mix unusual sounds together or just sound a bit... I dunno, different I guess, from the norm. Some songs I love at the moment are Dog Fashion Disco's Struck by Lightning, Tub Ring's Optimistic and Kontrust's Dance.

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Favorite movie and\or TV shows?

My favourite movies are generally animations, I absolutely adore Disney, Pixar and Ghibli! I'm just an overgrown child when it comes to my film selection but they make me so happy and the artwork and design in them is always amazingly done. I'm not so big on TV shows though, I tend to lose the plot and/or forget about anything too long, especially if they have big breaks between seasons!

Who are some artists you admire and think people should explore?

I'm awful with names but I would recommend people take the time to check out some tattoo art. There are some absolutely amazing artists slinging ink all over the world and coming up with some fabulous, weird and wonderful new pieces all the time! I think a lot of folks are stuck in the past when they imagine tattoo designs and don't realise how far the art form as moved along since then.

Favorite book(s)?

Oh, Discworld! Terry Pratchett is my all time favourite author and his comical fantasy world is a total must read for anyone with a sense of humour and love of fiction.

I have to throw a Discworld themed event for you :) What is a place you want to travel to?

Favourite place to travel is anywhere outside of my home in the UK. I love seeing other countries, meeting new people and especially trying new foods but I don't get the chance to do so nearly as often as I would like.

Coming back to NationStates and political concerns. So you wake up one morning and a receive the delegacy of any region you choose. Which would you choose? And what would you do as delegate?

Ohhh, I think I'd pick TRR for no reason other than I want to pimp the ever loving life out of that region. They have some super nice graphics at the moment as it is, don't get me wrong, but I could totally make space unicorn stuff for daaaaays! I've always been taken with the whole visual vibe they have going on there. Other than that I can't really think of anything. As I said earlier in the interview, I'm not particularly ambitious, I just love making me graphics!

You have to love purple and unicorns :) Thank you to Imkitopia for this interview and for sharing her art!
Last edited by Escade on Sun Feb 03, 2019 12:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Escade
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Founded: Apr 11, 2013
Liberal Democratic Socialists

Postby Escade » Sun Feb 03, 2019 12:35 am

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Forum | Discord | Dispatch

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Arts and Culture: Inkredible Tattoos


A Very Very Brief History of Tattoos

The word tattoo originates from the Tahitian word tatu which means “to mark something.” For thousands of years, people all over the world have made symbolic etchings on skin for a variety of purposes. Whether to indicate affiliations, as healing symbols to ward of illness, declarations of love, self-expression, as amulets for protection\safety, for religious reasons - there are many reasons to willingly get a tattoo.

Of course tattoos were also used to punish or alienate or harm when used to mark criminals, slaves, or prisoners.

The ancient Egyptians in the predynastic period utilized tattoos exclusively for women to aid and protect them during childbirth. The ancient Scythians and Thracians, like the Britons, used tattoos to demarcate nobility from the lower class or religious groups. The ancient Romans and Greeks also used “stigmata” to mark slaves and criminals.The Maori used face tattoos to provide a biography of the individual from their ancestry, status, abilities and to indicate rites of passage as well as to become more attractive.

The designs, ranging from simpler dots to intricately detailed designs tatoos come in as many forms as reasons to get them.

Many NationStates players either have tattoos or intend to (or have long discussions on Discord) about what they would get and where. There’s also a strong contingent of players who would never consider getting a tattoo


Tattoos in History and Politics

NSers might be surprised to learn that some major political and historical figures have had tattoos.

Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau, has two tattoos. In 2012, he tweeted,
"My tattoo is planet Earth inside a Haida raven. The globe I got when I was 23; the Robert Davidson raven for my 40th birthday."

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Trudeau sporting a tattoo and being generally cool.


Winston Churchill and his mother, Lady Randolph Churchill, have alleged to have tattoos although there is no conclusive evidence of this according to the Churchill Center. It wouldn’t be surprising though, as of 2012, the U.K. is known as the world’s most tattooed nation. Winston Churchill is alleged to have an anchor on his arm and his mother, Lady Randolph, was alleged to have an Ouroboros wrapped around her wrist.

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An upper arm Ouroboros tattoo.


An Ouroboros is an ancient mythological symbol, variants of which are found in many cultures across the world. It depicts a serpent or dragon consuming its own tail and represents many things including the act of creation and destruction being intertwined, infinity, and resurrection. Dragons and serpents have been popular symbols for tattoos.

Archduke Franz Ferdinand’s assassination marked the beginning of World War 1. Before his untimely death, however, he acquired a colorful dragon tattoo during a trip to Japan. The last sovereign of imperial Russia, Tsar Nicholas II, also brought home a dragon tattoo as a souvenir after a diplomatic trip to Japan.

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A Japanese back and sleeve tattoo. Traditional Japanese tattoos are created by hand rather than with a tattoo machine. The rich Japanese aesthetic has a glorious history that has impacted many other art styles across the world.


Of course several members of the monarchy had tattoos that bespoke to some affiliation whether religious, to reflect military service, or to capture family heraldry. King Alexander of Yugoslavia’s tattoo consisted of a heraldic eagle on his chest. King Frederick IX of Denmark captured his service in the navy with several naval-themed tattoos. British monarchs George V and Edward VII both acquired tattoos to mark their pilgrimages to the holy city of Jerusalem in the form of Jerusalem crosses on their arms.

American Presidents were not to be left behind either. President James J. Polk was one of the early adopters of the “Chinese characters” tattoo and his allegedly stated “eager.” Of course one might want to confirm with an expert before they get a tattoo in a language they don’t speak to avoid the ridiculousness that sometimes goes on. President Andrew Jackson captured his policies towards Native Americans with a tomahawk tattooed on his inner thigh. President Theodore Roosevelt had his family crest memorialized on his chest and surprisingly the crest itself is not gauche at all.

Finally, Thomas Edison - an American inventor - had a minimalist tattoo of five dots, arranged in a quincunx, on his forearm. Edison invented the electric pen, a technological innovation that was used by Samuel O’Reilly to invent the tattoo machine.

Reasons to Get a Tattoo
In the modern era, people get tattoos for many different reasons: words to live by, meaningful moments or events captured forever, to turn their bare skin into a repository for art - each individual has their own personal reason.

Imkitopia in her Gameplay Magazine interview here mentions turning herself into a "living canvas."

Rigels Light has a total of nine tattoos one of which was featured in the Harry Potter and the Festival of Friendship event. That one captured her love and appreciation for the magical world created by J.K. Rowling.

Rigel's two most important tattoos both hold deep meanings for her. Her first tattoo captures the power that the worlds we immerse ourselves have in helping us work through trauma.

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Rigel's first tattoo, shown above, is the Japanese name for the character Axel from the game Kingdom Hearts.


As Rigel explained, "When I was 15. I had just lost my best friend to suicide. I had gotten Kingdom Hearts for Christmas of that year and for weeks after he died, Kingdom Hearts became my reality.

Axel was going through the same thing I was. He'd lost his best friend. And nothing he did could bring them back no matter how hard he tried.

So Axel resonates with me a lot."


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Rigel is a multiple star system in the constellation Orion and from Earth, the seventh brightest star in our night sky.


Rigel states, "The second one is representative of my family. One large star for my brothers and sisters and the little ones are my niece and nephews. Stars are.... As I'm sure everyone knows, very important to me. So what better way to honor my family."

Gameplay Magazine hopes to do an in-depth interview with Rigels Light in the near future and learn more about this cool NSer!

Visual Tattoo Styles and Aesthetics

The Neo Traditional Style

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The use of details, shading and pop of color make this an intriguing neo-traditional design.


There are a number of different tattoo style and aesthetics. We’ll look at only a few that have particularly inspired NSers! Here’s a great resource with several more aesthetics covered and some amazing images!

The Neo-traditional style is the bold and beautiful style favored by Imkitopia. Check out her interview here for more about this cool NSer! The neo-traditional style uses bold and bright colors and lines and more realistic depth and shading. This style pays homage to the traditional style as well as western military tattoo culture.

This design favors bold lines, interesting details, shading and pops of color for a neo-traditional koala:
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The Watercolor Style

This is my favorite genre of tattoo aesthetic due to its whimsical qualities:
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Cherry on top or a rainbow - bright and cute!


The newest trend in tattoo styles is the watercolor aesthetic. Here artists eschew harder black lines and uses blurs and shading for an unlined, poetic and diaphanous quality. Of course this also means that watercolor tattoos fade more quickly than their more traditional counterparts and need more frequent touch ups.

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This person chose to wear every phase of the moon and every planet on their forearms. Beautiful.


Tattoo Sleeves
Once in a while you see the peak of a tattoo at at person's wrist, and the tattoo keeps going..all the way up. These "sleeves" as they are called are gaining popularity.

Japanese aesthetics inspired tattoo sleeve
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Sleeves can be expensive with tattoo artist in the U.S. charging from $80-$200 per hour and a full sleeve can cost anywhere from $1500 to $5000 depending on the level of detail and techniques involved.

Sleeves inspired by Ancient Egypt:
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Sleeves come in a range of styles from colorful, modern, bright, minimalist and can be gorgeous, shocking or even sexy! There's still something taboo about tattoos and that makes them intriguing.

Nearly monochromatic palette and big visuals.
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Tattoos can be inspired by any genre of art.
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Afraid of Permanent Ink or Commitment?

Want to try out a tattoo but afraid of the commitment (or the pain of getting one lasered off)? Try temporary tattoos that come in many forms:

Henna Tattoos
Henna Tattoos are an ancient Middle Eastern and South Asian form of non-permanent tattoos. They are made using a natural plant dye but most modern day mixes include chemical dyes as well so make sure you find a non-toxic dye. These will wash or fade away within a short time period.

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A temporary sun and moon mandala tattoo.


Airbrush Tattoos
Airbrush tattoos are a spray on tattoo that can last for a few days or up to one week. Artists often use stencils with this technique. As for henna tattoos, make sure that the chemicals used are FDA approved and skin friendly. Do not use airbrush paints that are not made for skin!

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Tattoo Stickers
These tattoos comes in the form of stickers that you place on your skin and rub off. Sometimes water is required as well. These can easily be scratched off or otherwise removed. Some sites online are now offering custom stickers which could make this the next big trend for those who want the cool vibes but not the permanence!

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Wearable Sleeve Tattoos
You can find these wearable sleeves for arms or legs that allow you to try out a tattoo. While they may not stand close up scrutiny, they can still look good and let you get a sense of what it would be like to have tattoos!

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Share your thoughts on favorite tattoo styles, your own tattoos (in a non-doxxable manner), or your dream tattoo in the comments below!
Last edited by Escade on Sun Feb 03, 2019 10:08 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Escade
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Founded: Apr 11, 2013
Liberal Democratic Socialists

Postby Escade » Sun Feb 03, 2019 12:35 am

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Featured Personality: Jamie

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Our guest today is Jamie, an NSer who I heard quite a lot about but never met until recently when he rejoined the game. The stories told about Jamie always left me curious as to who they were and how they had this resounding impact on the players. Jamie is a former delegate of The North Pacific!

This interview took place in January 2019 over Discord.

How did you learn about NationStates? When did you first start playing?
It's a funny story how I joined NationStates actually, I was quite young when I first started playing, didn't really grasp the rules or how the game worked at first, got bored, left. It was around a year later when I actually started getting involved, I started playing in 2010, left for a year before returning properly in 2011 and actually getting involved in the Gameplay side of the game. It's hard to believe I've been on here for 8 years!

8 years! That's a lifetime! Do you remember what region you started in and what things were like back in 2010 (especially compared to now)?

When I first started in 2010 I never joined a region at first, when I first got involved properly the first region I joined was The United Federation, so I started in the UCR's at first, got involved in the legislature, even served in their cabinet, I was also there when we became a member of the FRA. Things were a lot different back then, we used Chatszy if you've heard of it? We never really used IRC. The region had its ups and downs but when it eventually died off is when I started to explore elsewhere.

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I've never heard of Chatszy actually, was it pre-IRC or concurrent to IRC?

It was more of a minor chatroom kind of thing..hard to explain really. It wasn't secure in the slightest and we were prone to spammers quite a lot so that died off as well.

Of the three platforms used by NSers, Discord, Forums, and the RMB\gameside - which do you use the most?

Discord. It's a good way to communicate, I must admit I was sceptical when I first returned, but it's simple and easy to use, let's you keep in touch with friends both new and old!

I'd love to hear a history of the FRA from your perspective like what it was about and why you joined it. The FRA is another organization we hear a lot about but not always the details.

As for the FRA, at first I was a skeptic, I was a defender at first but I had a negative view of the FRA at first as I was concerned about regional sovereignty, though looking back my views were wrong, and I hold the FRA in the highest regards, and when I returned most recently, my hearing of their demise was quite saddening to me. I was in the FRA, both as an ambassador and a defender, though I've switched sides a few times through my career.

As for the history of the FRA, I probably am not the best person to comment, it had its ups and downs while I was a member, and most certainly had its peak, a common issue was the tension between the FRA and some of the raider/imperialist regions such as Euro or TNI, but I'm tolerant of all perspectives and how people and regions on both side in the highest regard.

For someone not present when the FRA was active, can you explain what FRA stood for or how it presented itself as an organization?

The FRA was in essence an alliance of regions who were committed to the defending cause, it worked like the European Parliament I suppose? Each region had representatives that participated in the FRA assembly, a region didn't have to be founderless to be a member, however. The most prominent member at its peak was in my opinion, TRR, being the only defender orientated sinker at the time.

It ran on democratic principles, I think the one issue that possibly made it difficult function wise it it depend to an extent on the activity of its member regions.

Were you always Jamie on NS or did you have other personas?

I've had too many personas to count to be honest, most of them were minor with no significance, for example when I've attempted to found a region myself. As for my current nation, I don't really use any specifically anymore, though I'm sure some people already know which nation I use most.

What other regions or organizations have you been a part of since your early years? Where are you right now (if you are active)?

Again, too many to name, but I'll focus on the main ones, other than the region mentioned earlier, I was briefly involved in Europeia, I served in the legislature in Osiris back in the early days of its formation, I was also active in Balder at one point, though of course the region people associate me with most notably would be TNP of course, the only region I'm really active at the moment currently is TRR.

As for organizations..I was involved in the FRA as mentioned earlier, as well as the UDL if you know of it? I'm currently in the RRA. As for other past associations I've also been a raider of course, I've raided with Unknown (briefly, was a long time ago) as well as The Black Hawks, though most of the people I raided with bar Jakker, Severisen and COE aren't around anymore if memory serves me correctly, I've enjoyed being on both sides of the game, but I would say I'm happy to be a defender, I don't do it for moral reasons or believe raiding is wrong, it's part of the game, and I just view R/D as an added fun twist to the game.

What has been your favorite historical moment in NS?

I loved the founding of Balder and Osiris, I loved the excitement between the R/D groups at trying to create a government in them both, I loved the vibe, the feel of competition - everyone had their own vision for the regions and it was exciting to the see the varied points of view. Otherwise, I would have to say that my favourite moment was being elected delegate of TNP, it was a lot of work, but I wouldn't ever trade it away.

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Oh were you there at the founding! What was that like? How was it announced? For someone who keeps hoping for new GCrs but also doesn’t expect it to happen anytime soon, that part seems super exciting!

It was quite strange if I remember correctly, they were revealed without any warning. It was exciting though, in Balder it was the UDL/Defenders vs some of the raider groups trying to establish themselves as delegate in order to begin the government formation process, in retrospect though it was nice that both sides were able to set their differences aside and form a government. As for Osiris, I wasn't there right at the beginning but I remember Wordy (from 10ki) being the delegate and the controversy surrounding it, though of course they only had the regions best interest at heart and did allow an election to take place and the government followed not long afterwards.

When were you delegate of TNP and what was that experience like? How do you think TNP has changed from then to now?

It was about 5 and a half years ago if memory serves, It was an experience unlike no other, it's a balancing act making sure to have a strong foreign policy combined with a good defence and good internal policy. My term as delegate focused on FA, I was determined to get close relations with a number of regions, for example I was able to re-establish our ties with 10000 Islands, tighten our relations with Europeia as well as having a more independent looking foreign outlook. It wasn't easy however, I was delegate at a busy time in my RL, and I know I wasn't the most active delegate ever, but my cabinet at the time made me feel I could do it, McMasterdonia in particular was supportive of myself during my delegacy, though outside of TNP, I had a strong relationship with TRR through their delegate at the time (and their current delegate), Frattastan.

Being delegate also made me realise how sociable GCR delegates have to be, it takes me a while to get used to new people so to speak, so it was a new experience in that regard for me as well.

As for how TNP has changed from then to now, it's hard for me to comment really, I would say obviously the biggest difference overall from when I was delegate to now is the decreased focus on off-site forums and the increased attention to Discord, though I think the downfall of ZetaBoards/IF perhaps contributes to that as well.

Players always complain about NS and how its gone downhill or needs something to change it up, possibly looking through rose-colored glasses. What do you think? Has the game stagnated? Are there any cures to it, if it has?

Hm. That's a good question, It's definitely changed a lot from how I remember it, bearing in mind when I was last active before my recent return it was also still very much forum/IRC based. As for changing it up, I can't say really. I like the little changes the admin team make to the game, such as trading cards, and the annual Z-Day etc. I wouldn't say its stagnated as such, just the way in which the game is played has very much changed from the way it used to be. It's a lot more social based rather than forum based. I think the demise of zeta contributes to that though, as some of the alternatives aren't preferable to some regions, plus some regions have potentially lost history through the migration. As for a cure? Who knows, it'll depend on whether people decide to stick around for the long run, I mean a lot of the members around now where not here when I was last active, but a lot of people that were here then are active no longer, it is all very dependent on whether people will choose to keep logging back in each day to either their nations or discord because for some, one day they won't want to anymore, as it's very easy to get bored or feel like you 'need a break' so to speak.

If you were Max Barry for a day, what would you do?
I'd make a return to sender button for TRR, it would be of such amusement for nations to get sent back to the region they were ejected from, especially in the case of raids etc.

That sounds like an interesting idea! So, if you were granted the delegacy of any region in NS - which one would you want and what would you do with it?
I'd actually want TNP's delegacy again, purely because from a strategic point of view, the strength of TNP to influence the WA's vote is immense, and I'm particularly interested in the SC, so it would be nice to have that sway.

What do you find most interesting about the SC?
I've never authored an SC resolutions, but I've always had a keen interest upon it, both in the resolutions as well as in regards to the SC rules, I'm always eager to see new resolutions, and I also like the fact that individuals who have actually made a large impact to NS get a commend because I think it shows that effort is appreciated within the game.

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What is your favorite movie and\or TV show?
My favorite TV show is 'The Good Place' on Netflix, I love it. It's about the idea of being inherently good vs inherently bad and showcasing the different standpoints and morality, on top of that, it's hilarious and I can hardly wait for the next episode!

Favorite book?
The Hunger Games, definitely. I love the dystopia genre of novels, makes you think how bad the world -could- be!

Favorite music?
I'm a pop lover outright to be honest! As for favorite song, honestly that's a tough one, there's so many songs I love! Green Light by Lorde is probably the song that comes first to mind at the moment though, I love the message behind it.

What do you like to do for fun outside of NS?
Not much to be honest! I spend most of my time in work..I try and do volunteering when I can, I help twice a year at LGBT pride events across the country, other than that, I also like to dabble in a bit of writing, I haven't finished anything yet though!

Other than that, basically watching movies, films etc! I love travelling, I would love to travel the world one day, if I ever win the lottery haha!

What brings you back to NationStates?
My answer to that is, the people. I have always found it amazing what good friends you make on this game, and that was the reason I chose to come back..plus NS is a good distraction!

Thank you to Jamie for this interview and looking forward to seeing what he works on next in NS!
Last edited by Escade on Sun Feb 03, 2019 9:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Escade
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Founded: Apr 11, 2013
Liberal Democratic Socialists

Postby Escade » Sun Feb 03, 2019 12:35 am



Arts and Culture: What We're Reading

NationStates is a great place to find new interests or hobbies and reading is definitely one of them. Several NSers from Xoriet (check out her interview here), Severisen, Yuno Owl, and Deadeye Jack all follow specific Webtoons. I'm grateful to both Xoriet and Yuno for introducing me, and many others, to some of exceptional webtoons.

A webtoon is an online visual story or comic. Webtoons often utilize serial form and may include music. They come in a variety of genres from fantasy, comedy, romance, science fiction, horror and also in a variety of artistic styles. Some are simply stunning for the visuals but most tell a great story with great artwork melding the two mediums beautifully. Please note some webtoons contain mature content.

Which Webtoons Should I Read?

I'm glad you (hypothetically :P) asked! You too can wait with the rest for an update or scroll through comments for some hilarious ones or simply say "WAI!!!"

#1
unOrdinary

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unOrdinary is a fantasy webtoon that takes place in a world where almost everyone has some form of superpowers. The story explores how this impacts social order in this world through the eyes of Jon, a character who can be exceptionally frustrating. It's the side characters and their stories that really make the story shine. This is one of the most popular Webtoons with almost everyone knowing about it!

#2
Lumine

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Lumine is a fantasy webtoon in which a runaway werewolf meets a broken witch boy and they have to save each other, literally and figuratively. The story has adorable art, and an intriguing world and right now sets us off in a place that leads to some internal screaming about the fate of a certain character...


#3
Strawberry Seafoam

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Strawberry Seafoam is a gorgeous webtoon about mermaids who learn magic at a special academy and have to deal with personal issues and some underwater malevolence and villains. The series has many episodes with specially produced music by the creator. It is utterly delightful and perfect for those of us who saw Aquaman and thought, "I'd love to live in Atlantis!"

#4
True Beauty

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True Beauty looks at some of the same topics (what is beauty, inner beauty vs. outer beauty, the impact of beauty on social life) as the much darker and gritter Lookism but with less violence and craziness (at least so far).


#5
Nightmare Factory

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When this was first recommended to me I was very skeptical because I don't like horror but in fact this isn't a horror webtoon. It's also the most "flawed" in the sense that the creator changed art styles and lost track of some of the story for whimsy and random laughs. At its face it's a story about Emai, a girl who has no idea who she is, or why her life story is written in a book and her quest to discover which world she is in.

Honorable Mentions

While I have not read these myself (yet), they come highly recommended by NSers!

The Gamer
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What if life worked a little more like a game?

Tower of God
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This webtoon is said to really twist around ideas of good and evil and mess with your head.

Kubera
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Not for the faint of heart, the story of Kubera a girl named after a god who lives in a world with powerful beings. When her village is destroyed she goes on a quest to find answers.
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Did we miss your favorite webtoon? Have some awesome recommendations? Tell us in the comments below!

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Escade
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Posts: 880
Founded: Apr 11, 2013
Liberal Democratic Socialists

Postby Escade » Sun Feb 03, 2019 12:36 am

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Forum | Discord | Dispatch

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Featured Personality: Lamoni

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Our guest today is Lamoni, NS Moderator and Senior Roleplay mentor, and WA delegate of Greater Dienstad. I first met Lamoni through some very interesting and fun players from Greater Dienstad and then asked the region to join in the Harry Potter festival and asked Lamoni to be an honored judge for our roleplay contest.

Let’s begin at the beginning, how did you start playing NS? What brought you here?

I first started playing NS in 2002, just before I graduated High School. Things were a lot different then, wacky forum software, no real sense of community direction, not even any form of moderation. This was back when Max Barry thought that NS wouldn't last. As for what brought me to NS, one of my friends found the site, and told me about it.

Wow that's really the earliest that I know of anyone, were there issues then? Or what was it like in the days of yore?

It was a lot less refined than how we know it to be now. For one thing, the wacky forum software was known to put forum posts in a random order inside of threads at times. I can't remember if we had issues that far back, but I do remember that when we did have issues, they were much fewer in number than they are now, and could be quite repetitive. There was no real moderation, so things could get heated sometimes, as well. We were also on a much smaller server back then, so when Jolt initially offered to host the game, it actually came with improvements.

TGs were the actual main avenue of contacting other players, too. No use of IRC back then.
You could call it NS' Wild West days.

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How many regions were there back then? Do you remember where you founded? And your first nation name?

It all started with the Pacific regions, but people started making their own regions even by the time that I joined the game. I don't remember how many regions there were back then, since I didn't exactly count them, but suffice it to say that there were quite a few regions, even then. I was founded in one of the Pacific regions, but I don't remember which one, and it would probably require a moderation check to find out, if they even can anymore. And Lamoni is actually my first nation in NS. I wasn't sure how long that I'd stay with the game back then, but now it is almost a source of pride to keep my nation going this long. I've been on NS longer than the first moderator that I know of (Reppy) was a mod.

Oh that's pretty epic! Did you start out focused on roleplay? Did you dabble in gameplay at all?

I started out focused on Roleplay. Way back then, the Farkers (players who had come to the game from the website fark.com) were active in things like destroying regions for fun. Some of them are still around, but they are not nearly as active as they were back then. My first real dabbling in gameplay was after Kazmr started telling us all about it, and realizing that RP/GP links were very tenuous at the time. One of the things that I work on is improving the communication between the two communities, because I have seen both sides, and I know that if people on both sides got to know each other as people, there would be many friendships between the two communities. If they never start communicating, then those friendships could never get started.

Do you think RP/GP links have improved since then? It sometimes seems like there's a wide gulf between the two "worlds."

Things have improved slightly, but there is still a wide gulf between the two. There are people on both sides who dislike the other, and it can be hard to get them to talk to each other. There's also part of the RP group who simply want to be left alone to write, without gameplay interference, so that can also be a stumbling block, which has been expressed often enough whenever someone in gameplay targets a major RP region.

I also once created a guide with my observations of NS Gameplay to that point, but even I have learned more about gameplay since then. For those interested, my guide can be found here. I've also served on the staff of the NSWF, until the unfortunate incident which befell it. I even got my own region to host the NSWF once, which was pretty cool.

I am also the Mayor of the region of Equilism, using one of my puppets, so I also have a foot in the gameplay world, just like I do in the RP world.

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Gameplay and Roleplay can be reminiscent of two houses both alike in dignity...


Tell us a little about your current projects, regions you're involved with and roleplays as well.

Well, I do a lot of moderation work, but I can't talk about most of that, for OPSEC reasons. I'm also a Senior RP Mentor, as well as involved in being GD's ambassador to multiple RP and GP regions. As I said, I'm also the Mayor of Equilism, and I have a lot of contact with multiple people all over NS, which helps me in innumerable ways. I'm obviously involved with Greater Dienstad, and Equilism, I have lots of friends in TNP, TEP, 10KI, some in TBH, and other regions. In fact, I can also be found on the message boards of most of the above regions, as well. I also read the NSGP Discord, and make comments as a I feel appropriate. I've also participated as a judge for the recent Harry Potter festival, recently.

How did you become a moderator for NS?

At the time, there was a vacancy for RP oriented moderators, and the moderation staff thought of me. So the position was explained to me, and then the offer was made. I accepted, and became a moderator. There is more to it than that, but there are things that cannot be said.

Is there a funny or grim moment from behind the scenes or behind the curtains that you can share with us?

There's been plenty of funny moments, but typically they are from player to player, and thus best kept in confidence. I would say that some of the biggest grim moments were during the big RP/GP slug 'em outs over things like Liberate Haven. That made things very tense between the two communities, and had every potential to explode and possibly take NS with it. Fortunately, cooler heads eventually prevailed on both sides, but there are still people who are mad at the other side from things like that. It is part of why the gulf between the two communities exists.

Trying to maintain peace or equilibrium can also be stressful.

It can be very stressful, but the alternative would be worse, in my opinion. We could see more things like Liberate Haven, or Milograd's coup where he even had RPers help "stick it to gameplay." That's something that I think that both communities would want to steer away from, given the intense negative reaction that they engender from both sides.

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Looking at the bright side, what is your favorite historical NS moment?

That would be the NSWF, at least until things went sour for it. It was a great place where people from all over Nationstates could gather and just be people. Where they could have fun, and show off their regions to each other. I actually think that NS is lesser for not having it, but we'll just have to see how it can be salvaged in a way that the community at large would approve of.

I do agree with that. Can you tell us a little about the two regions you are majorly involved in. Equilism and Greater Dienstad?

I'll speak a bit about Equilism first, if you don't mind. Equilism is a region with a long 14-15 year history in Gameplay, but has certainly seen better days. There is still a community there, and it is a very polite and well-mannered one. On the other hand, the community there has substantially shrunk since the region's golden years, and I would love to see more people come and actively help to rebuild the community. We're talking about a region that even helped to defend 10KI, back in the days when they were not nearly as large and powerful as they are now. So while the Equilism community is much smaller these days, I hope to see it grow again. It is a very good gameplay community, it just needs to grow again.

Greater Dienstad is an RP region, and is well known for helping people to improve their roleplaying skills. While there are actual RP mentors for the entire community, GD also has our own regional RP mentors who are willing to help those who want to learn. We've been around for over a decade ourselves, and have quite a few long-time roleplayers in our ranks. Bucking the trend of closed roleplaying regions that came about after Liberate Haven and other perceived "attacks," the only requirement to enter Greater Dienstad is a willingness to RP.

Both regions also have their own Discords, if people would like to contact them.

I've met some really interesting people from GD!

Thank you. We have many long-term players in the region, and quite a few of us have our own commendations and condemnations, as well. If you want to roleplay, we’re open for business.

What is it like being a senior roleplay mentor? What advice would you give to someone new to roleplay?

The biggest thing that an RP Mentor does is to take questions from people who want to improve their RPing skills, and answer them to the best of our ability. If I get a question that I know that I can't answer, but one of the other mentors can, I can pass the question along to them. Basically we answer questions and provide advice. A Senior RP Mentor helps to coordinate the other mentors, on top of that. Since the program runs so well on its own, I rarely have to do any real coordination work. A testimony to the experience and willingness to help that the mentors have.

Advice for someone new to roleplay? I would advise them to first think of a concept for their nation, and then work backwards (even if only a little bit) to figure out how the people of your nation came to be where they are, and how they would have established your nation. Have there been internal revolutions against prior governments in your nation? Did your nation get independence from someone else? If so, how? Once you have that worked out, you can start working on your nation's present. What is the structure of your government? How does it operate? Is it more humane, or more authoritarian? What is your national society like?

Since keeping all of that straight can be a real task, factbooks exist. Factbooks originally came about as an imitation of the RL CIA's world factbook entries of various nations, and to this day contain information on your nation in a written form, which helps in case you forget something, or want to help explain to others what your nation is like.

Your factbook can be located on or off-site, and some factbooks go much more into depth than others, but the important thing is that they can help you to keep things straight about your nation, since you can really only remember so much about it at any given time. My own factbook is quite long and full of detail, but it can be found here.

My factbook came about when we could only have 25 entries in our on-site factbooks, and dispatches were not a thing yet, so I decided to take it off-site, and started using a free blogging website to hold it.

How do you become a corgi hawk hybrid? What is the significance of that unique combination?

That came about as a result of having a hawk on my flag, while becoming well known as having an anthropomorphic Corgi avatar on Discord. Moderators often get a long pre-title as part of the initiation, and that just happened to be mine. I've simply liked the pre-title enough to keep it.

I like to call my Corgi "Professor Arf Arfington, Professor of Canine Literature."

That’s cute! What do you do for fun outside of NS?

I like to read, do tabletop roleplaying, sometimes shoot some hoops, and talk to friends both on and off of NS. I also like to travel when I get a chance, but I haven't gotten outside of the US much. Maybe that'll change one day when I have the money to do so.

Yes traveling more outside of the US is the dream for me as well! What are your top five places to visit (one day)?

I think that my top 5 places to visit that are outside of the US would be:

1.) Japan
2.) South Korea
3.) Norway
4.) Germany
5.) Western Europe

Oooh! Japan and South Korea as well as Russia are definitely on my list too :) Speaking of Russians and Professors of Literature what are some of your favorite books?

My reading habits take me over multiple varied subjects, and I really read for the joy of reading, as well as learning new things. It's actually difficult to come up with a list of favorites as a result, but i'll try.

1.) WH:40K Baneblade, by Guy Haley
2.) The Know It All, by A.J. Jacobs
3.) A Certain Magical Index (light novel series)
4.) Scientific Self-Defense by W. E. Fairbairn

I'll have to check some of these out! What are your favorite TV shows\movie?

1.) Star Trek : TNG, DS9, ENT
2.) The Hunt for Red October
3.) The original Star Wars trilogy
4.) Blind Man's Bluff (https://youtu.be/qGGSJEp0cXA , was also on The History Channel)

My dad served in the US Navy on submarines, so you can see how that interest started.

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That’s a great list and I can see that connection. Very cool and have to appreciate all those who serve. Then, what music enlightens your soul?

Oh man, my tastes in music are all over the place. About the only genre that I don't like is country. You can only sing about “I lost my wife, but at least I get to keep the truck/tractor, my beer, and my dog,” in so many different ways. I also dislike the sheer volume of Christmas music during the holidays.

If you were Max Barry for a day, what would you do?

First thing I'd do is look in the mirror, see that I'm not myself, and panic. lol. After that? I would get to work on implementing the factions idea for gameplay, since I agree that it needs more inter-ideology or inter-factional conflict in order to keep it interesting for people. There's nothing wrong with Gameplay being social, but it needs something that will lessen the amount of personal toxicity. Defenders making a real return to the game would also help, in my opinion.

Then I'd have a look around, since i've never been to Australia before.

Toxic is a loaded word in gameplay. Do you think gameplay has gotten more toxic or about the same? What do you think it might be attributed to?

I'm aware that toxic is a very loaded word. As gameplay has gotten more and more socially based, there has been more social toxicity as people take things so much more personally than was the case with ideologically driven conflicts. That's not to say that there was not plenty of toxicity beforehand, but it has gotten worse since things have gotten so social.

Gameplay needs a mix of the two. Social, and ideological.

There has been a lot of discussion about a perceived decline in NationStates gameplay. Why do you think ideology itself has seen such a decline? Also do you think that NS might implement, for example, factions or another gameplay mechanic that allows for more camps? And is it possible that even there (such as with the rise of "independents") there won't be enough opposing factions with enough weight to be viable opponents?


I think that the decline in ideology started with the Predator scandal. Yes, it forced raiders to clean up their act with alacrity (and to them I must say well done!), but it also thinned out the ideological clashes that used to characterize gameplay. Every region started going independent, and then there was far less of a reason to clash. Hope springs eternal that the factions might be implemented, but that depends on the Admins, not the moderators. I hope that the factions idea bears fruit, personally. As for whether there would be enough factions to make gameplay interesting, that would honestly depend on the gameplay community itself. The factions idea is a tool, it is up to gameplay to make use of it, whenever it comes out.

I personally think that it will be up to the long-time gameplayers to start most of the factions initially.

If you were to wake up and be delegate of any region, which region would you choose? And what would you do first?

Tough question. I don't really have any objectives that being the delegate of any one region would accomplish. I'm already the delegate of GD, but that, my mentorship, moderatorhood, and multiple friendships, serve as a platform from which I do the things that I already do.

Thank you to Lamoni for this interview! Check out Greater Dienstad for a great roleplay region or help rebuild Equilism!

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Escade
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Posts: 880
Founded: Apr 11, 2013
Liberal Democratic Socialists

Postby Escade » Sun Feb 03, 2019 12:37 am

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Forum | Discord | Dispatch

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Happenings: Highlights from the Gameplay World
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Have you read the latest issue of The Bunion?
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Check out The Bunion, the original satirical newspaper that inspired many knock-offs like The Onion - America's Finest News Source tells you exactly how it is. The Bunion is run by Arkadia Universalis and is looking for writers.

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The Rejected Realm's PopMaster Game
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Ready for some singing and chair dancing? The Rejected Realms recently ran a really fun new game, called PopMaster that I hope becomes a regular event!

In this game, the host Wopruthien, queued up a few seconds from a series of songs from different genres in Discord voice chat. Players had to quickly type the name of the song and the artist and earned points for getting it right. While I struggled to type quickly, I had a lot of fun seeing other people ninja the answers and also sing along to the songs I actually knew.

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Groundhog's Day Gala
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What happens when the vikings of Balder meet the enlightened ones of The East Pacific in a gala? Good cheer and chill vibes of course!

Join the festivities here!

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Want to advertise a cool event or happening in Gameplay Magazine? Contact Escade with detailed information including links to dispatches\forum posts\Discords and why your event or occurrence should be highlighted!

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Escade
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Posts: 880
Founded: Apr 11, 2013
Liberal Democratic Socialists

Postby Escade » Sun Feb 03, 2019 12:37 am

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Forum | Discord | Dispatch

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Featured Personality: Xoriet

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Our guest today is one of my favorite GPers and the one I’ve known longest, Xoriet! A former delegate of the East Pacific, she is currently in the Pacific and is WA commended with many accomplishments and contributions to the game. Xoriet is also an exquisite writer and roleplayer and was part of a Hogwarts refound that produced high quality content.

How did you first learn about NationStates? What brought you to the game?

I first learned about NS from my ex-boyfriend in 2011. He’d joined as a roleplayer. Originally I ignored it, except when it got more attention that I did on occasion, but later became curious. So I tried founding a nation that was themed on a story I was working on at the time. The original name I went for was taken, so I fiddled with possible new names until I decided on Xoriet.

So you were a writer even before you started NationStates. And that's cool you started out with your main Xoriet! Do you remember where you founded?

The East Pacific was where I founded and I didn’t move Xoriet from there (except once by accident in 2013) until I CTEd in 2017.

Oh so first love! How did you get involved in gameplay?

In the Gameplay aspects, I got involved through the Z-Day event in 2013. I’d been a citizen since March of that year, but was brought into the regional Skype chat shortly after that event. That would be how I got involved in military Gameplay. If we mean the NSGP community, that would be Raven’s doing for bringing me out of my TEP-isolated state and into other IRC channels.

Like a few players at the time you gained recognition quickly, what do you attribute this too?

Being social and active. Players tend to get more attention if they are both social and work for their region.

You've been social and active in both R\D and gameplay. What are the pros\cons of each type of play and are they more overlapping now then they were back in 2013?

2013 I was exclusively my region and hadn’t even spoken to anyone outside of TEP. I was just learning how to do things there. My actual main year of activity was 2014. Today is interesting, because you can be both social and inactive in the game, at the cost of being called an armchair player. You see a lot of players doing that these days. Back then you were taken far more seriously if you were social and active. Just activity wasn’t always good enough, because people are more likely to connect to players with whom they feel comfortable socializing and know well. People tend to be less objective with individuals they’re close to.

What is the biggest difference, in your opinion, between gameplay then and now? Players now often talk about the golden era of NS being past. Do you think this is the case?

Yes and no. Yes, because the community was less toxic to some extent. No, because back then OOC problems were not looked into or treated as relevant. Many people back then were harmful to the community and members of it. However, that ties into how the community today is so toxic. When we raised standards for the community and awareness to bring safety to people playing, we did a good thing. That much I believe. What we did wrong was allow OOC things to be twisted and used to take people down for IC reasons.

For a while I thought 2014 was so much better, but in reality we swept many things under the rug back then, or didn’t feel like it was appropriate to bring things that happened out of the realm of in character public. I can’t say that I’m happy with how OOC is treated today. It is weaponized to take people down. Genuine desire to protect the community in some is conflated by the desire to use anything to remove another player in others. The surest way to remove a player is by OOC means. We cheapen the real threats to the community when we elevate mistakes to the level of actual abuse and harassment. We went from a society that did not speak up to a society where people descend to new lows. Which is better? I can’t say.

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NationStates Gameplay community still hasn't reached an equilibrium...



I will actually agree to both those points and have been contemplating how to really address this new trend of "the only way to get rid of an IC opponent is to remove them through OOC means." We say, as a community, we've gotten better with addressing OOC threats but it's an uphill battle and highly uneven in application.

Why does one player get a pass while another is burned at the stake? It speaks to the fact that we aren't cyber investigators or police officers and that some of the players taking on these roles are overzealous to the point that the lines between IC and OOC continue to be blurred. I'm really not sure if there's a way to fix it without some dialogue and shared standards but we as a community can't even have a dialogue without someone trying to use it for their own purposes.


I don’t know how to fix what has happened. The first sign I saw that this might happen was in 2016, when someone I believed was a victim used my trust to convince me that she had been abused by another player. I left NS the same day it was reported. I later found out that my trust had been used and that the player in question was innocent and I had been lied to. There are many other cases I’ve seen or heard of that were questionable at best or proven false from the outset. This was not a culture I ever wanted to see happen, but it is one that nonetheless evolved.

Looking at the parts of the game that make us want to play, what have been your best moments in NS? Favorite historical event?

My better moments in NS? 2014 with TEP and 2018 with TP. I enjoyed defending while running EPSA back then and I enjoyed operating with the Legio of TP more recently. Usually my happiest moments have been while updating actively with a military I become very dedicated to. Favorite historical event was probably the Bitcoin April Fools event with TEP. We had so much fun with it, and basically dominated the whole event. That was great fun and I’ll always look back fondly on it.

What was it like transitioning from TEP to TP?

I liked TP’s community right away, but I was still really hurt by TEP and missed it a lot. I believe I told Pergamon it was like still not being over an ex. It took a long time for that to fade away. TEP had meant a lot to me for years. It was why I came back in the first place. TP...it was nice from the start. I enjoyed the people, I got to get back into RP a bit, I had fun reporting illicit nations to the Praetorian Guard. I found that the more involved I got; the better I felt about losing TEP. I didn’t mind the government style transition. I’d seen enough of what can happen in a democratic region by that point and was very turned off the concept of democracy in NS. It was a good place to choose, although the irony is that I went there to escape drama.

The NPO is often seen as this mysterious monolithic entity. Having organized a Game of Thrones event with the region and hung out in the server a bit I'd say it was, like most regions in NS, a particular flavor of community (with a lot of interest in anime for example :P). What do you like most about The Pacific?

The community, by far. In both NS and the other branches. Most of the people are super fun to be around and you don’t get the same kind of political tensions I’ve found in other regions. Maybe it’s due to the structure, maybe just because the community is very solid.

Which NS platform do you use the most (Discord, Gameside RMB, Forums)? What do you think of these platforms and their strengths and weaknesses for gameplay?

Forums are for business largely, and I avoid the Gameplay forums as much as possible. RMB I’ll post stats on and answer questions and the like. However, my primary means of communication is Discord. Sometimes I’ll use Telegram, too. I think forums (off-site ones) are good for security as well as general solid discussions that you want to be able to find easily. Discord chats are more difficult to search through. Onsite comes with the plus of having to maintain a measure of composure so you don’t break the rules. On the same side of that, you have to be very careful what you say. It’s good practice for restraint I suppose. That’s a plus to onsite. Discord is just easier for chatting and quick access. I like that about it. However, it can get out of hand if you don’t keep your servers and channels pruned down to something reasonable. At first I hated Discord. I wanted LWU to not use it because I preferred Skype. I didn’t like the transition to Discord and Dream Killers should remember me being grumpy about them making one at all. These days I’m used to it, although it is significantly less secure than any other chat handle to me.

If you were Max Barry for a day, what would you do?

Shut down NS.
Free us all.
None of us can quit on our own. We need the help.

That’s both an ongoing joke and also a bit sad. I wonder if there are other communities out there like NS or it’s this unique bubble that gives people power or access or that something that they can’t get elsewhere. sigh. What are your hobbies or things you do for fun (outside of NS)?

Write or read. I’m working on a book at the moment but also read a lot in my spare time. I’ll go out with friends sometimes but I’m a huge homebody most of the time.

Image
If Xoriet was a character in a book she would be a porcelain beauty of elegance.


So I've been excited about this book ever since we first started talking about it! What can you tell us about it, and what inspired it?

Well, this is the second one anyway. I finished the first one earlier this year and had a few people beta read it. So far it’s good feedback, and I’ve caught some grammar or spelling errors that way. I worked on it since 2009, although I rewrote it twice. What inspired it was actually losing a RP forum I played on for years. Two of the characters I had I brought over from that. Originally it was just giving them a new world to exist in. A year after I finished it the first time (2011), I decided to rewrite it. Ultimately I decided after I finished that rewrite that I needed to smooth it out. The last one barely resembles the second rewrite and is almost completely unrecognizable as a descendent of the original. That was the inspiration.

What I can say about it is that some things written into the book are lessons I’ve learned in my own life, some from NS, although there is no NS association with the book save one character, some of whose characteristics are taken from the worst person I ever met and channeled into a character. In a way you could say this character was part of therapy, as writing everything out made me able to understand what I’d lived through. The book itself can be dark at times as a result, but ultimately the three are supposed to not have a totally bleak ending. It’s set in a high fantasy world, as that’s pretty much the only genre I can really write without problems. It’s also the genre I read most and enjoy most. The one downside to this book is that it’s 504 pages on Microsoft Word, at 227,000 words.

That’s such an amazing accomplishment! From what I’ve seen, it’s such a cool storyline and I hope it gets turned into a TV or movie series!
What are your favorite or highly recommended fantasy books?


If you want to read lighter books, I’d recommend Name of the Wind. I call it light because my favorite author and second favorite author both write amazing books that are also pretty heavy with material. So anything by Sara Douglass or Jacqueline Carey pretty much. Those are all very large books. For easier reading, Tamora Pierce, Garth Nix, and David Eddings are all amazing.

Favorite music?
Favorite music. Scardino always judges me on my music. I listen to a ton of stuff but my most listened-to genre is symphonic metal. Favorite band is Muse though. Second favorite is Les Friction (thanks Syl <3).

Favorite movie and\or TV shows?
Favorite movie is The Mummy.
The 1999 one. I love it. It has all the things I like in a story and is amusing on the side. TV shows...well. Grey’s Anatomy is the show I watch with my mom every Thursday when the seasons are running. We watch Dateline every Friday. On my own time I watch Supernatural, Law and Order: SVU, or NCIS.

So you actually introduced me to Webtoons, which are your favorite webtoons that you follow currently?

Oh my. Unordinary, Lumine, My Dear Cold-Blooded King, Kubera, Tower of God.

Image
Brilith Ruin from Kubera


You're probably the only person I know who has a horse and also have horseback riding experience. Can you describe what it takes to raise\have a horse?

My sister has three horses (Dakota, Pogo, and Chorizo) and is taking care of a fourth for a friend. I am not the best rider, but it’s fun when the horses aren’t feeling frisky. They’re very friendly and social. However they definitely require some patience. I remember my sister once chasing Chorizo around the pasture to ride him for twenty minutes before giving up. We were all laughing from inside but didn’t tell her that. When we first brought him to the farm he liked to run around a lot and had no intentions of being ridden. Okie came later, and he was pretty much the horse I liked riding. Very stable and sweet. We had to put him down two years ago, but we still have the other three.

If you could travel anywhere to the world, where would you go and why?
Probably the Caribbean for a while. I like pretty beaches a lot. Although considering how much I avoid the sun, that might seem like an odd choice.

There’s something about the beach that’s so relaxing! So you wake up one morning and a receive the delegacy of any region you choose. Which would you choose? And what would you do as delegate?

If I absolutely had to have a delegacy, I’d just choose TP’s. For a bit. There are no other regions whose delegacies I’d want. Not even this one. I enjoy being free.

Thank you to Xoriet for the interview! <3

User avatar
Qwabour Harbour
Secretary
 
Posts: 34
Founded: Dec 08, 2018
Democratic Socialists

Postby Qwabour Harbour » Sun Feb 03, 2019 1:39 am

Good job! You have a BBCode mistake in Jamie's interview.

Although idk about the tattoos and how they are related, but ok.

User avatar
Deadeye Jack
Spokesperson
 
Posts: 169
Founded: Apr 03, 2014
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Deadeye Jack » Sun Feb 03, 2019 11:03 am

Another good job, Escade. I'm impressed with the sheer amount of interviews you are able to do and the people you get for them! I especially liked the Webtoons article, though!

User avatar
Witchcraft and Sorcery
Bureaucrat
 
Posts: 45
Founded: Feb 01, 2013
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Witchcraft and Sorcery » Sun Feb 03, 2019 12:05 pm

I LOVE this. The interviews are fantastic and I really love the cultural focus on the gameplay community. Really well done, thanks Escade!
TITO Knight Battalion Commander, 10000 Islands


Call me W&S, call me crazy, call me whatever you want, just don't call me with an @everyone ping on discord and expect me to respond.

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Warden-Constable, The Grey Wardens
Officer, South Pacific Special Forces
Host, 2017 Defender Awards

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Cormactopia Prime
Minister
 
Posts: 2014
Founded: Sep 21, 2016
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Cormactopia Prime » Sun Feb 03, 2019 12:41 pm

A great edition. I particularly enjoyed the article about tattoos, and two of the three interviews were also really interesting and fun to read.
Cormac Skollvaldr
President of the Republic of Pacifica

Awards, Honors, and WA Authorships

Join the only free, democratic, and non-authoritarian Pacifica in NationStates!

User avatar
Aenglaland
Diplomat
 
Posts: 540
Founded: Dec 01, 2008
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Aenglaland » Sun Feb 03, 2019 12:55 pm

Nice work Escade, really enjoyed the interviews! Also, I always feel like an excited little kid everytime I see or read something about tattoos (I'm quite proud of mine) :lol:
Come to The North Pacific!
Pineapple on pizza delenda est!
Just call me Loh

User avatar
The Holy Principality of Saint Mark
Bureaucrat
 
Posts: 61
Founded: May 20, 2016
Corporate Bordello

Postby The Holy Principality of Saint Mark » Sun Feb 03, 2019 2:06 pm

What a great read, Escade!
Marcarius Halo Rahl
TWP Delegate

Priest of Osiris
Pyo Sage of Karma
Archbishop of Albion

The Holy Principality of Saint Mark

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KhanterWinters
Attaché
 
Posts: 80
Founded: May 05, 2017
Father Knows Best State

Postby KhanterWinters » Sun Feb 03, 2019 5:59 pm

Escade should teach about how to write properly to several peeps including me

:clap: :clap: :clap:
Awesome and each "Report/News"
"It is wise to follow proper channels of communication, but communication is a two lanes road. You evade it, and you will have a problem." ~ Khanter W. Molchaniye.

My Statements are under my own responsibility and without any official representation of the regions in which I belong.

The West Pacific Citizen
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Regional Officer in The Sasquatch Republic
Named as El Chupacabras


Yes, I am back in The Kingdom of Great Britain, and know what? I love be back, so many changes for good, all the bad weed purged, is Awesome.

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Lord Dominator
Senator
 
Posts: 3798
Founded: Dec 22, 2016
Compulsory Consumerist State

Postby Lord Dominator » Sun Feb 03, 2019 6:43 pm

If you founded in 2002 Lamoni it was in The Pacific :p
Osiris Vizier of WA AffairsDee Vytherov-SkollvaldrGameplay Ambassador of ForestLieutenant in The Black HawksRecruitment and Outreach Director of Lazarus

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Lamoni
Forum Moderator
 
Posts: 6218
Founded: Antiquity
Democratic Socialists

Postby Lamoni » Sun Feb 03, 2019 6:46 pm

Lord Dominator wrote:If you founded in 2002 Lamoni it was in The Pacific :p


I did found in 2002. I just didn't remember in which region it was, after 17 years.
National Anthem
Resides in Greater Dienstad. Mayor of Equilism.
I'm a Senior N&I RP Mentor. Questions? TG me!
Licana on the M-21A2 MBT: "Well, it is one of the most badass tanks on NS."


Vortiaganica: Lamoni I understand fully, of course. The two (Lamoni & Lyras) are more inseparable than the Clinton family and politics.


Triplebaconation: Lamoni commands a quiet respect that carries its own authority. He is the Mandela of NS.

Part of the Meow family in Gameplay, and a GORRAM MOD!

User avatar
Lord Dominator
Senator
 
Posts: 3798
Founded: Dec 22, 2016
Compulsory Consumerist State

Postby Lord Dominator » Sun Feb 03, 2019 6:51 pm

Lamoni wrote:
Lord Dominator wrote:If you founded in 2002 Lamoni it was in The Pacific :p


I did found in 2002. I just didn't remember in which region it was, after 17 years.

Which I got, I was just letting you know which one it had to be based on my knowledge of when the other 4 were created :lol:
Osiris Vizier of WA AffairsDee Vytherov-SkollvaldrGameplay Ambassador of ForestLieutenant in The Black HawksRecruitment and Outreach Director of Lazarus

User avatar
Escade
Diplomat
 
Posts: 880
Founded: Apr 11, 2013
Liberal Democratic Socialists

Postby Escade » Mon Feb 04, 2019 8:25 pm

Qwabour Harbour wrote:Good job! You have a BBCode mistake in Jamie's interview.

Although idk about the tattoos and how they are related, but ok.


Thanks!

Deadeye Jack wrote:Another good job, Escade. I'm impressed with the sheer amount of interviews you are able to do and the people you get for them! I especially liked the Webtoons article, though!


Image



Witchcraft and Sorcery wrote:I LOVE this. The interviews are fantastic and I really love the cultural focus on the gameplay community. Really well done, thanks Escade!


Thank you :)


Cormactopia Prime wrote:A great edition. I particularly enjoyed the article about tattoos, and two of the three interviews were also really interesting and fun to read.


Thanks!

Aenglaland wrote:Nice work Escade, really enjoyed the interviews! Also, I always feel like an excited little kid everytime I see or read something about tattoos (I'm quite proud of mine) :lol:


Thank you :) Oooh we should talk (about tattoos :P)!


The Holy Principality of Saint Mark wrote:What a great read, Escade!


Thank you :)

KhanterWinters wrote:Escade should teach about how to write properly to several peeps including me

:clap: :clap: :clap:
Awesome and each "Report/News"


Thanks :) I mean I've learned a lot from where I started in this game and have to thank NS for teaching me a lot both good and bad.

P.S. Writers\artists\editors should definitely contact me - if it isn't apparent I do pay homage at the altar of the creative people and would love to promote beautiful writing\art from NSers <3.

User avatar
Renegalle
Lobbyist
 
Posts: 15
Founded: Jan 24, 2017
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Renegalle » Mon Feb 11, 2019 12:26 am

I just discovered this paper and I must say; I'm impressed. This is a well written, well thought out, piece of journalistic excellence.

User avatar
Southern Bellz
Diplomat
 
Posts: 621
Founded: Oct 04, 2008
Democratic Socialists

Postby Southern Bellz » Tue Feb 12, 2019 8:19 am

good job escade

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