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A Collection of Essays [MT|Open]

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Aquitayne
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A Collection of Essays [MT|Open]

Postby Aquitayne » Sat Jan 18, 2014 8:16 pm

[OOC]: I've written a few essays over the past few months pertaining to Aquitaynian government, social issues, and other things, and I would like to share them with you all - seeing as I have no real other way to do so. I'll be updating this thread periodically with any additions to the collection, which I hope you will enjoy as much as I've enjoyed writing them, and that you might find some interest or satisfaction in their words.

This thread is based off of Anemos Major's original, A Collection of Essays, composed on 3 March 2012.

If you have any questions, comments, concerns, or ideas, please feel free to send me a TG. Additionally, I've provided the proper MLA Citations below each URL for each piece in this thread, for ease of use should you decide to properly cite something of mine. If you do, please shoot me a TG and let me know where! I'd love to be informed. Thanks!

I hope you enjoy!




Last edited by Aquitayne on Thu Oct 16, 2014 5:02 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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I'm a former N&I RP Mentor, not very active these days but feel free to reach out if I can help with anything!

"When you have power, use it to build people, not constrict them."-Bertrand Russell
"I destroy my enemies when I make them my friends."-Abraham Lincoln


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16:08 GHawkins I continue to be amazed by Aq's ability to fuck up his own name.

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Postby Aquitayne » Sat Jan 18, 2014 8:27 pm

The Astyrian Economy and Aquitayne's Invisible Market

The economy of Astyria is an intricate network of shipping lanes, supply routes, and air traffic. It depends vitally on the citizens of Astyria needing things and going places, just as any economy around the world does. However, there are distinct differences between the Astyrian economy and that of economies in other regions around the world. It is imperative that the Parliament realize these differences and act on them accordingly, without permitting the industry of the nation to delve into bedlam and risk promoting brain drain on the nation’s future workforce in the name of isolationism. The policies that are in place which restrict the free market capitalism that is required for a nation like ours to grow prosperously are a main cause for the issues that we see rising in the news, and is one that must be addressed quickly and decisively before it can manifest itself a new destiny.

Thirteen percent of all listed Astyrian businesses, according to the Astyrian Global Economics & Trade Directory, are based around what is considered, “Hospitality, Leisure, and Tourism” (Woodstead 2). Another fifteen percent derives solely from Food and Beverages, with that subdirectory listing many restaurant chains, pubs, and breweries. Two types of industry, albeit being the type that would normally encompass a large swath of the percentile, compose twenty-eight percent of all listed businesses within Astyria. Twenty-eight percent of all Astyrian business is divided into thirty-two businesses, of which, none are belonging to any corporation or entrepreneur from Aquitayne. A fourth of all Astyrian business has no sway by Aquitaynian policy-makers nor does it have any effect on our stagnant economy due to the simple fact that we have not invested any infrastructure or resources to address the problem that Aquitayne simply does not have a competitive economy. The Parliament’s inability to devote funds to small businesses is what has been crippling the economy from the beginning. It is deplorable that such apathy has been shown to men and women attempting to service others in whatever way they see fit. Parliament approved a defense budget in excess of, “1 Trillion [Aeros]”, on top of the already spent, “905.2 billion Aeros” (Trappaneze 1). Parliament has devoted 35% of the fiscal budget to defense spending, while it has only partitioned a mere 4%, or 17.5 billion Aeros, to Commerce (NSE). It is exactly this misappropriation of funds that have crippled the nation’s ability to create and develop an effective competitive economy, and it is these policies of a bygone era that have disabled the ability of the 21st Century economy from moving forward.

Aquitayne is no longer in a state of war and it is important to note that post haste. We are no longer a people who carry our national colors wherever we go nor are we a people any longer who advocate the complete militarization of a nation for the war effort. Aquitaynians have worn their burdens and they have become strong because of it, but our nation’s fiscal and economic policies are geared towards wartime mindsets in a peacetime reality. Aquitaynians no longer crave the sense of security they once felt was inadequate. They no longer need the strong figurehead leader who has all the answers to all the problems. We are a society which has borne these burdens and we are a society which no longer wants what we did a decade ago. The people have moved on, not forgotten, but advanced in their lives without qualm, and it is time policy did so as well. The policies of Aquitayne are crippling to the advancement of a free market economy, which is ultimately the only answer to solve the function of an uncompetitive economy with the addition of a yet present but growingly apparent epidemic of brain drain. Even the Parliament has recognized the issues surrounding these policies, ordering a Committee to investigate economic policy and make a justified ruling on its effectiveness:

“The effectivity of the national economy is stagnant and one which has not seen quarterly growth above 5% in three quarters. This indicates the beginning of an uncompetitive economy due to standing policy that is rendering small businesses ineffective and large international commerce unvaluable. These policies are directed for a wartime footing under the assumption of a limited supply of resources, which is no longer applicable, nor is it understood by this Committee as to why these policies remain in place. It is the recommendation of this Committee that these policies be abrogated immediately, as once such policies are removed, we may expect quarterly production to rise above 5% and signal, for the first time in just under a year, economic growth.” (2012) The National Study for Economic Advancement


The Committee has recognized the idiocracy of retaining the same policies that brought us through a war for a peacetime setting. It is doubtful that Aquitayne will ever again engage in a conflict on such a scale as that of the Great War, and as such it is irresponsible to keep the policies that were passed specifically because of that singular event. It would be preposterous to claim that we must always remain in a perpetual state of war, and though the Parliament has not outrightly states as such, it is colloquially implied via the pretense that these policies have not been removed, or even altered in any form since their passing.

Since Aquitayne’s introduction to the region of Astyria, the Armed Forces - respectively - have been downsized dramatically and so too has the defense budget. In a 2010 report conducted by the Parliamentary Committee for the Fiscal Budget, the Aquitaynian, “military defense budget decreased 5.6%, and the education budget increased 4.8%” (PCFB 2012: 582). This shift highlights His Majesty’s Fewer Arms, More Pens initiative, which seeks to dramatically decrease the amount of defense spending and substitute the difference into education areas, such as research and development, standardized testing, and teacher funding. The initiative has lead to a 2.5% rise in teachers across the nation, and has also lead to Aquitayne increasing in rank 2 places in the Astyrian Education Board’s yearly testing of 15 year olds in nations across Astyria to determine the nation’s education strengths and weaknesses.

His Majesty hopes that this Fewer Arms, More Pens initiative will ultimately realize the prophecy of a more intelligent Aquitayne and one which is more financially, economically, and socially secure than the one we have lived in for decades. His Majesty has highlighted the divide and seemingly apparent level of apathy towards education, stating,

“we do not require billions in arms to protect our borders. Rather, we need the minds and imagination of the Aquitaynian people; the strength and resolve to conquer problems that no other person could. We are a people of innovation, not war. We are a people of triumph, not destruction. It is now that we must realize this, our true being, and harness its potential to guide our future into a prosperous and peaceful resolution” (2011) Parliamentary Address

His Majesty attempts to garner support for his new policies in order to address the growing need for intelligent and proficient minds for the Twenty-First Century. It is a century which is doused in technology and while every young child uses a computer device, little to none know how it operates or how it computes anything. In his Parliamentary address, the King begins to remove the Aquitaynian people from our warmongering past and bring us into a peaceful and, seemingly, isolationist new future where all might be forgiven and in which we may all live in peace and contentment. While it is an admirable goal, it is not one which can be achieved by its acts alone, nor is it one in which we can ultimately gain the economic stability and growth that we ultimately require to grow as a nation to garner a, “prosperous and peaceful resolution,” as it were.

There are many different approaches that may be required to successfully revive the Aquitaynian economy and thus too regain the value of the Aero. The most obvious and daunting of these approaches is the need for risk-takers and ambitious entrepreneurs to take charge of Aquitayne’s stagnant economy - yes, the use of stagnant is necessary as the growth of the economy has been naught for more than three quarters - and take it from a mediocre laughingstock to an international powerhouse. The industrial might of Aquitayne can be utilized once more, given that wealthy participants are willing to allocate the necessary provisions to do so. Aquitayne is capable of producing more weaponry than is capable of being used by the entire armed services at any given time; it is questionable, then, to assume that the industrial backing that went into such products cannot then be altered to accommodate economic means rather than the ends of a decadent past.

It is imperative to achieve these industrial realities once more. Emphasis on the King’s disassociation of Aquitayne in a wartime setting is paramount to understand why it is necessary to utilize the capabilities of wartime industrialization in a peacetime environment. Aquitayne is a first world, or industrialized, nation; the resources to garner the upper hand in manufacturing is at our fingertips and yet Parliament fails to acquire those resources in a way which would bring wealth and business back into the country. Rather, Parliament punishes such entrepreneurs by hacking their valuation through taxes; import taxes, export taxes, production taxes, and distribution taxes until there is simply nothing left to tax at all. Thus, we leave them a meager earning which causes prices to increase and leads to prices at the supermarket to inflate so drastically that not even a wife can purchase bread for her children.

It is the belief of Parliament, and His Majesty the King, that if we are to disjoint our past from our present and future, that we must too refuse to accept the gifts that such a past has granted. Parliament will utmostly reject the idea to utilize the industry and factories that supported the war effort in a peaceful manner because it too ties the nation to a past which we are apparently attempting to forget about. If we were to utilize these resources in a way which could potentially benefit us, we would be forsaking our future grandchildren whom we do not know, by listing our moral beliefs into a wave of old habits which refuse to die; unfortunately, however, it is neither the moral beliefs of a people nor is it their attempt to harness the truth of a past attempting to be lost that could drive the economy back into growth and prosperity. It is simply the undisputable fact that if enough effort were put into these endeavors, that the resources were allocated and the manpower reestablished, Aquitayne could within years become a powerhouse of manufacturing.

Though we do have the industrial might to make manufacturing, construction and other product-creating jobs the future of the nation, we must not forget that there are over 800,000 farms in this nation, and likewise the fact that over 13% of all Aquitaynians are employed by farmers, or other related industries (Bureau of Demographics: Census 2014). Agriculture is a main and growing industry in this nation, with subsidies for farmers who grow natural crops rising over the past decade. The only issue present with these regulations is the current grey, and obscure line that deals with Genetically Modified Crops.

GMC’s are grown in approximately 15% of Aquitaynian farms, or about 120,000 farms. These Genetically Modified Crops claim to produce higher yields and be nutritionally better for an individual, but it is cited information that many nations throughout the world have rejected the import of these crops, and seeds, even when they were their only source of food in dire situations. Other nations around the world have heeded the warnings that others don’t want to accept, that GMC’s, GMO’s and all other genetically modified anything’s need to be deported, removed, and banned from Aquitaynian farms and supermarkets.

There are an unknown number of toxins lying within the DNA structure of these plants, and the companies who manufacture them admit that they contain chemicals which are used to kill rats. In an Aquitaynian study conducted in 2012, the University of James Brooke Hospital found that, “30 out of 30 pregnant women tested were found to contain at least one of four toxins found in genetically modified crops”. Not only are we allowing our mothers, sisters and daughters to be intoxicated by these chemicals - chemicals which they had no idea they were ingesting - but we are allowing these toxins to seep into the fetus of their unborn children without any possible consent from them. They eat only what their mother provides, and they unwillingly provide them with chemicals which are known to lead to severe birth defects. Is this the next generation of Aquitaynians?

It must be noted, indefinitely, that it is not all farmers fault that they are using genetically modified crops or foods. In the meat industry, the farmers unwittingly feed their cattle genetically modified foods, which in turn place the toxins within their systems and infect the meat that is later cut to provide for Aquitaynians around the country, and thus, Aquitaynians are eating chemicals they never would have expected from their local butcher.

The train of GMCs, GMOs, and GMFs must be stopped before they gather strength and are unable to be removed from the Aquitaynian food supply. They serve no additional benefits to the growth of crops, and the government continues to subsidize farmers who grow them because of the misconception that they serve a greater purpose. This is fallacy. The facade the corporations want to place on us is that these crops ultimately serve for the greater good of the world; reality is, unfortunately, that these crops are designed to become detrimental to our health and keep us down while they gain the profits they so eagerly desire, at whatever the cost may be.

I implore all Aqutiaynians to take a stand against GMO’s, to prevent their corporate ideology from taking form in our nation and crippling it. However, I digress. This harangue has been prolonged too far and I admit that it wasn’t meant to be so. Do not assume that though this rant is pathotic that it does not have factual background. Countless studies have been conducted on the topic and not more than a few have found any true, factual, data supported evidence that these crops have any additional benefit than those developed by mother nature herself.

Removing these GMOs from our food supply will only help strengthen the backbone of the Aquitaynian farmer, and allow grassroot campaigns that permit farmers to grow more crops on more land to take place. Parliamentary policy currently helps, but does not exuberantly promote farming as it should. We provide for over 29% of Astyrian produce, why do we not pridefully allow our farmers to increase that number, and allow the true abilities of Aquitayne’s fertile lands to take form? Where other industries crumble and lie in ash, our agricultural markets flourish and thrive; why is it, then, that Parliament gives nothing back to these men and women? It seems that a recurring theme in this essay has been Parliament’s lack to enforce policy that does much good about anything.

Parliament is a main beneficiary for the detrimental health of Aquitayne’s economy. Their lack of fortitude has prevented them from passing constructive legislation that allows the economy to grow and thrive under the conditions of which we’ve been placed. With the addition of the Cape Town colony in Insula Fera, they have expected exports to grow by approximately 16% (Bureau of Demographics). These numbers are false, misleading, and explicitly designed to trick the average citizen.

Cape Town exports in 2011, in comparison to Aquitaynian exports of the same year, were 1:5. Sir John Millhouse, a member of the Royal Colonial Society, which oversaw colonial exports from Cape Town, stated that,

“it is the findings of the Royal Colonial Society that the exports of Cape Town, Insula Fera, do not match the data provided by the Bureau of Demographics, which stated explicitly, that, ‘Cape Town exports would surge national exports to over 16% additionally in the next quarter’. These numbers are abhorrently false. We have found, unequivocally, that the findings of the BoD were inflated drastically to meet mounting pressure from Parliamentary bodies, more specifically Prime Minister Zaeir, to promote Aquitaynian stock stability by predicting a massive surge in exports for the fourth quarter. Frankly, this surge does not exist - Cape Town exports will add an additional 3.5%, or $6.5 billion, over the next two years.” (Royal Colonial Society: Exports, Profits and Margins for Colonial Cape Town, 2013.)


It is irrefutable now to assume that Parliament is attempting to dissuade foreign investors from pulling stock in Aquitaynian companies by inflating the realism surrounding what exactly Cape Town will do to the economy. Thanks to the Royal Colonial Society, we can extrapolate quite accurately that it will do next to nothing, with the only substantial growth being made over the next two years, not the next two - or current - quarters. Parliament attempted to drown this study in bureaucratic nonsense, as the publication date surrounded Victory Day, which kept news stations monitoring other things. It is obvious that Prime Minister Zaeir did not want this publication to become widely known, as it becoming so would undoubtedly rattle the United Kingdom stock market, as fears of a slowing market - which is what we have so far found to be true - emerges.

Cape Town, simply, is not the economic surge that everyone expected it to be. Kallywag Liam Johnson was quoted as saying, “now that Cape Town is fully a part of our Kingdom, we can reap the rewards of our work” (Killian). Unfortunately for Mr.Johnson, and the other members of his party, they were riding their re-elections on the gain that Cape Town would bring and the boost it would give Aquitaynian citizens; it does nothing for them nor will it until at the very least 2016. It does, admittedly however, have the port basing rights for the cruise liner the X.N.X Apex, which travels around Astyria carrying upwards of 2,000 passengers. This does bring tourists to our new colonial holding, but the money gained stays in Cape Town, and will rarely ever leave its shores for Metropolitan markets.

An umentioned bargaining deal in the acquisition of Cape Town was also that there were to be no expeditions looking for oil offshore, nor were there to be any mining firms or other manufacturing companies moved to Cape Town. While, as an environmentalist and former member of GreenWorld, I can respect such admiration to mother nature as this, it is irrefutable that the Aquitaynian market cannot afford to be castrating itself by limiting the areas which it deems economically viable; rather, they immediately subtract an additional 150,000 square kilometers without giving it a second glance because Parliament is too worried about upsetting locals. We are cutting our legs out from under us, and it serves no purpose but to build on the pile of policies that are crippling our nation.

Currently, we all stand united with Aquitaynians in the quest for economic growth, jobs, and a green world. We are, knowingly, an environmentally conscious people. This can, and does, work to our advantage and disadvantage. We allow ourselves to become too concerned with the sanctity of our world that we do not allow its bounty to be plucked as it is naturally meant to be so in the course of human events, and by doing so we restrict our capabilities to become a competitive market in Astyria. There is no reason why businesses will want Aquitaynian goods when they can get more for less across the Mare Ferum. It is simple economics, and it is not working to our benefit.

Increasingly, it is seeming as though Aquitaynian ports are becoming more and more empty while Confederate ports are increasing in volume of trade. While this may not concern the average citizen, it should alarm you that the East Astyrian Trade Alliance is growing in strength and, with the assistance of Stretta - directly across the Channel - and the Dangish Empire, they control over 60% of all trade going up, down, and through the Mare Ferum. Aquitayne and Symphonia combined take up the pitiful other 40% (Aquitaynian Exports Bureau).

This would lead some, or most, to believe that an Aquitaynian integration to the Eastern Astyrian Trade Alliance, or the Astyrian Trade Organization, would be the proper - and correct - course of action to deal with the mangled economy. Unfortunately for them, they would be horribly mistaken. The EATA, and ATO, have actively sent combatants to the rising hostile situation in the Plättiesan Adler, which has seen far too much bloodshed for the Aquitaynian people to begin getting involved now, of all times, as an air war rages over the skies of the countryside and countless men are dying at the hands of Ecossian and Yellowian bullets.

Even with the rising tensions in the North, we are already beginning to become engaged in the former Imperial Spartanian Empire, with the Herald’s having taken back their true property and governing authority over the land they’ve called home for centuries. It is a righteous rebellion that has taken place on Insula Fera, in that the proper and true people of the land once more control it to govern it as they see fit, in a way that is truly becoming of their rich ancestral heritage and forefathers. It waits to be seen whether this fledgling nation, currently held together by the might of Aquitaynian peace keepers, can truly flourish in Astyria.

Irregardless of whether or not this new state rises or falls is irrelevant. What it has provided us with, however, is once again an excuse to keep the militaristic policies of the Parliament in place and to add onto those policies in order to garner more military funding and allow for even greater opportunities of expansion throughout the region. It seems that Parliament is nothing more than a schoolyard group of warhawks, hell bent on Aquitaynian supremacy throughout the world. Correct me if I’m mistaken, but through the countless freedom of information requests I’ve put into Parliamentary Records, I have found it to be true that Parliament does indeed hold on to the idol of a forsaken past; one, which without a doubt, still haunts many Aquitaynians to this day.

All of these circumstances, the international political spectrum that comprises Astyrian affairs; the ever stagnant recession economy that we deal with every day in a blind eye from the people because Parliament is too scared to recognize it’s faults; the inability of Parliament to even recognize their mistakes and push forward for a better tomorrow; and undoubtedly the inability of anyone to seem to recognize there is a fault in the system at all, has lead - and will continue to lead - to the invisible market that is Aquitayne’s economy.




Works Cited


Image

Woodstead, Astyrian Business Index: Astyria GE&T Directory. 20 December 2013.


Woodstead, Astyria GE&T Directory. 9 March 2013: 1-3. https://www.nationstates.net/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=229400

Trappaneze, Jamie. “We Must Be Prepared for All Contingencies”. 19 October 2011: 1. https://www.nationstates.net/viewtopic. ... 2#p7376592

NationStatesEconomy. Aquitayne. 27 December 2013. http://nseconomy.thirdgeek.com/nseconom ... =Aquitayne

The National Study for Economic Advancement. 23 March 2012: 245.

Parliamentary Committee for the Fiscal Budget. Fiscal Report 2013. January 2 2012: 582.

Parliamentary Address Transcript. 14 January 2011: 2.

Bureau of Demographics. Census Report 2014. December 30 2013. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1NkE ... sp=sharing

Bureau of Demographics.Industry Export Predictions for Cape Town. 18 November 2013: 185.

Royal Colonial Society. Exports, Profits and Margins for Colonial Cape Town. 26 November 2013: 89.

Killian, James. On the Subject of Colonialism. 17 June 2009: 4.

Aquitaynian Exports Bureau. Report of Trade Control in the Mare Ferum. 27 September 2012: 152.

A Google Docs Version of the Essay.

~H. Cai, 2013, The Astyrian Economy and Aquitayne's Invisible Market.
Last edited by Aquitayne on Sat Jan 18, 2014 9:23 pm, edited 3 times in total.
[ Embassy Program | A Collection of Essays | Parliamentary Hansard | Axalon Private Military Company | My iiwiki Page ]
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I'm a former N&I RP Mentor, not very active these days but feel free to reach out if I can help with anything!

"When you have power, use it to build people, not constrict them."-Bertrand Russell
"I destroy my enemies when I make them my friends."-Abraham Lincoln


Duderology - The Study of Duder.
16:08 GHawkins I continue to be amazed by Aq's ability to fuck up his own name.

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Aquitayne
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Founded: Jun 24, 2011
Ex-Nation

Postby Aquitayne » Sat Jan 18, 2014 8:35 pm

***Please Note: This is an Out-of-Character Lecture given about roleplaying, and an Out-of-Character IRC discussion afterward. This is NOT an IC essay.***



Immersion and the Art of NS Roleplaying: A More Complete Essay

Introduction:

Firstly, let me state that I am very grateful that you’ve taken the time out of your day to read my lecture on Roleplaying. I will admit that I had focal points in this lecture that I planned to stick to, but as you might notice as you read through, my actual thoughts in the essay seem erratic, jumbled, but cohesively making sense. I will keep the essay as it is. It may not be what I originally intended to write, but I believe it states what I want to say about the subject and ultimately delivers the best piece I could have given. Ultimately, I hope you enjoy!

Immersion

“When writing a novel a writer should create living people;
people, not characters. A character is a caricature.”
- Ernest Hemingway




Immersion is most definitely a very difficult aspect of roleplaying for many players to get a handle on. It is, without a doubt, one of the hardest things to do in NationStates and the failure to allow it to occur usually ends up in out-of-character disputes and leads to the argumentative aspects that we see in an out-of-character light. Even so, it is also singularly the most important aspect a player can harness when becoming involved in any type of role play scenario. Without immersion, there can be no role play. If a player cannot fully become a true part of what they’re attempting to create or represent, then their writing is flawed and their ability to produce the product which is their goal is futile. Immersion is not a trait, it is not a natural gift; rather, it is something that can only be learned from experience and time in the roleplaying community, but when harnessed, can be used to great effectivity.

The ability of a player to become a part of the story they are attempting to tell is necessary for the success of any story. The writer must, wholly, become a part and entity of the story they are beginning to tell. With other writers doing the same, the flow of a story and its ability to encapsulate others and improve the abilities of everyone involved is expanded exponentially. Without immersion, a story can be found callace, cold, without emotion, and ultimately an eyesore.

Becoming a true part of the story is what immersion really means here. The act of being one with the characters, the storyline, the perpetual sorrow or joy that occurs in whatever scenario is unfolding is what truly binds a writer to their work, and there should be no exception to that rule in NationStates. It is too often that I see players casting their nations out with ridiculous military factbooks, enormous defense budgets and ridiculous policies which are contradictory and ultimately baseless. One of the biggest perpetrators of the inability for roleplayers to break out of a formulized shell and into their own creative thought process, is NSTracker.

The type of immersion I’m trying to highlight here is the kind which doesn’t evoke a subliminal emotion that the player doesn’t know what they’re doing. There are players who we know which we avoid because we can’t stand them, and that can be said of any individual, but there are players who write one-line posts because they don’t know any better. There is a lack of guidance within NationStates that prevents new players from allowing themselves to learn how to immerse themselves in their writing, and the proponents of this lacking guidance is both code and human.

NSTracker fosters the kind of roleplaying that people who have been around for years, or even since the Jolt forums, hate. It is the breeding ground for billion nation armies, trillion dollar defense budgets, quadrillion dollar trade deficits or expenditures, and the ultimate fuel that new players use to attempt to get a handle on how to play the game. NationStates is a precarious place; there are few guidelines and few real fundamental rules to how to play the game. Ultimately, it is up to the player how to play the game in whatever way they see fit. They seek a structured gameplay mechanic that simply does not exist in NationStates, and there are no experienced roleplayers who are willing to assist in their development and learning of how to truly experience the game for what it is.

I should state now that I’m not speaking of immersion in a completely MT-realistic world setting. This immersion can be extended to anybody, whether they RP an FT lizard-race or an MT pony nation. Immersion is not only extended to how a player structures their nations or characters, it is extended to how they ICly form their IC beliefs and systems which realistically, in the world they’ve chosen, make sense to have. If a Polar Bear nation passes a law declaring all Sea Lions edible, that is immersion. If a nation declares all citizens must wear sunscreen when skin cancer increased 60%, that is immersion. If a nation declares war on another because they called them a twat in an IRC or TG, that is not immersion.

NSTracker effectively cuts the legs out from under these newcomers, by giving them the structure that they want and yearn for, but never realize is crippling them. It is the responsibility, in the foremost of my mind, of experienced roleplayers to foster newcomers and give them the resources they need to grow and develop their writing skills to partake in the bounty that is what we know and have come to love about the forum. It immediately strikes their conscious effort to immerse themselves in what they’re doing, and I’ll give you an example as to how.

When someone plays Call of Duty, or World of Warcraft, they are consciously putting themselves into the world that others have created for them. There are structured formulas and guidelines on how best to play the game and by learning these, they can become successful, powerful players. However, alongside these facts, they are also consciously divided by the screen and know that they aren’t really an Elf or a Tier 1 Operator fighting communists in Vietnam. But NationStates fosters the exact opposite - rather, writing, fosters the exact opposite. In writing, authors can find the world they’ve longed for, the characters they’ve developed in their head and they can place themselves in a fictional world where they can mold, destroy, shape and grow anything they wish. In NationStates, they can do the same.

NationStates is a garden. It fosters growth of the author and allows the imagination of anyone to become the reality of a fictional world that has been built by those before them. But if they are encapsulated by the formulas of the World Assembly, NSTracker, and other mechanized ‘guides’ to the game, they will never be able to achieve the type of immersion which will allow them the best experience in the game. Such mechanics of their nation should be dictated by themselves, and align reasonably with the situation they find themselves in ICly. It is too often that I find players making in-character decisions based on out-of-character information, and is one of my greatest pet peeves about this game.

It is puzzling when I find that someone has embargoed me, or sent me a inflammatory communiqué over information that had been discussed in an IRC chatroom. The division between OOC and IC information is paramount if immersion is to be successful in any role play, and it is something that I have found the be the hardest part of all.

Ultimately, it is the opinion of this player, that experienced roleplayers have a profound duty, and responsibility, to foster new players and mentor them in how to grow, develop, and use their nation in a fashion which is beholding of the work we have ourselves put into ours. The mentor tag does not apply only to those with a highlighted green name, it is extended to all roleplayers, and that is necessary to recognize if we ever expect the community to grow and foster new, greater writers than ourselves. I hear too many experienced players complaining and moaning about new players, and yet they do nothing to assist them or foster their growth. To them, I simply say:

Lead by example.

Division

The division between in-character information and out-of-character information is excruciatingly important in any role play scenario. It is important simply because it makes no sense, regardless of circumstance or agreement, why a nation in a fictional world with fictional problems would make a decision based on information that came from, essentially, another planet. I would render the comparison of what I’m attempting to articulate to dramatic irony.

In our world, the world of the audience, we know what is going to happen in the future, we have better sources of information for the course of events that will unfold. But in our fictional world, that of our nationstates and characters, they don’t have the same luxury nor the same ability to gather information. They have only the resources which we give them ICly, and whether those sources of information are accurate enough are essential to the success of a role play. I would implore players to ask simple questions before making any decision in a scenario, such as, “How would he know this?” or, “How would he gather this information to begin with?”. It is simple steps like these that make the barrier present, because it is something that many people simply don’t see.

This is why Division is one of the most difficult things to do when playing NationStates. Even when you’re consciously attempting to divide what you know ICly and OOCly, it is still extremely difficult to recognize when you’re using OOC information in an IC setting. It is important to carefully analyze what your characters would know before you begin to write a post, because using information in the beginning which they would not realistically possess could throw off the entire rest of the post.

Conclusion:

Ultimately, this lecture has ran into what I perceive to be tl;dr territory, so I won’t elaborate much further. If you’ve spent the time to read all of it, I hope you enjoyed it and understand my thought process when it comes to this - or these - topics. If you’d like to chat, I’m in IRC for quite a while, and I’d love to answer any questions you may have about the lecture!

Aquitayne       Well, shall we begin, Uni?
17:05 Unibot Sure!
17:06 Aquitayne Alrighty!
17:06 Unibot Would you like the channel muted so you can speak without interruption?
17:06 Aquitayne Nah, I don't believe that should be a problem.
17:06 Unibot Alrighty.
17:06 Unibot Well.
17:06 Zyvetskistaahn <.<
17:06 Unibot This is Aquitayne, everyone.
17:06 Aquitayne Hi!
17:06 Unibot He's here today to speak to us about roleplaying - you may be familar with his essay (it's in the Lecture Hall).
17:07 Unibot You have the floor bud.
17:07 Aquitayne Thank you, Unibot.
17:07 Aquitayne As he said, I'm Aquitayne - Aq for short.
17:07 Aquitayne Joined NS about 2 years ago, and am more of an II/GE&T type of player, rather than a Raider/Defender (as I believe they're called).
17:09 Aquitayne Basically, I decided to write the Immersion essay due to a couple of different things, the foremost being that the lack of appreciation to someone's own writing was very apparent to me on the forums.
17:09 *** Kringalia is now known as Kringalia|Away
17:09 Aquitayne I saw that systems like NSTracker, which I highlight in my paper, are often used as citations for ridiculously huge armies and budgets, and that these decisions are being made with information that isn't really IC info.
17:09 *** Charafk is now known as CharChar
17:10 Aquitayne I believe strongly that all decisions, all aspects of a person's nation, character, anything really, should be based off of the world they've put themselves in.
17:11 Aquitayne If that's an intergalactic confederacy, great! If it's an MT region, awesome. The circumstances are irrelevant, what matters - and what I'm trying to highlight, really - is that in order to be an effective writer,
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17:11 Aquitayne and improve your skills, as I believe everyone on NS wants to do, it is necessary to put yourself in the shoes of the characters you're roleplaying as and look at the situation through their own eyes, not yours.
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17:11 Ghost_2501 hey y'all
17:12 Aquitayne It's dramatic irony. You may have a lot of information that your characters don't, and unwittingly use it to make decisions/plot twists that don't make sense otherwise.
17:12 *** Johz|Phone- quit (Client Quit)
17:12 Aquitayne You may know what's coming next, but they don't - and it's important to roleplay that way.
17:12 Aquitayne My other point, as I touched on a bit ago, is simply caring about what you're writing.
17:13 *** Johz|Phone quit (Ping timeout: 186 seconds)
17:13 Aquitayne One-line posts are obviously not the work of long hours tediously going over what you've written; they're 5 minute sprints of, "let me get this done
17:13 Aquitayne Some players may not know any better, either. And yes, the argument can be made that the resources to improve their skills are all around them, and I would agree with you.
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17:14 Aquitayne However, they also may be relying on the comforts of structure they're already familiar with, that being NSTracker and other sites like it, to ground themselves in what they believe to be a factual and irrefutable source for statistics.
17:15 Aquitayne It's important for veteran roleplayers, especially, to reach out to new players to foster their growth and let them realize that such structure doesn't exist in NationStates.
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17:15 Ghost_2501 Aquitayne, would you say that to help, it would be to get some off line source material close at hand with that respect?
17:15 Ghost_2501 (especially if you are dealing with a war RP)
17:15 Aquitayne Some players, obviously, are going to reject the help and nothing can be done for them. But, there are always those who can be helped and are not because veterans are too annoyed by those who have rejected them to reach out for anyone else.
17:16 Aquitayne Yes, I would.
17:16 Aquitayne IC citations are very important for formulating any type of decision.
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17:16 Aquitayne Having a realistic basis off of information from other players is probably something that is very difficult for a lot of people (including myself) to do, but is also one of the most rewarding.
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17:17 Aquitayne Now, I touched on Mentors in the essay briefly and I'd like to do so again, just for a quick moment.
17:18 Aquitayne Mentors are obviously people with lime-green names, and the ones who's real responsibility is to help new players. But I would stress, excruciatingly, that it is not only their job.
17:19 Aquitayne The community, as a whole, needs to be able to take in new players and allow them to learn with their assistance. Giving them guides, helping them in IRC and perhaps writing resources as well are all necessary to get the writing quality that I know many veterans complain is lacking in II.
17:19 Escade ^
17:20 Aquitayne I quoted Hemmingway in the beginning of my paper, and I'd like to re-quote it here: "When writing a novel a writer should create living people; people, not characters. A character is a caricature.”
17:20 Ghost_2501 Escade, sorry for butting in there Aquitayne, Escade its lacking a bit in GE&T and NS boards as well
17:20 Aquitayne This is, in a nutshell, what I'm trying to get across.
17:20 Escade Right, Ghost I would say that more examples of good RPs, posts, what it means beyond a quick sentence would be helpful.
17:21 Aquitayne We need to teach new players to care about their writing. That's all NationStates is, is pixelated letters on a screen that form sentences that form paragraphs that form stories.
17:21 Aquitayne If they don't care about what the content of those paragraphs are, then how can we expect NationStates to grow into anything better than what it is already?
17:22 Ghost_2501 Aquitayne, NS has a whole range of possibilities, we, not just here but as a community, just need to exploit its capabilities, and to do that, knowledge passed on and soaked in is going to be the key
17:23 Aquitayne Players need to think about what they write; NationStates is no less challenging then trying to write a book. When they begin to care, NS will begin to improve.
17:23 Aquitayne Exactly.
17:23 *** UTA joined #auditorium_one
17:23 Aquitayne But there's a fundamental lacking in the transfer of that knowledge from us to them.
17:24 Aquitayne Simply, because past experiences - by all of us - with bigoted players who refuse to receive help have diminished our desire to help any new players whatsoever, and that needs to change.
17:24 Aquitayne We cannot allow the dispositions of a few to be the crippling factor for the masses.
17:24 Aquitayne It simply isn't fair.
17:24 Ghost_2501 nope, and I will hold my hand up to offering help
17:25 Ceni Aquitayne, I once read something about the different generations of NS (by Unibot, I believe) and the RPing world would be much in decline by 2016. What would you say to this- and if it is a true prediction, what would be some steps to fix it?
17:25 Aquitayne It seems to me that the resources are there for them, but the guide to getting there - and really using them to improve their writing - is the fundamental flaw in the system.
17:25 Ceni To clarify, the RPing decline
17:25 Aquitayne I would say that the prediction is false.
17:25 Aquitayne Look,
17:26 Aquitayne We can be as pessimistic as we want about the situation of RPing in NationStates and how there will never be players as good as ourselves
17:26 Aquitayne But - that's the same way every game works on the internet.
17:26 Aquitayne We were, at some point, just like the new players we see today.
17:26 Aquitayne It's important not to forget that.
17:26 Ceni Certainly, I agree with that point
17:27 Aquitayne We have grown and learned how to play this game to our enjoyment, and that's awesome. But simply because we've grown and others haven't isn't a basis to say that by 2016 NS will, effectively, suck.
17:27 Aquitayne Now, if we were to assume that that prediction is true, then obviously we - as the veterans here - need to step up our own game and reach out to these players proactively.
17:28 Ghost_2501 Aquitayne, i think the words my driving instructor are aplicable here... "I will teach you the skills needed to drive, only once you have passed your test do you learn to drive", I think that applies just as much here as well, and yes I do agree with you on that ]
17:28 Aquitayne My own region, Astyria, has a Probation region which is meant to foster rising players and assist them in growing their writing skills.
17:28 Aquitayne From my viewpoint, while its goals are admirable, it has done nothing, because there is a lack of cohesion between the main region and Probation.
17:29 Aquitayne I would as well, Ghost.
17:29 Aquitayne Y'know, I will admit, there is only so much you can do to help someone.
17:29 Aquitayne "You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink", is a proper analogy.
17:29 *** Bishop joined #auditorium_one
17:30 Aquitayne But, I would argue that if you help only a singular person improve their writing, then you've succeeded and the effort you've put forth is worth it.
17:30 Ceni So... will the world of RP die a "slow, lingering death" like it is predicted, or can we keep it alive and well? My personal opinion is that it is unforeseeable to see a slow and lingering death to NS, but I know that it has to happen at some point, but I'm not sure when
17:30 Ceni And how long we can keep it alive with these efforts
17:30 Aquitayne Interest comes and goes.
17:30 Ceni If you want to tackle that
17:30 Aquitayne There are people who will play NS for a few months and then CTE.
17:31 Aquitayne But there are people like us, who have found a community within the website and have come to love it.
17:31 Aquitayne Otherwise, there would be no point in spending counltess hours developing nation statistics, straw polls, military and national factbooks
17:31 Aquitayne It's all in our minds, anyway, isn't it?
17:32 Aquitayne But that's not important to us, because there are other people around us who are willing to do the same to improve their own skills and their own world
17:32 Ghost_2501 Ceni, well as someone that does paper based RPGs such as Cyberpunk2020, Top Secret and such, yes Top secret, made by TSR, and if you remember Dungeons and Dragons??? well I think that NS will roller coaster but i don't think it will die
17:32 *** The_Black_Hat_Guy left #auditorium_one
17:32 Aquitayne And interconnect it with yours and allow a giant web of the same interests and effort to gel into a finished piece of art.
17:32 Ceni Well I at least hope that there will be a community left (like us) that will still be alive to care about it
17:33 Aquitayne As long as there are people who see this community, NS will never simply die out.
17:33 Ghost_2501 Aquitayne, that is a work of art in itself
17:33 Ceni I like the words of hope that you speak. Thank you
17:33 Ceni Or rather, type
17:33 Aquitayne Lol, thank you.
17:33 Aquitayne Now, I think this would be a good time to open up for any (additional ) questions anyone has.
17:34 gruen I have a couple of questions.
17:34 Aquitayne Sure!
17:34 gruen Does "bad roleplaying" - however that's defined - actually matter? RPing is essentially collaborative. If someone RPs a way you don't like, you're not under any obligation to play with them or even acknowledge them, are you?
17:35 Aquitayne Ultimately, you are in control of who you interact with ICly
17:35 Aquitayne Whether you want to do that with so-and-so or so-and-so, that's up to you.
17:36 Aquitayne "Bad roleplaying" isn't a problem in itself. The problem is that the people who participate in such RPing don't care about what they're writing, and/or have no plans to improve that writing.
17:36 Aquitayne I've seen players on NS for over a year still writing posts like they did on Day 1.
17:37 Escade What writing\learning resources are available to players in a centralized location?
17:37 gruen But *why* is that a problem to those who do care about writing-in-itself?
17:37 gruen My local library has many trashy pulp books. But that's not a problem to me, because their existence doesn't prevent me taking out the good books.
17:37 Aquitayne And the same can be said about NS.
17:37 gruen In the same way, the simple existence of "don't care" roleplaying doesn't actually seem to pose a threat to "does care" roleplaying: it's simply inconvenient.
17:38 UTA Yep
17:38 UTA Thats a damn shame.
17:38 Aquitayne O
17:38 UTA The quality of newbies has dropped though too
17:38 *** UTA quit (Read error: Connection reset by peer)
17:38 Aquitayne I'm not saying there's a threat here.
17:38 *** UTA joined #auditorium_one
17:38 Ghost_2501 I will hold my hand up to some bad posts
17:39 Aquitayne I'm saying that there's a lack of help from people who have been around the game long enough to people who don't know it as well.
17:39 Ghost_2501 but I will hold my hand up to some corkers as well, I have seen what I have seen and thaught "I can do a damn sight better than that"
17:39 UTA The community in rping has fractured, or people have become busy, and the quality of newbies is a factor too.
17:39 Escade Well if a lot of the people signing up or playing are in the 12+ age range, it is expected that they are going to have some difficulties being on par with more seasoned writers.
17:39 Maltropia The thing isn't that bad RP poses a threat to good RP, it's that we'd like for everyone to be able to improve and be able to take pride in their writing
17:40 Aquitayne Exactly what Maltropia said.
17:40 Aquitayne NS is a community and we should be there to assist everyone, especially new players, in growing their writing.
17:40 Escade Is there a guidebook on NS roleplay developed by the seasoned writers and if not perhaps that's a project consider?
17:40 UTA Mal it certianlly does drown it out though with the flood of em neh?
17:40 Ghost_2501 gruen, i think Aquitayne will back me up here, but as a MT'er, that is to say I play Modern tech (ish), but what also helps a good RP post, particularly in the ones whos genre is the art of modern warfare, is a little bit of research into capabilities,
17:41 Aquitayne Escade, I would say that it is a project to seriously consider - as I don't know of one off the top of my head, other than the II stickies.
17:41 Maltropia UTA, it can, yeah. Which is a reason why a lot of RP regions or groups close themselves off and refuse to RP outside their clique
17:41 Ghost_2501 whether it be a piece of kit such as a radio, or a humble jeeo
17:41 *** Bishop quit (Quit: Web client closed)
17:41 Ghost_2501 *jeep
17:41 Maltropia which, needless to say, isn't great for the community at large
17:41 Ghost_2501 ^nope it isn't
17:41 UTA Rping within a clique is what got us in the mess in the first place.
17:41 UTA In the old days people lead by example.
17:42 Aquitayne It's necessary for us to do that again, I used those exact words in my paper.
17:42 UTA And those who cared to learned listened and thrived.. From what I remember back then anyway.
17:42 Aquitayne If we want the new players who care about improving to improve, we need to show them the way - which we're not.
17:42 Maltropia I've seen a lot of development of fixed geographies in NS, where nations' places in there region are mapped out decisively and definitively. It doesn't leave a huge scope for RPing outside of that region.
17:43 Aquitayne True, and some people may like it that way.
17:43 Aquitayne I would argue that every player is entitled to how they want to play.
17:43 gruen Ghost_2501, to be honest I may be guilty there of being a "bad RPer". I consider myself a capable writer, but I am not an expert on military technology. When I tried to get involved in II (~2005ish), that hindered me undoubtedly, because 9/10 posts were about tanks. If what you're saying is true, then is II really an inclusive community, or is it really only for military experts?
17:43 UTA One would have to figure out the root cause though.
17:43 Maltropia It depends on a lot of factors, Gruen
17:44 Aquitayne But, we also need to be expendable enough to allow others to join us and allow them easily into a group which can help them.
17:44 Ghost_2501 gruen, doesn't after be military experts,
17:44 Maltropia I know zilch about military tech
17:44 UTA rigidity was always an issue.
17:44 UTA People like secure stats.
17:44 Maltropia it depends what sort of RPs you join and with whom you're hanging out
17:44 Ghost_2501 just needs a quick look up of what you are using, and a bit of common sense
17:44 Aquitayne And that's where the issue of NSTracker comes in - again.
17:45 Ghost_2501 UTA, only rigid stats I use are for GE&T and its products, NS Tracker can screw itself
17:45 Aquitayne It gives the new guys who don't know any better solid stats that realistically make no sense.
17:45 UTA I try to go for the middle ground but being space based with whacy stuff, it leaves alot of room for intterputation.
17:45 UTA whacky*
17:45 Alunya "/quit
17:45 UTA Stats aren't always bad, if they're used in a limited fasion as backround. It should be more about content, story ectera no?
17:46 *** Alunya quit ()
17:46 Aquitayne Exactly, UTA.
17:46 Ghost_2501 well funnily you should mention that UTA
17:46 Aquitayne Everyone should be able to contribute to the story in a way which makes ultimately fun for everyone involved.
17:47 Ghost_2501 Aquitayne did a piece about immersion, well that led me to think, and this http://w11.zetaboards.com/NS_World_Fair ... &t=9965588 is what i came up with
17:47 UTA This is a ray gun, it shoots a white beam with a crackle sound and it vaproizes things.. No-one needs to know the power level, or the calibers..
17:47 UTA those don't matter
17:47 Ghost_2501 again UTA, common sense comes into play
17:49 Maltropia When you're reading a book it often requires a suspension of belief. You don't need to know every single piece of history behind the development of the trigger on the gun. You just need to know it's a gun. That's usually all you want to know.
17:49 Ghost_2501 and when it comes to an RP, the players i think have a duty, though that may be the wrong worrd to use, but its always helpful to make life easier for the story teller, and such
17:49 Aquitayne Well, Maltropia, you could always argue Tom Clancy.
17:50 Kell No he can't
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17:50 Ghost_2501 is he still alive or has he parked up?
17:51 Aquitayne Died a month or two ago.
17:51 Ghost_2501 he's had a hell of a journey then
17:51 UTA We're talking something that would appeal to any audiance just not a branch though, A ray gun with light discription is identifable to everyone than an M14A sniper rifle with a flash supressor , laser light and silencer.One thing too, is that even the best rpers shouldn't get smug and have a sense of superiorty over newbies or less advanced persons. One because they were there themselves and two because they always need to
17:52 Aquitayne I agree completely.
17:52 Aquitayne We're always improving ourselves, always researching new things and looking up new stuff for new stories.
17:52 Ghost_2501 indeed
17:52 Ghost_2501 radio and TV are good for that,
17:52 Aquitayne Likewise, we all at one point joined NS, said, "wtf is this", sucked for a while, and then improved.
17:52 Aquitayne Hell, I can link a post where I ask, "how do I rp?"
17:53 Aquitayne And it's important to remember asking that fateful question.
17:53 Ghost_2501 also, what about material from things like Cyberpunk 2020, Paranoia, (yes thats OLD SCHOOL), Top Secret, Spy Craft and the likes,
17:53 UTA Some of NS has gone stagant with the ivory tower syndrome though, and its proven determental to the quality of the forums.
17:53 Aquitayne When we remember that we too didn't know how to play this game, then we can more effectively help others.
17:53 Ghost_2501 even things like Star Wars can be back teched to provide scenario ideas
17:53 UTA Rping cant be defined in to one link..
17:53 UTA Its a myriad of styles.
17:53 UTA And you have to find the right one that fits you.
17:54 Aquitayne Very much so
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17:54 UTA You can have reffrences, guidlines but ultimetly the style you choose will be yours.
17:54 vac_ so how badly were you trolled when you asked that question aquitayne?
17:54 Ghost_2501 UTA, Aquitayne if thats the reference to my post, hell thats just my opinion
17:54 Maltropia Auditorinception
17:54 Maltropia not Auditors, what am I saying
17:55 Aquitayne Pretty badly, vac_
17:55 UTA I know some players who can do s tech well, FTers but they're slightly inactive and have mixed it up. But they're great rpers.
17:55 Maltropia The "RPing questions" thread is a great one, though, as there's a number of great people who frequent it and can offer help
17:56 *** vac quit (Ping timeout: 202 seconds)
17:56 UTA Its a good tool, it would certianlly help.
17:56 Maltropia And the thread "Welcome to International Incidents!" has plenty of helpful links and bits of advice
17:56 Ghost_2501 I am however probably wrong, but UTA, if there are 100,000 users of NS, excluding bots, there are 100,000 different opinions
17:56 UTA This is true.
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17:56 Maltropia Ultimately, the best resource is the community itself.
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17:56 UTA That will always be the thing.
17:56 Ghost_2501 and whats that phras, if unsure, ASK
17:56 Ghost_2501 *phrase
17:57 Aquitayne Yet the community shuns new players and thus the resources are left for the new guys to find on their own.
17:57 UTA Yes Mal, back to the example by leading.. It's always been that way and its only reccently turned away from it.
17:57 Aquitayne We have the capability, but we don't have the desire.
17:57 UTA Because people don't care enough, they're content
17:57 Bachtendekuppen I have a question as well. You main problem you seem to state is that knowledge and 'expertise' isn't passed on enough to new people, but it seems to me that all these basic rules of RP and writing are not so difficult to find? Furthermore, there are some guides freely available. (or at least in TEP). I remember the chaos when I was totally new to NS, but I think if one really wants, there's a lot to find on one
17:57 Bachtendekuppen 's own already? This does not seem solely the responsibility of the older players..
17:57 Aquitayne The resources are there, yes.
17:58 UTA The newbie has to be willing to learn too.
17:58 Ghost_2501 Aquitayne, I will hold my hand up to wading into other OOC Rp threads, to which however I have no intention of taking part incharacter, but with offers to help
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17:58 Aquitayne But do the new players know how to utilize them?
17:58 UTA We cant force them to read, or pick up things or learn.
17:58 Aquitayne Do they really know how to take all of that incredibly vast amounts of information, and use them?
17:58 Ghost_2501 Aquitayne, some do some dont
17:58 Aquitayne I would say no.
17:58 Ghost_2501 and UTA yes how true!
17:59 Aquitayne UTA, but it's the ones that do that are lost in the crowd of those who don't who are suffering here.
17:59 Aquitayne We see too many people who don't care so we give up.
18:00 UTA Well I try my best to keep my threads open and invite newer players and such, but yes the flood of uncaring newbies can dwon out the flames of ones who want to learn and play well.
18:00 Ghost_2501 i wont name names Aquitayne
18:00 UTA drown*
18:00 Ghost_2501 ...but i know a few
18:00 Ghost_2501 UTA, there is however the language barrier
18:01 Ghost_2501 some may be the best RPer in say Spanish, but given English, REALLY struggle
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18:02 UTA I don't see too many forign players on the forums.
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18:03 Bachtendekuppen Maybe it can be regarded as a sort of 'survival of the fittest' too. Those who care and make the effort will tend to succeed..
18:03 Ghost_2501 there are a few
18:03 Ghost_2501 Bachtendekuppen, there is an element of that
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18:03 Bachtendekuppen As a foreign player, I can attest that I need a dictionary often in this game.
18:03 vac escade you cannot hope to beat me at a king of the hill game
18:04 Maltropia An environment that isn't always conducive to making your way up the learning curve isn't a great one, though
18:04 UTA But I can imagine they exist out in game an in region.
18:04 Ghost_2501 some, though not all, and I fall into this catagory, have experience with offline RPGs such as TSR's Top Secret,
18:04 Ghost_2501 having experience there does help i think
18:07 Ghost_2501 there is also I think a seemingly un natural lifespan of RPs
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18:08 Aquitayne I don't think the span of an RP matters much
18:08 Aquitayne Only the quality the players are willing to put forth.
18:10 Ghost_2501 and i think quality does have a reason that they die
18:10 Ghost_2501 or maybe a lack there of
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18:11 Ghost_2501 one liners give the story teller a hard time i think
18:12 Maltropia You need scene-setting and description. NS Roleplay tends to be prose rather than screenplay.
Last edited by Aquitayne on Wed Feb 12, 2014 6:06 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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I'm a former N&I RP Mentor, not very active these days but feel free to reach out if I can help with anything!

"When you have power, use it to build people, not constrict them."-Bertrand Russell
"I destroy my enemies when I make them my friends."-Abraham Lincoln


Duderology - The Study of Duder.
16:08 GHawkins I continue to be amazed by Aq's ability to fuck up his own name.

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Aquitayne
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Posts: 3883
Founded: Jun 24, 2011
Ex-Nation

Postby Aquitayne » Thu Oct 16, 2014 4:53 pm

The United Kingdom: What it is, and Where the Power Lies

With the union of Samuel Reich's brother, Jacob, to the Symphonian Empress, Seondok Kiramashi, a new era of Aquitaynian and Symphonian history has been written. It comes as no surprise that these two nations have come together in union, being two of the last remaining countries which still yield power in their monarchs. The history of the relationship between Aquitaynians and Symphonians is a long and complex one, but over the last sixty years it has been an atmosphere of peace, tranquility, and open friendship to one another.

As is highlighted in the AFN Y2013 Year End Fiscal-Economic Report, Aquitayne is Symphonia's largest buyer of goods, and Symphonia reciprocally is the largest importer of Aquitaynian goods. Symphonia imports roughly 50% of its industrial goods from Aquitayne, and Aquitayne roughly 35% of all technology goods and services. This is post-unification, and as such reflects three years of stable relations between the two sister-states. The internal economics of the United Kingdom have been a focus point mainly for the Ministry of Trade and the Ministry of the Interior, as economists have seen a 152% rise in exports in the three years the United Kingdom has existed, given the removal of foreign tariffs.

It is important to remember, when looking at the organization of the United Kingdom, where, when and why it was formed firstly. Obviously it is known that the union between Jacob von-Reich and Empress Seondok Kiramashi was the alliance in which Aquitaynian-Symphonian military planning and strategies were co-opted, but it was why the union was formed which reflects the organization and power vestiges in the United Kingdom.

The formation of the United Kingdom had less to do with a final declaration of friendship between nations than a simple remedy to a bigger problem: the final and complete destruction of the Seong Shogunate. The Shogunate, which seized power in Symphonia in early 2012, is the main reason why the United Kingdom was formed. Through classified communications between the Aquitaynian government and the last vestige of the Empress' office at the time, discussions were made as to finding a legal and final resolution to the question of a persisting Shognate, and that answer was some type of union between the countries.

This is not to say that the reasoning or rationale behind the United Kingdom fractures its foundation; do not doubt that the bond between the nations is strong and that the legality and strength of the vestige that is the United Kingdom is absolute and rooted in truth. What this does say, however, is that the divisions of power within the United Kingdom reflect an idea that the Monarchs - the Imperial Office and the Magistrate - cannot trust those below them, namely being Aquitaynian Parliament and Symphonian Congress.

Even so, the Symphonian government does belay Imperial Impartiality, where the Empress is forbidden from interfering in the politics and happenings of the Symphonian legislature; rather, she simply signs whatever documents are given to her that have been passed by the appropriate Houses and the Prime Minister. Even so, the Empress' office in and of itself holds more political power and notoriety than any Prime Minister has to date, and it is through the position and rather the office than the views of the Empress herself that has kept the Empress' policies in place.

Interestingly, Samuel Reich does not have the same restrictions on voicing opinion and dictating legislation. Those familiar with Aquitaynian domestic politics knows that, although it is known as a Constitutional Monarchy, the King has more power and stature than most would expect. Samuel Reich has the sole ability to deploy the military and declare states of war, can veto laws signed by the Prime Minister, and can make executive decisions without the consent of Parliament. It is this power that allows the King to manage both the Prime Ministers.

We saw this in what was known as the "Kings Speech Incident"[1] [2] [3], when Samuel Reich walked into the Symphonian Congress and berated the Contruum Ministry openly and without sympathy, beating down any inclination of their choice in policy on the public stage. This highlights what political analysts studying the United Kingdom refer to as "Trumping".

We have seen this tactic used before, however it has never been done on such a scale. 'Trumping', as it were, simply refers to the King's ability and right to stop any piece of legislation on the national level of both Aquitayne and Symphonia once it begins to shape United Kingdom policies. This does not mean, however, that he can simply reject domestic Symphonian policy - rather, whence whatever Ministry retains power in the Congress passes legislation dictating United Kingdom policies and procedures, the King may veto or intervene appropriately.

This reflects a post-Shogunate Symphonia. The Empress did not trust anyone within the Congress or any publicly elected official of having that type of power, and due to the necessity of Imperial Impartiality, the solution found was to vest the office of the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom in the hands of whatever monarch ruled in Aquitayne. This permitted United Kingdom policy to reflect the wishes of both the Empress and the King, whilst retaining the democratic body of the Symphonian and Aquitaynian Congress and Parliament, respectively.

Obviously, however, the question regarding why there has never been an establishment of a United Kingdom Parliamentary body is pertinent in understanding why the formation of the UK is what it is. The reasoning behind this devolves back to the post-Shogunate Symphonia: no one was trusted and putting the power of Symphonians who could still be loyal to the Seong family in a position of power that superseded even the Imperial Crown was not an option. Instead, what is referred to as the Magistrate Compromise was made.

Instead of electing a body of equal representatives from both Symphonia and Aquitayne to hold seats on a supranational Parliament, it was decided to instead allow the Ministries of the Parliament and Congress to dictate United Kingdom policies. A piece of legislation could be proposed by the Contruum Ministry in Symphonia, and the Zaeir Ministry would have to vote to approve it before it became law. This dictated, however, that the heads of both ministries met at least twice a year, and that monthly meetings of representatives were made to discuss current events and policy.

This means, effectively, that although the Ministries are the voting bodies of the United Kingdom, the King can still veto their decisions. There is one exception, however.

Should both ministries disagree on the vetoing of that legislation, they may call a referendum within the Congress and Parliament. In this referendum, a two-thirds majority vote must be secured in both bodies to secure a legal passing of the law without the ability of the King to veto it again. This is never explicitly stated, but due to the ruling made by the Presidium of the Union in 2012, it is the accepted guideline.

The United Kingdom represents a union of states rather than a single nation. Their domestic policies are strictly domestic and the policies of the United Kingdom are strictly those of the United Kingdom. The only exception being the respective military's of both nations. In this regard, Symphonian and Aquitaynian military equipment and personnel have full and unhindered access to one another's facilities, and traditionally the union between Aquitaynian and Symphonian soldiery has been strong.

The question of how powerful the Generals and Flag Officers of both nations are in regards to the United Kingdom is always something that must be considered. However, there is no real vestige of power there, as both nations are stable and in the post-Shogunate Symphonia all Flag Offciers which had ties to the Seong family were dismissed from office or summarily executed. Both nations have strong and loyal officers, and as such, there is no real threat from a rogue commander.

So this begs the question: where, in fact, does the true power behind the United Kingdom lie, and how is it utilized?

The answer is everywhere, and nowhere. A paradoxical statement, but an accurate one. The responsibilities of legislating the United Kingdom is determined by the Ministries, and the executive office of the United Kingdom held in the vestige of the monarch of Aquitayne. The Empress of Symphonia assists in dictating United Kingdom policies through the King and his Ministry, but never openly reflects her political views due to Imperial Impartiality. Even while the King holds the trump card in his hand, the Ministries can still overrule him should they garner the votes.

The only real, continuous and unequivocal power within the United Kingdom is the Presidium of the Union. It is a small group of ten judges which rarely convenes, and has never done so in the history of the United Kingdom. It can only be called in times of great emergency, such as total war, and its members' identities are kept extremely secret and it is reported that they serve for life. The Council is broken evenly into five Aquitaynians and five Symphonians. The Council's responsibilities include giving guidance and rulings on legislation and problems that arise within the United Kingdom.

The Council is the only constant of power within the United Kingdom, and as it has never convened, its power has not been levied against Aquitayne and Symphonia. Other than this, the power and abilities of both the monarchs and the legislators are constantly fluctuating between one another. The political capital used by Samuel Reich against the Contruum Ministry has left his coffers depleted for the time being, and has left the Ministry reeling for a response; through this, the Empress' true wishes have been unfolded, and even so, Akira Contruum will do anything to keep his policies in-tact.

The organization of the United Kingdom boils down to a distrust between the legislators and the monarchs, and though this seems like a failed Magna Carta, the monarchs do allow the legislators to retain most - if not the majority - of the power.
Last edited by Aquitayne on Fri Dec 19, 2014 2:22 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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