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Flame of Dio
Lobbyist
 
Posts: 22
Founded: Nov 28, 2018
Ex-Nation

Postby Flame of Dio » Mon Jun 17, 2019 5:38 am

Japanese Schoolgirls wrote:I would like to thank the NPO for giving me the oppprtunity to serve the Order through a way which I enjoyed. I'll never forget my comrades and the memories we've made together over the years but I have to Mary Poppins my way to the East. Toodle-doo.


Xoriet wrote:It's okay, Commu. We'll kidnap welcome you back later.

You can never leave. We wish you well~


Don't make me shoot your umbrella...

Your resignation is denied and you are being reinstated as Senator once more. Dio wills it, and so it shall be.
Son of Heaven

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Wabbitslayah
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Posts: 229
Founded: Apr 19, 2009
Father Knows Best State

Postby Wabbitslayah » Tue Jun 18, 2019 4:13 am

The Salaxalans did you read that book yet? :eyebrow:
Former Delegate of the Rejected Realms

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Escade
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Founded: Apr 11, 2013
Liberal Democratic Socialists

Postby Escade » Tue Jul 09, 2019 11:03 pm




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Issue 7
July 10, 2019

In this seventh issue of the monthly magazine, we sit down with four NationStates personalities. First we interviewed fastest defender of all time, Altmoras. Then, we met up with the creative and craftsy Bran Astor. Next, we sat down with the perceptive and delightfully snarky Erastide. Finally, we interviewed the erudite and eloquent Josh.

This month, we continue a series on developing communities and culture in NationStates (and beyond) by focusing on knowing and engaging with your players.

We also have a culinary delight recipe for strawberry lemonade, only the best form of lemonade hands down.

Finally, we look at recent happenings in gameplay (shocking I know, somethings did happen).

Contents
Forum | Dispatch

Featured Personality: Altmoras
Forum |Dispatch

Arts & Culture - Developing Culture and Communities in NationStates
Forum | Dispatch

Featured Personality: Bran Astor
Forum | Dispatch

Culinary Delights - Strawberry Lemonade
Forum | Dispatch

Featured Personality: Erastide
Forum |Dispatch

Happenings: July 2019 Highlights from the Gameplay World
Forum | Dispatch

Featured Personality: Josh
Forum | Dispatch

Special thanks to all my interviewees especially with editing help! <3
Last edited by Escade on Tue Jul 09, 2019 11:21 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Escade
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Founded: Apr 11, 2013
Liberal Democratic Socialists

Postby Escade » Tue Jul 09, 2019 11:03 pm

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Featured Personality: Altmoras
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Our guest today, is Altmoras, someone who I've VCed with and chatted with a lot and enjoyed getting to know. Altmoras, in addition to his many NS accolades (such as fasted defender, delegate of Lazarus) is also know as "the deepest voice on NationStates."

How did you learn about NationStates? How long have you been playing NS?

I saw a post about it with 7 upvotes on Reddit, about 7.5 years ago now.

Reddit is a community that many NSers are on and enjoy. What about it do you enjoy? What makes it similar to or different from NS?

Well, Reddit is generally better for discussion than the NS forums since there's a larger population and so you can find more people with similar interests.

Reddit isn't really a game though, the way we play at politics on NS is pretty unique to NS and other nationsims. Not that NS politics interest me much any longer, but they were fun for a while.

It might surprise some that Reddit has a higher social media market platform share than more "visible" networks like Instagram.
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What is the significance or story behind your nation's name and flag?

Well I made my nation shortly after Skyrim came out, so I had that on my mind. Altmoras=Altmer+Atmora+The Letter S.

What is the story behind the Zoom nation puppets in addition to them being based on the character Hunter Zolomon from the Arroweverse?

When I unretired in mid-2017, I decided to pick a theme for my puppets. Around that time there was a lot of friendly competition among those who chased on who was the fastest. I was, and probably still am the fastest, so I chose the self-proclaimed "Fastest Man Alive" to theme my puppets after. I chose Zoom over Flash, because Flash is a jobber, and Blue+Black is a better-looking color palette than Red+Yellow in my opinion.

I completely agree about the color palette! And as far as I've observed in my defender days, there is no one faster :P Then, Skyrim is another NS fave. What do you enjoy about it? What character\class do you usually play?

Bethesda games like Skyrim scratch a unique itch in being fully open worlds you can do whatever you want to in. Most other RPGs lock you into a series of playable areas, and those that don't like The Witcher 3, and Grand Theft Auto force you into playing a premade character. Bethesda games certainly have their flaws, however no other RPG affords quite the same combination of worldbuilding and freedom.

As for classes, no matter what I start as in Skyrim I always end up as a guy in Light Armor with two swords by around level 15.

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The open world quality, or escape into a detailed, visually astounding world draws so many from the mundane. Two swords are better than one...It's funny, I always imagined Altmoras as wielding one hefty weapon :P


Tell us about your early career in NationStates and the significant things you did to lead you to where you are today?

I refounded in 2016 in Lazarus and got a telegram about citizenship after I joined the WA, decided to go for that because why not. Ended up in the Speakership a month and change after that. Then I joined a bunch of places including TGW in May/June of 2016. I made constable in TGW three weeks after joining, and commander another monthish after that.

I gradually took on more and more responsibilities, eventually ending up as Sovereign of Lazarus and High Constable of TGW at the same time by the end of 2016. A few weeks into 2017 I caught a nasty flu that knocked me out for several days, all the while people related to both regions were whining in my DMs about stuff I wasn’t in a position to deal with. At that point I came to the blessed realization that I neither wanted to or needed to deal with anybody’s sh** over a satirical browser game and I quit everything and moved to Hell.

I’ve made a few other forays into GP since my semi-unretirement a few months after I quit cold turkey, but for the most part my focus has been the same since February 2017, and that’s sitting on my ass in Hell doing as little as possible.

How did you get involved in Hell? What is the region most known for?
When I divested myself of all my positions and went into retirement in February 2017 Stalker invited me to plant my nation in Hell. I found the idea of my nation burning in Hell pretty funny, so I took him up on the offer.

Hell is probably most well known for remaining stable and growing despite being founderless and behind a password. Either that or Hell's Bells which is one of the longest running and most well-recieved newspapers in NS.

The region itself is also commended, and our king The Stalker is commended on his nation Forever Fields.

Oh and we achieved 2nd place in 2018's Nuke Day despite being a 60 nation region.

Nuke Day is such an awesome time! I feel like there was on year I stayed up way early into the morning with you trying to make things work, you were a great commander :)

What region are you currently a part of? What do you like best about this region?


I’m in Hell, and I like not having to do anything if I don’t want to.

What are your thoughts on the various gameplay venues (forums, Discord, gameside\RMB)?

Forums are lame, the official forum is okay, but signing up for 10 million regional forums is a practice that needs to die.

Discord is interesting if the people you’re talking to are interesting.

The RMB is just Discord but with more natives.

What has been your favorite historical moment in NS?

When I found out that 3 of my 5 deputy Speakers from the Lazarus days were actually NPO infiltrators, that sh** actually made me laugh IRL.

Oh just to recap who were those players?

Feux as Adytus. AMOM as JC Helios. And Stujenske as Kowassati were the ones. The benefits are that it was hilarious and it created a lot of political movement in the game. The NPO took a pretty big PR hit, but that all seems to have blown over despite the NPO Delenda Esters pledging to fight forever.

What do you think of this practice of infiltration\spying? Are there any benefits? Cons? Is there an example of spying or infiltration actually really helping (idk turn the tide, win over something a region, etc?)

TBH captured The Black Riders through infiltration after Halcones got deleted. That's the only example I can think of right now.

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

Sell the game to Tencent. Tencent is a Chinese Megacorporation that owns a lot of popular video games, notably League of Legends and Fortnite.

What do you do for fun when you're not on Nation States?

Play other, better videogames, watch TV, work out, play guitar.

Since I've known you, you've been into a serious work out regime and it's a core part of your daily routine. Can you give some advice on people interested in fitness? Like doing Crossfit?

Crossfit is a class. Taking a fitness class is like taking the bus, you're going the same place as everyone else, and you're not the one driving. Miss me with that sh**. There are much cheaper and more efficient ways to destroy your joints and make no gains than doing Crossfit.

My fitness goals depend entirely on how fat I let myself get when I work in industry during the summer.

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Altmoras recommends that everyone have a fitness regime for a healthy lifestyle.


If I let myself get too fat then I do mostly cardio with a bit of free weights and machines while carefully managing my diet until I can see all my abs again. Which is what I'm going to be doing this September since we're down to a 4-pack.

If I'm relatively lean I do almost exclusively free weight bodybuilding. With a small mix of weight machines for isolated muscle groups, and pretty much 0 cardio except for the rowing machine.

I strongly recommend bodybuilding to all the youngbloods out there playing NS. High School is the best time to start building a solid foundation for a healthy adult life. I started lifting at 17, and I regret not starting at 14 or 15. If you start early not only can you look good and stop getting clowned on in gym class, but you can probably dodge the Freshman 15 too. This advice applies to both men and women. And if you didn't start at 15 then the next best time to start is right now.

Also, because I'm a little in love with the guitar. What guitar do you play and what songs do you play?

I have a Stratocoustic and a Classic Guitar, but I mostly play Rock/Metal songs on my Electric.

I have a lot of fun playing songs with String Bending like Natural Born Killer by Avenged Sevenfold, and Killing in the Name of by Rage Against the Machine.

OMG so cool!

What is your favorite movie and\or TV and\or anime show(s)?

Dark Knight best movie. The Wire best TV. Dragon Ball Z best anime.

Favorite book?

A Storm of Swords by George RR Martin.

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Like many, Altmoras was dissappointed with the way the TV adaptation of Game of Thrones ended but has hope for the book series. Also he likes those thicc books.


Favorite music?

Anything that’s a banger, and a few things that aren’t, but mostly bangers.

What is a game (outside of NS) that everyone should play?

Crusader Kings 2. It's pretty much Game of Thrones: The Game. You play as a Medieval Lord in control of a fiefdom, and you manage your relationships with your vassal lords, placate your religious head, and vie for power with your neighbors.

So you wake up one morning and receive the delegacy of any region you choose. Which would you choose? And what would you do as delegate?

TNP, and I’d purge it. I don’t have a problem with TNP in particular, but they’re the biggest region and thus would be the most glorious to purge.


Thank you to Altmoras for the interview and his contributions to GP magazine <3 super love <3!

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Escade
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Founded: Apr 11, 2013
Liberal Democratic Socialists

Postby Escade » Tue Jul 09, 2019 11:04 pm

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~

Gameplay Magazine - Arts & Culture -
Developing Culture and Communities in NationStates

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Developing Culture and Communities in NationStates

Note: This article was originally commissioned for Issue XXIX of The North Pacific’s regional newspaper, The Northern Lights (TNL). The full article will be posted in TNL and it will be cross-posted in parts for Gameplay Magazine. See the full text here as it updates.

The number one question players in NationStates often ask is some variation of “How do I develop my community?” or its fraternal twin, “How do I engage players in my region?” In this series of articles, I’d like to provide some of my thoughts on the topic of developing player engagement by developing a strong culture and community.

Part 1 - Develop Your World
- Provide your players with a singular or unique experience by developing a detailed world for your region. Build a cohesive culture to give players a home to rally around. This is also where you assemble your team of like-minded individuals who work towards this common goal together.

Part 2 - Know Your Players
- What does your ideal community look like in terms of people and activity? What kind of players do you want to attract? Are you interested in quality or quantity or a median point between the two? Are your goals realistic based on the amount of time, effort and practical experience you have with community building?

Part 3 - Burn Out and NationStates
- How many players do you know who have said something like, “Region or players of region don’t appreciate or recognize my hard work?” I’ve lost count. Building a region isn’t easy, maintaining a region isn’t easy. The Ozymandias effect sometimes obliterates everything a group of dedicated players have done. This part is about how to focus less on what other people think or do and more about what you can do for yourself to avoid or mitigate burn out.

Part 4 - Questions and Answers
- There are a lot of "How do I.." kinds of questions from “How do I advertise\hype my event\region\etc?” to “How do I make other people join this event that I created?”. This section will be devoted to answering some of the oft-repeated ones in one place. In addition, players in good standing who have questions about any of the above are welcome to DM me or post below and I will add to the list as appropriate.



2. Know Your Players

Knowing and working with your players is key to developing culture and communities. How does a community, based around a game, engage players? Well, most games use aspects of gamification theory to get players invested. Gamification is not new to NationStates and most regions use attributes of it already. Gamification is "the application of typical elements of game playing (e.g. point scoring, competition with others, rules of play) to other areas of activity, typically as [...] technique to encourage engagement...." (Google).

What can you easily do to help new players get invested? Teach them how to play the game and give them reasons to play it.

1. Teach them how to play the game (both NationStates so guides\tutorials\walkthoughs). Most regions have some sort of "Integration" or "Welcoming" department that is tasked with being a helpful mentor or guide to newbies. Make sure that the resources are easy to find or linked to in a clear and visible place (on the forums\Discord\on site).

Note: Having to ask a player or "rummage" through forums to find a resource is the first sign that it is not accessible.

2. Why would this player what to be part of your community? What does it offer (what does it offer that every region does such as "working in government" or "roleplay" and what differentiates it from other regions?) Regions offer short-term and long-term goals ranging from the ability to vote, or not get banjected, or run for a position. They also offer atmospheres that are built around a shared culture. Is Karoake night a thing?A common enemy\competition? Game night? Some sort of regular unifying event, theme or goal helps to keep players engaged.

3. What type of players do you want? In NationStates you don't always get the type of player you want. Is your region open to that or not? Perhaps you want to encourage anime subculture or perhaps you really don't want to. Maybe you want only modern tech roleplayers so fantasy roleplayers are not welcome. Set the guidelines and market your region clearly across venues for the type of player you want to attract.

4. Types of players. Even with marketing, even if you have created you region and only allowed your close compatriots to join - every player is different and looking for a different experience. To break it down using Bartle's Taxonomy of Player Types:

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How does this break down? Mitch Cantor explains it succinctly:

Action vs Interaction: is someone creating new experiences, or are they simply utilizing experiences that are already in the construct?
Players vs World: Is a user interacting with the construct itself, or the other players in it?


Another way to put this is are players working within the mechanics of the game, working with other players upon those mechanics, or a combination of the two? How much interaction with the mechanics (WA, R\D, RMB posting, WFE selection, Events) does your region offer players? How much does it want to offer?

Furthermore, different players desire different things. Jacqueline Zen, breaks down the types further:

Killers: These players enjoy creating chaos and challenging authority by attempting to alter the functioning of the game’s world and and trying to affect the experience for other players.

Achievers: Their goal is to accumulate status, loot, and points by winning the various battles within in the game; they tend to follow the game’s rules (unlike the killers).

Explorers: They want to discover the systems that govern the function of the game world, understand their technicalities and uniquenesses, and learn how to take advantage of them.

Socializers: They want to form connections with other players by telling stories,sharing tactics, and working together within the game.


In an NS context, we are surely able to think of multiple players who "fit" within each of (or even multiple) categories across regions.

Killers tend to like a Player Vs Players environment. These are the players most often arguing back and forth across GP forums (at least in the olden days). Often they want to be at the top of the leaderboard or scoreboard and stay there and have a competitive streak. In some ways we can also think of players who play to get condemned as being part of this subset.

Achievers are players who want status like becoming delegate, winning an event, and go for commendations. These are the players who want and accumulate power or status (sometimes across multiple regions)

Explorers are players who create guides (for example the guide to how to answer each issue with maximum points), walkthroughs, and figure out or find "exploits." They do not intend to break the rules but instead work the rules to their maximum potential.

Socializers are the much maligned socialite class of players. They value the experience of interacting with other players (sometimes in lieu of the backdrop of the game world itself) over any other experience. They often build culture as part of this process of valuing relationships over mechanics. Socialites, I think, can be seen as difficult because their end goals may not be power or control and therefore may not be following the rules as it were.

Another way to look at types of players is what opportunities engage them:
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Which of the action verbs do you want to encourage in your region or community? How? Increasingly, there's a trend in some communities to eschew conflict which means you are shutting out the "Killer" type of players. If you are interested in encouraging this type of player, how do you constrain them in Player vs Player environment that doesn't spill over to the other types?

Generally, I think having some ability to incorporate all types would be useful for a larger region (GCRs for example or those that don't have direct control over their playerbase or want to cater to the largest population) whereas a smaller region which wants more autonomy might cater to specific types.

One of the events that I saw unfold that was a crash and burn had to do with the organizers not knowing their players or what interested them and foisting their own type of play (with barriers like having to have certain equipment) thereby reducing who could even partake. In the case of most community building regular activities, sometimes what is planned doesn't work out so being flexible and dynamic and trying new things helps regions figure out their own identity and what they want to do.

If you have the luxury to pick and choose what you want your playerbase to be then start with the gamification of your region and your players. You've got your world built and developed, your community geared towards certain playstyles (informed by your players or your community goals or ideally a combination of both). All set? Region turning out exactly as you wanted?

Of course not because "The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry." In the next part of this article we will look at Burn Out and NationStates and adjusting your expectations to reality.
Last edited by Escade on Tue Jul 09, 2019 11:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Escade
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Liberal Democratic Socialists

Postby Escade » Tue Jul 09, 2019 11:04 pm

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Featured Personality: Bran Astor
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Our guest today, is Bran Astor, a player with a long history in NationStates. I got to know Bran while working together on a festival and was so excited to work with him because he was artistic (making beautiful badges and artwork), creative, calm and player who delivered far more than what they were asked. Can't wait to collaborate with him again :)

How did you learn about NationStates? How long have you been playing NS?
Last Christmas marked eleven years in NS. I stumbled upon it while visiting GolemLabs' SuperPower forums. Someone mentioned it and CyberNations. Happy to say I chose wisely… or maybe not. I can never tell for sure.

What is the significance or story behind your nation's name and flag?
The name comes from my time as world builder for the Kingdom of Alexandria. The character was Chancellor, Prince Palatine, Warden of the North, Margrave of Wintergarde, blah blah blah.

My current flag is a personalized Straight Ally flag that features my spirit animal: the Sasquatch. All of my personal ones tend to feature colors and themes that relate to Cascadia, the Pacific Northwest, or my longtime partnership with Aelitia.

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Bran's inner sasquatch gives you a thumbs up :)


What does the sasquatch symbolize or mean to you?

I'm from the Pacific Northwest so the Sasquatch has always felt like the hometown mascot. It started in a very anthropomorphic TEP. Xoriet and ocelots. Bach and puffins. Todd and vulpines.

I think I embrace it for different reasons now. While sizable footprints are left behind, it keeps itself relatively unnoticed. It has the ability to shape culture and regional identity. It's a giant in the trees coaxing people into believing in something more.

Nah! It's because we're both big, hairy, and smell funny.


Tell us about your early career in NationStates and the significant things you did to lead you to where you are today?

The first half focused on the Line Art and Draftroom communities. I was a part of The Last Kingdom before its refounding. I can’t say I remember much of NS Proper due to all my time being on those forums.

The second half is highlighted by being a Vizier, Arbiter, UTEP Chancellor, and Minister of Culture & Education in The East Pacific, all the previously mentioned roles in the Kingdom of Alexandria, and most recently Guardian, Minister of Internal Affairs, Marquis of Hebao, and Xia of the Imperial Order of the Dragon and Benevolent Orders of Confucius and the Three Perfections for the West Pacific.

I attribute any true significance to the steadfast friendship of Aelitia (for keeping me going), and the guidance of Dalimbar (for pointing me towards TWP).

If there’s a snippet of advice or a lesson to pass along, it’s that acts of thoughtful creation unlock opportunities. Be brave enough to put yourself out there.

What region are you currently a part of? What do you like best about this region?
I’m currently a member of the West Pacific and The Sasquatch Republic.

I once heard TWP described as a casserole of humanity and have to agree. Ancients, newbies, snark, professionalism, with plenty of cheese. The region is comfort food.

TSR is The Sasquatch Republic, a sleepy UCR with damn good huckleberry pie. It's designed to be respite from feeder life and gameplay. We have a solid group there that enjoy activities outside the norm for NS. We've made a regional quilt, held a marching band contest, and had some great times at the turtle racetrack.

I am also currently assisting the Region of Gay with a reboot at the request of their regional executive, Kundu.

What are your thoughts on the various gameplay venues (forums, Discord, gameside\RMB)?
I believe the holy trinity of Discord, RMB, and forums is more important for older, well-established regions like TWP. The longevity of any venue lies in a community’s ability to innovate and adapt.

What has been your favorite historical moment in NS?
NationStates 2!

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NationStates 2 was supposed to be the sequel to NationStates but faced criticism due to excess monetisation.


It’s actually a more recent event: Imki as Anarqueen of Lazarus.

If you were Max Barry for a day, what would you do?
Visit an ATM or seven.

What do you do for fun when you're not on Nation States?
Grilling, shooting, woodworking, finger-knitting, dance parties & games with my kiddos.

These are really awesome things to do for fun and so creative\requiring artisanship! Can you share three tips for people new to grilling?
1. Don't rush your coals,
2. Have a good rub that you'll never share with a other living soul, and
3. You don't have to break the bank on premium cuts to eat well.

Shooting is a skill that I've always been fascinated by (well in my case with bows and arrows but similar). What is something you've done recently?
I recently restored an old Ithaca Featherlight shotgun, so it's seen the most use lately. I live in a rural area so a 30 minute drive in any direction can produce safe and suitable conditions.

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Bran makes wooden swords!


Woodoworking is also a skill that I've rarely come across in real life but requires precision and artistry. What have you made recently that you really enjoy?

The woodworking project I enjoy most are these goofy play swords I sell at farmer markets. They're 24 to 30 inches long and use 3 1/2 inch cedar fence pickets.

OMG you make swords! That's epic and like I'm thinking of a custom one I'd want :P Then, what is fingerknitting?

Fingerknitting is basically using your fingers instead of knitting needles or crochet hooks. I stick mostly to infinity scarves but I've managed to muddle my way to completing an afghan blanket.

Okies, final question about your way cool hobbies! What music gets you on the dance floor every time?

My girls are pretty obsessed with BTS and Blackpink these days so my dad dance moves are becoming a series of incredulous looks and complaints about knee pain. Shut up and dance by Walk the Moon and Shake it off by Taylor Swift cranked up to 11 is usually a sure sign they're serious about seeing the old man act a fool for them.

That is all great music! What is your favorite movie and\or TV and\or anime show(s)?
White Christmas is the greatest movie ever produced. I have a hard time not watching The Hunt for Red October when I stumble across it. The 13th Warrior, Casablanca, and just about anything with Cary Grant or John Wayne mesmerizes me.

TV-wise I’m a fan of The West Wing, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Longmire, and RuPaul’s Drag Race.

In terms of anime, it’s the old Adult Swim staples: Witch Hunter Robin, Paranormal Agent, Eureka 7

Favorite book(s)?
Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series, Bernard Cornwell’s Warlord Trilogy, The Domestic Life of the Jersey Devil: or, BeBop’s Miscellany by Bill Sprouse, House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski

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If fantasy is your genre of choice as a reader\writer then you've got some intense word counts. The Eye of the World, the first book in the Wheel of Time series, is 305,000 words.


Favorite music?
It’s hard to say anymore. Karaoke Friday is always good for an auditory tangent. The likes of Lynxi, Badger, and Dali means I’ll be getting considerable doses of Santigold, Billie Eilish, Sturgill Simpson, Austin City Limits, and earworms like Manilla Luzon’s latest releasein any given week.

That sounds like a fun karoke mix! What is a game (outside of NS) that everyone should play?
5-Minute Dungeon

So you wake up one morning and receive the delegacy of any region you choose. Which would you choose? And what would you do as delegate?
I would choose somewhere quiet, where I can sip my coffee and read the morning puns as Karaoke Friday plays in the background.

Then purge.

What is one change you would make to NationStates to help improve the game experience?
Increase reserved nation name population requirement to 1 billion while reducing the wait time to 18-24 months.

Release Season 2 cards.

Thank you to Bran Astor for the interview :) Let's see what we work together on next!

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Escade
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Liberal Democratic Socialists

Postby Escade » Tue Jul 09, 2019 11:05 pm

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Culinary Delights: Strawberry Lemonade


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In this issue we look at my recipe for strawberry lemonade. Strawberry lemonade is the special blend of sweet and sour that is perfect for the summer heat, or any time really. Connoisseurs such as myself have sampled many brands and varieties of the this euphoric elixir but when you make it yourself you can control the exact amount of tart :P

Strawberry Lemonade

Ingredients
- 1 bowl of strawberries (or 1.5 cups)
- 4-5 lemons
- 1/2 to one cup of sugar
- 3-4 cups water
- Ice cubes


Alternative or Optional Additional Ingredients:
- 5-6 scoops of strawberry ice cream (if you want to make a strawberry lemonade shake instead)
- Vodka (if you are of age and want a special touch)

Steps to a Refreshing Drink!

1. Wash strawberries thoroughly and remove stems

2. Peel and juice your lemons. My favorite tip (for those of us with issues squeezing) from a tutorial is to use tongs to help squeeze every last drop out.

3. Put strawberries, half the sugar and one cup water into the blender. Blend and taste

4. Add half the lemon juice and taste test to check the sweetness\tartness.

5. If desired, add the remaining sugar and\or lemon juice and blend until the consistency (pulpiness) is to your taste.

6. Add ice cubes and serve OR chill in the refrigerator for later consumption.

7. Enjoy :)

Helpful Hint:
Experiment with flavors and textures to find what really gets your palette going.
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Escade
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Founded: Apr 11, 2013
Liberal Democratic Socialists

Postby Escade » Tue Jul 09, 2019 11:05 pm

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Featured Personality: Erastide
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Our guest today, is Erastide, a perceptive long-time player who has been a TNP administrator, a NS forum moderator, and has a snarky sense of humor.

How did you learn about NationStates? How long have you been playing NS?

When I was finishing up college a friend introduced it to me. That was April 2003.

What is the significance or story behind your nation's name and flag?

I have 2 main nations. Erastide’s flag was made by Thel D’Ran and is a Lemurian logo on colors I like. The flag on Former English Colony is from a comic I loved and identify a lot with.

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Erastide's flag was inspired by this comic. Check out the funny bunny comics here.


Tell us about your early career in NationStates and the significant things you did to lead you to where you are today?

Lol. this is like ancient history. a) TP decided to screw around with TNP in the summer of 2004. At least one of my nations started in TNP and so that was where I was residing and dinking around with issues when the whole thing started. That is when I got super involved with NS and TNP. That’s also when Lemuria got started. I got elected delegate in TNP as FEC a couple times… was a NS forum mod under Erastide… *shrugs* When we moved off the old forum (honestly no clue on the year here) I think I became a TNP admin at that point?

What was it like being a forum moderator? What were the major issues you were dealing with, as a forum mod, in the early 2000s? How has it changed now?

There are a huge number of mods, and types of mods now, I have no clue on how the structure really works at this point. There were game mods and there were forum mods. To get to be a game mod you had to be a forum mod first. Forum mods were typically hard for GP players, because most GP players never used the NS forums, they were for RP and NS General only, unless you hung around Technical and Moderation. Lol… typical issues for a forum mod was a) the cesspit of NSG :P and b) answering easy questions in Technical and Moderation c) was also having some say in larger decisions of the mod team.

What region are you currently a part of? What do you like best about this region?

TNP actively. I like that it’s pretty accepting of a lot of different NS ideals and as long as you allow other people to do what they want to, everything is good.

What are your thoughts on the various gameplay venues (forums, Discord, gameside\RMB)?

Uh… it’s all NS? I’m not sure why I’m supposed to have an opinion. Self admittedly I don’t think of the game forums in terms of GP, simply because when I was really active that literally didn’t exist. And I’m not terribly active now so I don’t have to learn. :P

Oh when were you really active that forums didn't exist? How did people "play" the game or engage in GP?

Well the NS official forums for GP didn't exist, it was only offsite forums. No GP really took place (in terms of interactions) on the actual site, unless you count ephemeral RMB trash talking. :P

IRC was where a good amount of interaction took place, because it was easier to meet people there than to login to half a dozen forums. But forums were better for keeping things secure.

That's fascinating, that there was no GP forum at all at one point. Which platform do you prefer to use to engage with the game?

I use Discord and the TNP forum to execute my NS duties.

What has been your favorite historical moment in NS?

Getting TNP back from TP. Because it had banded together a huge group of people for probably the first time in NS (I think >_>)

What was that process like? This was before ROs and influence were a thing, I believe, so how easy or hard was it to overthrow a coup?
There are a lot of things written about how they managed this. From my perspective, the hardest part was the complete lack of understanding/coordination as a region. Dealing with coups get easier the more you deal with them. The first one is always a shock. But it was also a good one, because it mobilized a large group of people to be involved.


OMG I should have said NS April Fool’s jokes for dating, because that is silly enough.

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Make love..not war? NationDates did not solve that problem...
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Do you have any pets? If you had to choose are you a dog person or a cat person?
Lol. in my house currently are 2 dogs and 1 cat. The cat was my choice.

Cats <3 What do you do for fun when you're not on Nation States?
Read. Watch TV. Read.

What is your favorite movie and\or TV and\or anime show(s)?
Hmmmmm...
I will watch BBC Pride and Prejudice at any time. I will also watch Dirk Gently over and over. Amelie.

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Take this Buzzfeed quizto find out which Pride and Prejudice character you are.


Favorite book?
LOL. Romance/Sci-Fi/Fantasy. There is no “book.”

The reason this is hard is because I can read pretty damn fast. So Let’s just do authors… Ilona Andrews, Michelle Sagara, Sharon Lee/Steve Miller, Eileen Wilks, Patricia Briggs, Iain M. Banks, Lois McMaster Bujold, Anne McCaffrey, David Eddings, Mercedes Lackey… I re-read all those on a regular basis :P

Are you into Game of Thrones?

I started GOT (in book form) when there were like 3 books. Got to the end and then waited awhile... then life happened. I've never watched the show. hehe

Considering how the show ended, that's probably a good thing now. What about Harry Potter?

haha yes. My mom and I waited anxiously on Goblet of Fire and each got a copy so we could read it as soon as we got our hands on it.

Favorite music?
Chill and Dave Matthews Band

What is a game (outside of NS) that everyone should play?
Snrk. Solitaire

So you wake up one morning and receive the delegacy of any region you choose. Which would you choose? And what would you do as delegate?

The Pacific. MUTHERFUC*ING HUGS DAY. XD

Thank you to Erastide for the interview and this summer I'm finally going to catch up on Jane Austen (the movies) because of her :)

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Escade
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Founded: Apr 11, 2013
Liberal Democratic Socialists

Postby Escade » Tue Jul 09, 2019 11:06 pm

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Forum | Discord | Dispatch

~

Happenings: July 2019 Highlights from the Gameplay World
~
~
~


1. The Grey Wardens returned to form with a promise of more activity and a food themed report:
https://www.nationstates.net/page=dispatch/id=1230184
There are those that argue that TGW is just a frat house. Well, it is more than that I'm sure but also:
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2. The most adorable dispatch ever award goes to Miss Bad Life Choices
https://www.nationstates.net/page=dispatch/id=1229906


3. There are many, many newspapers or content venues across NationStates. However, I'd like to highlight
TNP's The North Star for consistency. Their World Assembly Digest is particularly commendable for its concise yet detailed nature. Check out the latest issue for beautiful formatting\layout and quality content:
https://www.nationstates.net/page=dispatch/id=1233505
and
The Osiris Oracle (link goes to forums)
The Osiris Oracle released six issues this year so far and has a great mix of government updates, columns (with Point\Counter Point being excellent), humor, contests and interviews. It's great to see an engaging and refreshing regional newspaper that highlights its members interests and activities.

4. The West Osi High School Prom Event celebrated the lengthy alliance between The West Pacific and Osiris. Yearbook style awards and Prom King and Queen titles were given out and it was a very cute concept!

5. The East Pacific is having fun, trying out new colors and logos and some people are apparently upset. What can you say, especially when it's the pot calling the kettle?

6. RaiderVision announced winners on July 4th and RaiderCon is ongoing.

7. Balder posted an innocuous foreign affairs update and GP (including some of the same old) tried to make much ado about nothing.

8. NSer Community started an exciting new Review/Recommendation series. Check it out!


Finally, last month was Pride month and regions rolled out their rainbow flags (and most by now have unfurled them). As we move forward through the year, I hope we'll keep up with the PRIDE beyond the month and build our awareness of the very real struggles faced by the LGBTQQ community as well as all the things to celebrate (U.S. Women's Soccer Team, you are a true delight).
Last edited by Escade on Wed Jul 10, 2019 11:51 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Escade
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Founded: Apr 11, 2013
Liberal Democratic Socialists

Postby Escade » Tue Jul 09, 2019 11:09 pm

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Forum | Discord | Dispatch

~

Featured Personality: Josh
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Our guest today is, Imperium of Josh, an erudite NSer . I first remember being deeply impressed by Josh giving an impromptu lecture on technocracy and dropping in a quote that I saved "If utopia is the expression of what is missing, of the experience of lack in any given society or culture, then a proper understanding of any society must include the consideration of unfulfilled aspirations which it produces" (Ruth Levitas). I have learned quite a lot from NSers but this conversation stayed with me, made me think about the current political system of democracy and its highs and lows.

A short recap of his lecture is below:

Technocracy is a political system defined by the leadership positions being held by the qualified so instead of a completely incapable Betsy deVos in charge of education, people with actual experience and a large knowledge base would hold positions. Free elections would be an illegitimate as a way to choose a leader. If you were going to have them they'd have to be from approved lists of those capable of actually doing the job. So no Trump. No vermin supreme either or whatever his name is.

Going onwards and downwards in the structure I see a council not unlike a cabinet made of various people appointed by said leader on the careful advice of many academics and field-professionals. This technocratic council would potentially have mechanisms to select from itself who the next leader is.

It's someone who's well versed in political theory, the system itself, how to manage people well that kind of thing. Going ever downwards members of the technocratic council have huge government departments like any normal government and those systems are already reasonably meritocratic-technocratic in the west already. It's basically a push for the state itself to not be hijacked away from pursuing a doctrine I call general progress. So while those departments may be well staffed today they're either rudderless or being steered in stupid directions by command from the top.

I see technocracy as a rejection of short term goals, focus-group and lobbyist serving policy.... and a method to embrace objective social improvement as a central goal, rather than political-ideological end.



I would love to do a series of short "Josh Explains ..." for Gameplay Magazine! On to the interview proper!

How did you learn about NationStates? How long have you been playing NS?

Omegle. Used to use it a lot (mostly to annoy Christians) because I was a very lonely person in the summer between high school and 6th form. Someone was saying “hey look at my nation” on the questions mode, so I did. Is how I first saw it. My forum profile says I’ve been around since September of 2015.


What is the significance or story behind your nation's name and flag?

My nation’s name is my name. Narcissism is funny like that. The flag is pretty cool rn, I’m flying a version of a flag I first got in a flag exchange contest thingy, but it’s now pride-ified. Bran from TWP did a pretty cool job with the pride variant.


Tell us about your early career in NationStates and the significant things you did to lead you to where you are today?

My early career was spent in the USSD, as many people are aware, and Altino had to downplay for ages, lol. I was Supreme Commissar there for a couple of months, re-wrote the constitution, and did a big FA push so that really got me into both legislation and FA things. Since then I’ve drifted around a lot, with probably my most success outside of Osiris being reviving Gay.


What region are you currently a part of? What do you like best about this region?

The main place I’m in right now is Osiris, where I am a guardian and Subvizier of Media. I like that I don’t feel a constant sense of frustration and the need to persistently fix things and do everything myself. After ages spent in places full of incompetents, it’s so nice to actually be able to trust people in the government not to do stupid shi* without your personal oversight.

Incompetence is probably one of the biggest frustrations in this game. How do you think a region can establish a culture that encourages competence?

Meritocracy is the way forward, people. If you want a robust regional government staffed with the best people then you need to make sure you're recruiting and promoting the best people. Every layer needs to be actively training people to take their place too, can't throw people in unprepared.

What are your thoughts on the various gameplay venues (forums, Discord, gameside\RMB)?

Aw man I love Discord as a social platform, and I’ve actually written an article arguing that forums are largely obsolete for Osi’s Oracle before. I think that gameside/RMB has a continuing place in regions, and Osi’s Gameside Affairs team certainly makes sure it’s handled well, but I generally view people who refuse to come and get into the discord community as something of an outsider to the regions they’re in. I think Discord has just become that integral.

I strongly recommend checking out the The Osiris Oracle for a great regional newspaper!


What has been your favorite historical moment in NS?

The war against the NPO was pretty cool for me; first major GP event I’d ever been able to feel like a part of. But also Altino’s reign in Osiris. Not so much a historic moment for the entirety of GP, but certainly one for Osiris, given how long it took the region to get effective governance going.


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

Ensure that Koth’s factions proposal got the green light and make sure the admins start working on it (and fixing up a load of other stuff) immediately. Also, maybe find more site admins to help out - seems necessary.


What do you do for fun when you're not on Nation States?

Drink. My drinks of choice are normally cider, white wine or whisky.


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Josh's Discord avatar has always been interesting. He likes it because it reflects some qualities about himself. Check out the interesting backstory here (alternate history France).


What is your favorite movie and\or TV and\or anime show(s)?

Star Trek. Such a good universe, explores many things. Yeah, I'm a trekkie. I'm probably gonna go with Picard as my favorite captain and TNG was definitely the thing that got me into it all, but I really like Sisko and DS9 as well.

Favorite book(s)?

I don’t really read anything, certainly nothing fictional. So I guess I’ll have to say academic historical works, mostly about modern European history, with a specific focus on Germany 1871-1945… with the added caveat that they’re audio books.

Favorite music?

I like a lot of things. Let’s go with Jazz. It really depends on my mood.

What is a game (outside of NS) that everyone should play?
Man I could take this in so many directions. Poker would be one, plus there’s a few entertaining drinking games to suggest… But nah, I’ll go with a video game. Go buy yourselves Europa Universalis 4 peeps. I don’t care that it’s £300 or whatever, it’s worth it.

So you wake up one morning and receive the delegacy of any region you choose. Which would you choose? And what would you do as delegate?

Balder, with the caveat that I want my delegacy to come with enough influence to ban its current establishment. And what would I do? I’d start fresh, reboot the whole place, and get it to a place where it’s actually an active, meaningful player in GP. Osiris would also be fun but shi* I do tends to end crashing and burning, so I might as well have fun with somewhere where that happening wouldn’t actually be a loss. I promise I’d try not to let it though XD

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A coup of Balder would finally get some much needed light-heartedness and these two guys as representatives of valor and mischief.


What is one change you would make to NationStates to help improve the game experience?
Give. Me. Factions.

How do you think or how would you articulate how factions would change Gameplay?

Factions should provide those who rely on the mechanics of the game, i.e. GPers, with something a lot more concrete to actually sink their teeth into. So I see it as a mechanical revitalisation, I guess. There's possibility for new playstyles, new ideologies... and hopefully it will increase emphasis on UCRs as GCRs theoretically would each create factions of their own and try to increase their power by enticing UCRs over. I can't see more than a couple of GCRs in each faction, certainly, so that will radically change the political dynamics.

Thanks to Josh for the interview and let's work on some "Josh Explains" series!

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Cormactopia Prime
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Founded: Sep 21, 2016
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Cormactopia Prime » Wed Jul 10, 2019 12:29 am

This was an interesting edition. I didn't know much about Altmoras, Bran Astor, or Erastide, so it was fun to learn a bit more about them. I've known Josh for a while so I did know a lot of the ground that was covered in his interview, but it was still interesting especially for others who know less about him.

That said...

Escade wrote:5. The East Pacific is having fun, trying out new colors and logos and some people are apparently upset. What can you say, especially when it's the pot calling the kettle?

New colors and logos aren't anyone's problem with TEP, and you know that. I liked this magazine 100% more when it was doing what it does best, and not doing some drive-by shilling for Feeder despots. Shilling for the likes of Fedele & Co., just because TSP criticized them, is beneath you.
Cormactopia Prime
Founder of the Republic of Thalassia

Justin Amash for President | "The greater the power, the more dangerous the abuse." - Edmund Burke

| LAND OF THE FREE ||AMERICAN||POLITICAL|| RP || IS || UP! | - JOIN NOW!

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Armaros
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Founded: Apr 06, 2018
Father Knows Best State

Postby Armaros » Wed Jul 10, 2019 1:45 am

An interesting read, as always. :)
An average Jo.
LWU | TBH | Lazarus | TEP
My opinions are solely mine. I do not speak for regions I'm involved with unless stated otherwise.

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Japanese Schoolgirls
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Founded: Aug 20, 2015
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Japanese Schoolgirls » Wed Jul 10, 2019 8:29 am

The interviews are definitely well-paced and reads well. It's always fun to see the interviewees enjoy elaborating on things they love to talk about and you see it well in these kinds of interviews. Great read from start to finish.
유애나 | YOU & I

| Community is my name and community-building is my game |



A Senator of the Pacific - internal affairs

Contact me for any matters regarding the Pacific and/or the NPO

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Escade
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Founded: Apr 11, 2013
Liberal Democratic Socialists

Postby Escade » Wed Jul 10, 2019 11:48 am

Cormactopia Prime wrote:This was an interesting edition. I didn't know much about Altmoras, Bran Astor, or Erastide, so it was fun to learn a bit more about them. I've known Josh for a while so I did know a lot of the ground that was covered in his interview, but it was still interesting especially for others who know less about him.

That said...

Escade wrote:5. The East Pacific is having fun, trying out new colors and logos and some people are apparently upset. What can you say, especially when it's the pot calling the kettle?

New colors and logos aren't anyone's problem with TEP, and you know that. I liked this magazine 100% more when it was doing what it does best, and not doing some drive-by shilling for Feeder despots. Shilling for the likes of Fedele & Co., just because TSP criticized them, is beneath you.



Hai, Cormac <3

Here's the thing I would love to get into an actual IC roleplay based "war" as it were over this or any other random issue but there just isn't enough fire and while we're both epic level performers when it comes to conflict - we don't live in that era anymore. Good luck with whatever it is you are trying to get fiery over though!

And the interviews are my absolute favorite part of the game. It's always fascinating seeing players outside whatever political ideology\camp they are part of and as the cool people they are :)

P.S. I really hope no one expected me to just be a good little socialite >:)

Armaros wrote:An interesting read, as always. :)


Thanks, Not-Evil-Cub :P

Japanese Schoolgirls wrote:The interviews are definitely well-paced and reads well. It's always fun to see the interviewees enjoy elaborating on things they love to talk about and you see it well in these kinds of interviews. Great read from start to finish.


Thank you! Looking forward to your reviews (and maybe stealing one for a GP issue) <3
Last edited by Escade on Wed Jul 10, 2019 12:47 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Big Bad Badger
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Founded: Apr 25, 2015
Civil Rights Lovefest

Postby Big Bad Badger » Wed Jul 10, 2019 3:09 pm

Great issue! I love that Bran is getting a little publicity. He does great work. Loved the Josh interview also!
Peace!
Mr. Badger

Former Delegate of The West Pacific

I've been told that raiding requires booze and a lack of pants! --Neenee

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Jar Wattinree
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Posts: 968
Founded: Dec 14, 2016
Iron Fist Consumerists

Postby Jar Wattinree » Wed Jul 10, 2019 3:20 pm

Escade wrote:5. The East Pacific is having fun, trying out new colors and logos and some people are apparently upset. What can you say, especially when it's the pot calling the kettle?

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Tribune of the New Pacific Order
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Escade
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Founded: Apr 11, 2013
Liberal Democratic Socialists

Postby Escade » Wed Jul 10, 2019 3:36 pm

Big Bad Badger wrote:Great issue! I love that Bran is getting a little publicity. He does great work. Loved the Josh interview also!
Peace!


Thanks! Bran is absolutely amazing and should get all the accolades <3 Josh half-promised me something so he's also <3

Jar Wattinree wrote:
Escade wrote:5. The East Pacific is having fun, trying out new colors and logos and some people are apparently upset. What can you say, especially when it's the pot calling the kettle?

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XD, you're on my list of people to capture in an interview.

And so the phoenix rose from the ashes
fiery, flamboyant and fiesty
and now we begin anew


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Escade
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Liberal Democratic Socialists

Postby Escade » Wed Aug 07, 2019 5:29 pm



~

Issue 8
August 7, 2019

In this eighth issue of the monthly magazine, we sit down with four NationStates personalities. First we interviewed a long time player and Harry Potter enthusiast, Cain. Then, we met up with sweet and stylish current delegate of The North Pacific, El Fiji Grande. Next, we sat down with the graceful and loquacious Kshrlmnt. Finally, we interviewed former delegate of Osiris, the gentle and humorous Lynxi.

This month for arts and culture we looked at the rise of eGaming and leave readers to wonder what the future of gaming looks like. Imagine if NS was an eSport and had a World Cup tournament? :P

Then, we imagine NSers as Cookies from the delightful game Cookie Run: Ovenbreak and suggest a potential NS mini-game that, instead of involving nukes or zombies, was all about raising money (through baking of delightful items) for politics.

Finally, in this issue's opinion piece I covered a topic that I, and I'm sure others, have been thinking and talking about in NationStates for some time. My hope is that players will be proactive about actually protecting our players (all of them) and help end the cycle of politicization of OOC matters.

Contents
Forum | Dispatch (Index of Issues)

Featured Personality: Cain
Forum |Dispatch

Arts & Culture: The Rise of eSports and eGaming
Forum | Dispatch

Featured Personality: El Fiji Grande
Forum | Dispatch

Opinion: How to Move from "Protecting Our Players Accord" to Actually Protecting Our Players
Forum | Dispatch

Featured Personality: Elindra aka Kshrlmnt
Forum |Dispatch

Style: NSers Cookie Run Edition
Forum | Dispatch

Featured Personality: Lynxi
Forum | Dispatch

Special thanks to Xoriet, Jar Wattinree and to all my interviewees especially with editing help! Special thanks to future interviewees who have been helping with this issue as well <3
Last edited by Escade on Sat Aug 10, 2019 11:02 am, edited 4 times in total.

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Escade
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Postby Escade » Wed Aug 07, 2019 5:29 pm

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Forum | Discord | Dispatch

~

Featured Personality: Cain
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Our guest today, is Dream Killers, a player who has been in the game for a longtime and is currently an admin in the East Pacific. I first met Cain because of the Harry Potter festival, he basically helped Slytherin sweep the "Fan Items" contest but submitting over a hundred Harry Potter fan fiction items. His collection was amazing and I got to see and learn about cool stuff that the general public did not!


How did you learn about NationStates? How long have you been playing NS?

In 2003 I was 10 years old and attending a private Christian school that had a decent computer lab. Every Thursday at the tail end of typing class we would be allowed to browse the internet and play games if we wanted. The problem with this is that they had a super expensive corporate grade filter that blocked pretty much everything fun. Ultimately, it came down to playing RuneScape and NationStates.

I originally started with NationStates at the behest of my friend Brett, who was really into politics at the time. I unfortunately do not remember any of my puppet details however I fondly recall sitting in the feeders staring at those blue UN icons and the people who had tons of endorsements wishing that I could somehow achieve that as well. I essentially sat in my original feeder, which looking back at it I believe was either The Pacific or The East Pacific, and answered issues. I was far too young to seriously understand the game or actually get involved beyond that. After a brief time, I stopped playing NationStates in favor of RuneScape because it was more interactive. Over the years I would come back to NationStates occasionally making a puppet in a vain attempt to start over again. Something kept telling me to come back for whatever reason. Each time I repeated this I would quickly lose interest and go back to RuneScape, Red Alert 2, or The Sims.

What is the significance or story behind your nation's name and flag?

My earlier nation names were cringey because I was an edgelord back in the day and used flags and everything to resemble that. This was back when being an edgy raider kid was not the largest trope in the game. Not OG, but not how bad it is now. (but still bad, lol) “Killjoy Snipers” “Dream Killers”

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Many NSers have played and been inspired by Halo. It's a rule of thumb that the younger you started this game, the cringier you were back then :P


Tell us about your early career in NationStates and the significant things you did to lead you to where you are today?

In April of 2008 I came back to NationStates and made the nation "KILLJOY SNIPERS". My first notable persona, KillJoy, comes from this nation. The inspiration was Halo because at the time I was an avid fan as well as a member of Game Battles, where you could play the game competitively against semi-professional teams. KillJoy is the name of an award in the Halo series that is earned by ending a kill streak of another player. I was recruited by Island Union to a region called "The Neo-Genesis Movement" which was the first UCR that I had ever actually been involved in. During my time here I mostly mingled with people on the forums. Some notable names from this time are: Swarmlandia, Pazardjiik, Taipei, Island Union, Corb135, Defenestrated, Siriam, and Earth22. I believe the highest position that I presided over was Senator with a very short stint as Minister of Defense. The Neo-Genesis Movement or NGM as we called it was essentially neutral in Gameplay however we were for some reason locked in a war with Gatesville.

I completely forgot why and I just remember the whole region being opposed to them. Over roughly half a year the region imploded several times and was reformed until Swarm decided to quit the game. Those of us that had remained somewhat active broke off on our own paths – divided by alignment. Corb, Earth, and I went off and founded a new region called "The Wrath of Rezrick" which never seriously got off the ground due to time constraints. I also vaguely remember trying to infiltrate the FRA by literally walking in the front door under the name "Infinity Ward and "blending in" by doing the exact opposite. I had zero clue how the FRA worked at that time and being as foolish as I was then, did not care.

It was around this time that I had my first real experiences with the NationStates intelligence game. I was contacted by an individual known only as Matt who wanted to recruit me for an organization called "Xilium". Everyone signed up under pseudonyms and we were not allowed to talk to each other outside our predetermined assignments where we were paired up into groups of two agents each with 3 groups in total. We operated completely independent from the NationStates site and interacted with the game strictly through puppets. During this time I did not have my main nation KILLJOY SNIPERS active. For all intents and purposes I had openly quit the game. For the next two months we were taught the basics of NationStates intelligence warfare focusing mainly on infiltration and subversion techniques with a primer on social engineering.

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After we passed a battery of tests I was paired with my partner and given a task: Find a region, infiltrate it, and burn it to the ground. I did not find a region in time, so I just helped my partner neutralize the target they found. This requires clarification for the record. We strictly used intelligence techniques the take over the region. We did not hack passwords of any sort and we did not destroy the forums. We moved in, lied to the natives, gained their trust, got into positions of power, and shut the region down. This was purely as a test and when it was over the natives did not understand the real reasoning as to what was going on. They accepted the fact that the region was dead and moved on. Xilium was short lived as the leader became inactive. To this day I believe that it was a proof of concept more than something serious. The way it was all handled screamed experiment to me. I have no clue what happened with the forums after that as I believe we were all banned from it. I have since lost the link and the name of this region to time, as insignificant as they are in the scheme of things.

In January of 2009 I went mainstream with Corb. We started out in The Alliance of Queens and The New Inquisition shortly after that. In AoQ I met some rather incredible individuals such as Lady Jane Grey who allowed me to join the legendary Grey family as her brother. I also was introduced to Govindia here, a rather unsavory fellow who I have many regrets over to this day. I used AoQ as a way to initially cope with the mainstream high-octane activity in TNI at the time. I had never been a part of something so intricate or expected to do things on this level. It took time to adjust, and The Alliance of Queens was the perfect median. This is when I honestly began getting into NationStates Gameplay. I officially crossed the border from Neutral to Imperialist when I enlisted in The New Inquisition Armed Forces and was finally taught the basics of R/D gameplay.

The problem with the TNIAF that I soon realized however, was that many in this organization used their rank and office as embellishment in what was essentially Roleplay. I had joined under the pretense that I was going to be a cog in a much larger militarily driven machine that exacted the will of the region on foreign shores, not sitting around on a forum talking about things that we could actually be doing. Despite my best efforts I was mostly ignored in The New Inquisition because of the significant age gap between the established user base and myself as well as my backwater origins. The only thing that was really driving me to stay involved was the prospect of having a good raid every now and then. I also got much more active within AoQ and decided to run for the position of Minister of Defense since the establishment of a regional militia was on the table. I never believed the region to actually be in danger as it had an active founder and later on I knew that since key founding members of the region had strong raider ties it would never be the target of raider regions worth their salt. It would be considered a raider region and if anything, protected from outside aggression.

In March of 2009 we started to have frequent joint military operations with organizations such as The Black Hawks, Unknown, Lone Wolves United, and The Dominion. I began to meet actual raiders such as Savaer, Evil Wolf, and Red Back. I had to mentally compare these individuals to that of my military commanders in TNIAF. I did not like what I saw. Increasingly less soldiers were active for update and our military was slipping. I decided that I would ultimately leave the TNIAF and join an actual military organization. I had really hit it off with Savaer and Evil Wolf in particular - nothing against Red Back, though. On April 15th, 2009 I joined Unknown. Roughly a month later the TNIAF was at such a low that the Empress of TNI, Viktoria Gryfynn Somerset, wanted to raid but had no one to raid with in the TNIAF. We organized an operation and managed to take South America that night with dirties. If anything, it was a confirmation that I had made the right choice in leaving.

Thank you so much for the details; it's interesting how much the landscape of the game has changed but we often cross path with the same players.

What region are you currently a part of? What do you like best about this region?

The last region I was seriously involved in was The East Pacific.

What are your thoughts on the various gameplay venues (forums, Discord, gameside\RMB)?

Every venue has a legitimate place within the scheme of things and while NationStates is still trying to adjust to how Discord has affected the community we need to remember the various interim periods between the previous chat methods widely employed. MSN messenger, Skype, YIM, AIM, etc. IRC was used extensively as well. The growing pains with swapping these services out for alternatives can take time to fully realize. Fracturing of communities can also happen with overzealous implementation. The key is knowing which grouping of these are the most effective way to maintain or establish control of the situation and properly utilizing them to your ends.

What has been your favorite historical moment in NS?


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

I’d shut the game down, lol.

What do you do for fun when you're not on Nation States?

I really enjoy reading and playing actual games. These days I am rarely doing anything on NS and I love it. I recommend it.

What is your favorite movie and\or TV and\or anime show(s)?

My favorite movie is The Watchmen. TV show would be Star Trek (any series). Anime? SAO is not that bad, but I don’t want much of that anymore.

Favorite book(s)?

Pretty much every book by Robin Cook and Michael Crichton. “Jurassic Park,” “Timeline,” “Airframe,” “Toxin” come to mind.

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Michael Crichton wrote many books that have also become movies, before his untimely death.


Favorite music?
Classic Rock, though you would be hard pressed to find music I do not like.

What is a game (outside of NS) that everyone should play?

I would say that most NS’ers who actually play video games have it right AS-IS with 4X titles and strategy games. I personally recommend the Anno series, particularly Anno 1404/Dawn of Discovery: Venice and Anno 1800 for the intricate logistics networks needed to drive your civilization to greatness.

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A gorgeous still from Anno 1404/Dawn of Discovery: Venice


So you wake up one morning and receive the delegacy of any region you choose. Which would you choose? And what would you do as delegate?

I would choose a GCR, likely one of the spicy ones because why not. A feeder, because the sinkers already get so much love. I’d say TNP because they probably could use a good shake up. I would set in motion a bevy of changes aimed at making the game a more lighter and sarcastic environment. People have been forced to take things way too seriously for it to be honestly fun anymore. The lines of IC and OOC discourse have been blurred to the point of almost being indistinguishable from each other at times. How and why would anyone willingly endure that kind of abuse? Especially in an alleged, “game”. To get an actual chance at attempting to change that you might as well go to the source and start a precedent.


What is one change you would make to NationStates to help improve the game experience?

I would delete influence entirely. Original, right? Make NationStates Fun Again. God Bless.

It's a sentiment shared by many! Thank you to Cain for this interview and also for sharing his HP fandom collection and inspiring goals!

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Liberal Democratic Socialists

Postby Escade » Wed Aug 07, 2019 5:29 pm

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Gameplay Magazine - Arts & Culture - The Rise of eSports and eGaming


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Wondering about that purple llama pinata that pops up everywhere (as a plushie, phone case, etc). It's from Fortnite!


Most of us who play games have heard the inevitable, "Why are you wasting your time\life?" or "No one ever gained anything from playing games.." or some variation thereof. While we play games for many reasons (entertainment, escape, etc), society often thinks of gaming as a frivolous activity that doesn't teach a person anything or has no intrinsic value in itself (even though as an experience playing a game is much like reading a book). The rise of eSports (short for electronic sports) though has monetized gameplaying for the players in a way that intends to reward those elite players who spend time, effort (and sometimes money) to hone their skills to an art. The Solo winner of the Fortnite World Cup, a 16 year old from Pennslyvania, won $3 million. He spent an average of 6 hours a day (including school days) playing\practicing and it seems like his hard work paid off.


The Top 10 Prize Pools Per eSport Tournament Are

1) The 2019 Fortnite World Cup Finals – $30.4 million
2) The International 8 (Dota 2) – $25.5 million
3) The 2018 League of Legends World Championship – $6.4 million
4) Fortnite Fall Skirmish Series – Clubs Standings – $4 million
5) The Dota 2 Asia Championship – $3 million
6) The Dota 2 Valve Majors – $3 million
7) The 2015 Smite World Championship – $2.6 million
8 ) The 2016 Halo World Championship – $2.5 million
9) The 2016 Call of Duty World League Championship – $2 million
10) The 2017 Mid-Season Invitational (League of Legends) – $1.7 million

Source



If you've ever played a game you know it can be fun to watch another person play or in some cases might even hand over the hard parts for someone else to play for you. Many many livestreams exist where people watch other people play games. Therefore eSports, tournaments where people watch others play games competitively for prizes, doesn't come as a surprise.

In 2016, eSports generated about $492.7 million U.S. dollars in revenue and is expected to earn about $1.48 billion U.S. dollars in 2020. For those elite gamers who manage to make it to the top, there is a possibility for an impressive financial reward (comparatively the first esports reward for the game Quake resulted in the winner getting a Ferrari 328). Epic Games, the maker of Fortnite, gave away $30 million to 100 competitors in this year's tournament. Of course, Fortnite also made $2.4 billion alone in 2018 and the game, just on the iOS platform (Apple), makes about $1.5 million a day. While the majority of the eSports games can be played without spending any money, players pay for custom content, expansions, skins, energy or powerups and an assortment of things that help boost, quicken or enhance their game experience. Game merchandise has made it to mainstream stores like Target and Walgreens (which both sell Fornite branded items like the purple llama pinata).

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The movie Ready Player One, based on a book, explores a dystopian world where people play the virtual reality game OASIS to escape the drudgery of an overpopulated world. Players end up competing for ownership of the company itself in the game.



So what does the future look like for gamers? Will everything be gamified? Will colleges offer "gamer" or "eSports" scholarships? Will some people lament being born in the wrong era? The majority of us will probably still play games for entertainment and excitement first and foremost with the elite few being able to make the big bucks. Those of us who invest a lot of time in games might be told by others, "Why can't you make money while you waste your time like that Bugha boy!" And there's definitely going to be that one kid who tells their parent, "If you only let me play longer, we might be rich now!" :P

Imagine if there was a NationStates eSport tournament? Hypothetically, of course, if NS ever monetized in a way that was highly lucrative enough to support such tournaments. The drama and salt alone would be intense!

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Escade
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Liberal Democratic Socialists

Postby Escade » Wed Aug 07, 2019 5:29 pm

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Featured Personality: El Fiji Grande
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Our guest today, is El Fiji Grande, delegate of the North Pacific and editor\stylist for the The Northern Lights. I first met El Fiji Grande during the Harry Potter Festival where he submitted some beautiful hand-drawn artwork and showed his Ravenclaw pride. Since then he's proven to be a rising NS player with great contributions to culture and community in TNP.

How did you learn about NationStates? How long have you been playing NS?
I heard about NationStates a number of years ago from a friend who mentioned it as something I might be interested in, as I enjoy puzzle games. He played NS mostly for the issues, which is why he thought I might like it. While initially I did answer a lot of the issues, I’ve since found that I far prefer other aspects of the game, such as the politics and community. I’ve been playing since January 2013.

What is the significance or story behind your nation's name and flag?
My nation’s name has no significance, but my flag is really important to me. My flag is my dog Sam, who died in 2013. He was a pure-black German Shepherd, and the most loyal, close friend I had growing up. My flag is a memorial to and celebration of his wonderful life.

That's sweet and sad at the same time.

Tell us about your early career in NationStates and the significant things you did to lead you to where you are today?
I don’t recall where I was founded, but besides visiting a few prominent regions, I ultimately found a place by the name of Strategos Prime (SP) to call home. I was there from its start, and soon it became a bustling region. I became elected to a wide variety of positions, the culminating moment of which was the delegacy. By that time, though, SP was starting to fall apart, so at my direction, we merged with a handful of other regions to form the International Northwestern Union (INWU). As a region formed by the fusion of several cultures and regional identities, early life in the INWU was fractious and fraught with conflict. After a month-long constitutional convention, I was elected delegate for two terms. In that time, a large faction split off, but I helped write the compromises that led to our reunion. Following those terms in office, my capacity to be involved on NS slowly faded, as I became a university student and real life responsibilities took the helm. While I did serve two additional, non-consecutive delegacy terms in the following years, it wasn’t the same. Over time, a lot of my old friends left the region, and a new constitution was written, throwing out our regional government - and with it, my main remaining source of enjoyment there. That was the breaking point, and that’s why I decided to seek a new home.

After some research and deliberation, I decided on The North Pacific. It was the summer of 2018, and I had a lot of time to spare. I quickly became involved in regional affairs, and swiftly rose to the office of Minister of Communications. In that capacity, I revamped The Northern Lights, the Northern Broadcast Service, and helped start a roleplay-oriented publication in The Roleplay Reel. Leap-frogging off of my success in Communications, I submitted my bid for delegacy and won, fulfilling an age-old personal challenge to become the leader of a GCR.

What region are you currently a part of? What do you like best about this region?
As I mentioned in the previous question, I’m currently serving as Delegate of The North Pacific. The reason I chose TNP originally is because I was impressed with the numerous opportunities afforded to newcomers to get involved, and the meritocratic programs of the Executive Staff that allow new talent to rise swiftly. My favorite aspects of TNP are these meritocratic staffing programs paired with a thriving democracy for higher office and an active, invested community to back it up.

What are your thoughts on the various gameplay venues (forums, Discord, gameside\RMB)?
I made a big transition when I came to TNP - from relying mainly on the RMB and Telegrams for everyday communication to switching over almost entirely to Discord and DMs respectively. The forums play roughly the same role, but I really appreciate how nearly all official communication takes place there as opposed to Discord. I used to hate Discord, but I’ve now become accustomed to it, and grown to appreciate how easy it is to reliably communicate with officials abroad.

What has been your favorite historical moment in NS?
I've always really enjoyed festivals. While I didn't attend any of the more recent world fairs, my favorite moment in NS must be NS World Fair 3. I really enjoyed collecting badges in each of the regional booths and following along with the lecture topics which bravely discussed serious issues facing NS. Those lecture formats became an inspiration for my work with The Northern Lights.

If you were Max Barry for a day, what would you do?
I’d likely spend the entire day answering questions for What Max Reckons in his typical dry humor. Either that, or reveal my true identity as [violet] once and for all.

Max Barry is violet?!?!?! :O

What do you do for fun when you're not on NationStates?
I play a lot of board games. My favorites are Twilight Struggle, Dominant Species, and Inis, probably in that order, but it depends on who you’re playing with. Besides that, I solve puzzles, read, hike, swim, fly my drone, assemble model planes, and paint.

What is your favorite movie and\or TV and\or anime show(s)?
My favorite movie is Gattaca, and my favorite TV show is The West Wing. I don’t know if this counts as anime, but I really like the short Shelter by Porter Robinson and Madeon. I also love Studio Ghibli’s My Neighbor Totoro, which is best in the original Japanese.

Favorite book(s)?
I’ve read too many to count, so it’s really difficult picking a favorite. It’s probably The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert A. Heinlein. Others that come to mind are the Foundation series by Isaac Asimov and the Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson. I also particularly like the short stories Nightfall by Asimov and The Arena by Frederic Brown.

Favorite music?
I don’t really have a favorite song. Just a few years ago, I would have said I disliked nearly all music, but I’ve since expanded my horizons and opened my mind. What I listen to naturally depends on circumstance and mood. For instance, for study, I enjoy hybrid rock - the kind of stuff that goes in movie trailers - of particular note being the work of composer Mark Petrie. When relaxing, I mostly enjoy classic rock from the ‘60s through the ‘80s. I even have a special playlist for Twilight Struggle that’s Cold War-themed. There are also certain songs I associate with books that I like more than I think I otherwise would. An example of that would be Radioactive by Imagine Dragons that I associate with The Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld.

What is a game (outside of NS) that everyone should play?
As I’ve mentioned above, I highly recommend Twilight Struggle. It’s a board game about the titanic struggle for global ideological domination between the United States and the Soviet Union between 1945 and 1991, ending roughly with the fall of the Berlin Wall. It’s got a Steam adaptation which makes training against the AI and playing against more challenging opponents quite practical.

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Twilight Struggle is not another tween Vampire book but instead of a serious political boardgame about the "titanic struggle for global ideological domination between the United States and the Soviet Union." Check it out!


So you wake up one morning and receive the delegacy of any region you choose. Which would you choose? And what would you do as delegate?
The North Pacific is my home, and I could not ask for a more perfect region. I would be honored to serve a second term as delegate. I’d see it as a continuation of my efforts this term to expand ongoing programs such as NBS and to share intercultural experiences through festivals with regions abroad.

What is one change you would make to NationStates to help improve the game experience?
It would be nice to have a single button that automatically endorses everyone in the region. Alternatively, this could be something set by regional executives to only include regional officers, say.

I really love the idea of an endorse all button, that would make life so much easier! Plus players already have scripts for it that they dole out so this would make it more accessible.


Thanks to El Fiji Grande for the interview!

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Escade
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Liberal Democratic Socialists

Postby Escade » Wed Aug 07, 2019 5:30 pm

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Opinion: How to Move from "Protecting Our Players Accord" to Actually Protecting Our Players


Since March of 2019, several regions signed onto a public document titled Protecting Our Players Accord.

In summation, the document establishes that a significant percentage of the NS population is legally underage. And that sexting, sexual or erotic roleplay, and communication of a sexual nature is not welcome specifically between legal adults and minors in any context. This does not impact consensual relationships of a sexual nature between adults.

There are some who might wonder why clearly specifying that underage sexual interactions are taboo or illegal would be necessary but we have both online and real world examples of adults engaging in predatory behavior towards minors\children\the under aged. Someone not familiar with the vagaries of most social internet platforms or of the many examples of NationStates' notorious cases revolving around predatory or sexually abusive behavior might be confused why a statement needed to be made. However, such statements and further education on how to behave appropriately are needed on NationStates because of a real and traceable history of predatory behavior. There have been some serious cases of players sexually harassing and abusing others in this game including cases in which the abuser has gone unpunished and indeed thrives. "Punishment" itself is arbitrarily enforced and uneven.

In the real world people having to deal with Harvey Weinstein or his ilk resorted to and resort to certain roles (supporting or excusing his abominable behavior, using "boys will be boys" rhetoric, considering him a "friend" and therefore above the law or "not as bad" as "others," avoiding doing anything for fear of retaliation, being victimized and forced to share space with the abuser, victims losing privileges or opportunities because they refuse to comply with his sexual aggression, etc). This is replicated in NationStates as well where people who are "friends" with sexual abusers have attempted to determine right and wrong when they do not hold any moral authority whatsoever, as apologists for predators, to do so.

Responses to the Protecting Our Players Accord document were largely positive. Most attempts to critique it were either ignored (some rightly so) or attacked. Some of the signatories are notorious for the lack of protection of players or have had serious issues with actual responsible administration or moderation in the past. There was the age-old NS tactic of trying to manipulate valid critiques as "well if you're attacking this you must be for underage sexual exploitation or you're a bad person." In fact, this opinion itself would be construed by some as an "attack" (and in fact a player, as indeed predictable, did indeed attempt to engage in this type of insidious rhetoric in a Discord discussion). If simply bringing up how a document could actually become more than mere words and be a functional way to protect our players is to be twisted into an attack then the premise and purpose of the document becomes questionable. Is this document intended to actually protect players? Or is it intended to give the appearance of such without the follow through?

The title of the accords are somewhat confusing and something akin to, "Protecting Our Underage Players" might have been more apt since the document does not cover sexual harassment against adults by other adults (or in some cases minors). Perhaps that might be a future goal, "protecting (all) our players" or perhaps not.

This section, is interesting and of note because of the precedent set in the case of a former delegate banned for allegedly multiple reasons (sans clear and confirmable evidence) but in total seemingly banned for negligent behavior in protecting players:

"While it is not possible for regional governments to police every interaction, nor is it possible to guarantee the safety of any of its members, it is the hope of the signatories that by taking this stand against certain behaviours in our regions, we will promote a climate where keeping others safe is a goal for everyone."


Standards of behavior, appropriate and inappropriate, vary from region to region. The standards are also applied, often haphazardly, from region to region and even within regions. An administrative statement must be clear, honest, forthright and have actual evidence for any and all allegations made therein. Otherwise administration continues to be seen as nothing more than a political weapon in NationStates. Sometimes players who should be banned or at least warned for poor behavior are allowed to slide or even given more power such as being added to the administration team. While those players who are not popular or favored by those in power are punished severely for the same types of behavior.

To be clear I am not calling out any particular region or administration in NationStates because the number of times the above situation (a player being mistreated or misrepresented by the alleged authority or administration of a region) has occurred means there are no innocents and as long as the current system stands, this will continue. While a region may choose to ban a player for bad behavior, standards of behavior should be applied to everyone (along with a frank discussion about the length and breadth of the ban). If you ban one player for Action B and reward another player for Action B by making them a minister - you are not administrating you are playing politics.

Really the first rule of player safety is to keep NS and real life as separate as possible. Do not invite people into your other social media accounts or anything that could lead to your real information unless you are prepared for them to "mine" it for malicious reasons. Consent between adults is key. There can be no consent between an adult and a minor.

Returning to the quote, "While it is not possible for regional governments to police every interaction, nor is it possible to guarantee the safety of any of its members, it is the hope of the signatories that by taking this stand against certain behaviours in our regions, we will promote a climate where keeping others safe is a goal for everyone.", from the Protecting Our Players Accord. This section of the text in fact attempts to absolve signatories from actually being responsible for any legal actions (or to some degree moral responsibility it seems) over the abusive behavior of others. On the one hand, this (making it clear players are not legally responsible) could be understood because no one can monitor every interaction between players and especially private interactions between players over DMs or beyond. On the other hand, "promoting a climate where keeping others safe is a goal for everyone" takes on a moral responsibility to inform, educate and create awareness to what safety is and how to maintain a safe environment.

NationStates has a long history of players crowing about safety but never actually doing anything concrete to ensure safety. Numerous excuses are offered for why it's not possible, and the game will hit over two decades soon. Let's respond to these excuses step by step:
    [1.] It's too hard - That means you are not actually committed to safety. If you were you would be willing to put in the time and effort to actually help develop and\or at least support transparent and accountable ways to ensure player safety.

    [2.] It would be too hard to get every region to agree to a base set of standards. This is not a political horse and pony show about how many regions you can collect or how you can show your "power." This is about long-term sustainable safety for all players that is needed because NSers keep hitting cases of abuse and dealing with them haphazardly. If it was only your region or community involved it would still be a step forward. Remove the players who are in it to flex their "power" and work with those willing to listen and dialogue.

    [3.] Players would weaponize the rules\guidebook: Look around, NS is a shi*storm of players weaponizing anything and everything for political IC game. Hell we've had a scandal where players exchanged sexting for political favors\support (and there are several players who were part of this exchange who have not been punished in any way). Where is the follow through on that?

    [4.] Different regional cultures mean different levels of "acceptable" behavior. If your regional culture enjoys sexual innuendo, this endeavor is not trying to turn it into a prudish one by any means. It is trying to argue that perhaps you should have 18 and above channels on Discord where that is acceptable along with other rules and guidelines that keep exposure to mature content to those that are the right age group for that content and are interested in it.


How many times has an NSer been in a VoiceChat or in a Discord channel where a player has heard references to other players porn interests, sexual interests, or had a non sexual comment (or non sexual image or GIF) they posted turned into sexual innuendo or jokes? When you care about ensuring player safety you ensure that only those mature (legally) and interested are receiving in and engaging in that type of content. That also prevents sexual harassment of players of any age.

So what the hell are you asking us to do, Escade?

There are players who have been active and on the forefront of actually dealing with sexual harassment and safety in this game for some time. I suggest they, with the support of those who care and are active in protecting players develop a guide that uses vetted resources from organizations and institutions that:
    [1.] define and explain common terms such as sexting, gaslighting, grooming, and sexual harassment using direct quotes from official institutions\sites\legal pages (including the NationStates guidelines and as clear as those outlined by the FBI)

    [2.] list the actual scenarios (without clearly identifying information of the abusers or victims) of things that have occurred in NS as examples of bad behavior and things to watch out for (as well as the consequences for the abusive players)

    [3.] clarify and create a process for reporting: how is evidence to be submitted or provided by victims in a way that protects their identity? how is evidence to be vetted in a way that respects the victim's distress, but also protects the identify of the alleged abuser until proven guilty?

    [4.] create a series of consequences that go from "trying to educate this player to be a better member of the community" to "permanently banned" based on 1 and 2

    [5.] discuss this guide and any additions\revisions\suggestions with your community or group and help improve upon it

    [6.] if it is possible, at this point, then make the guide clear, transparent and available and applicable to all. once enough people are on board who actually care then the players who have used this issue as a political weapon will no longer be able to do so. no more protecting "friends," no more punishing "enemies" without evidence.


If you aren't willing to do the above then simply put, you are far more enamored with the idea of appearing to give an eff then actually giving an eff. If that's the case then kindly step out of the conversation.

Finally, this is Work in Progress, not a final statement. There are some mistakes that players can make that allow them to come back (like some DOS players) and others that should not be allowed to come back at any point. Players have also made mistakes consistently in trying to administrate or moderate fairly but there are those that are honest about having made such mistakes and apologize or otherwise make up for them and those that refuse to do so and continue to twist OOC matters.

Two names that come to mind for this project are Xoriet and HEM. These are players who have been dealing with these issues for a long time and acknowledge the difficulties (and mistakes) but keep trying.


Here are some resources, from institutions and organizations, that focus on explaining and creating awareness on the following key topics related to protecting players:

Sexual Harassment
https://www.eeoc.gov/laws/types/sexual_harassment.cfm
https://www.thefire.org/examples-of-sexual-harassment/
https://www.rainn.org/national-resources-sexual-assault-survivors-and-their-loved-ones
https://www.un.org/womenwatch/osagi/pdf/whatissh.pdf

Gaslighting

https://www.thehotline.org/what-is-gaslighting/
https://www.vox.com/first-person/2018/12/19/18140830/gaslighting-relationships-politics-explained
https://www.nbcnews.com/better/health/what-gaslighting-how-do-you-know-if-it-s-happening-ncna890866
https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/here-there-and-everywhere/201701/11-warning-signs-gaslighting

Grooming
http://www.oprah.com/oprahshow/child-sexual-abuse-6-stages-of-grooming/all
https://www.nspcc.org.uk/what-is-child-abuse/types-of-abuse/grooming/
https://www.allure.com/story/what-is-sexual-grooming-abuse
https://victimsofcrime.org/media/reporting-on-child-sexual-abuse/grooming-dynamic-of-csa

Resources for Victims of Child Pornography
https://www.justice.gov/criminal-ceos/citizens-guide-us-federal-law-child-pornography
https://www.fbi.gov/resources/victim-services/cpva
https://www.fbi.gov/investigate/violent-crime/cac
https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/how-the-fbi-tracks-down-child-pornography-predators

Online Safety Resources
https://www.commonsense.org/education/digital-citizenship/internet-safety
http://www.athinline.org/
https://thatsnotcool.com/
https://www.esafety.gov.au/
https://internetsafety101.org/
https://catsresearch.org.uk/
Last edited by Escade on Sat Aug 24, 2019 8:57 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Escade
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Postby Escade » Wed Aug 07, 2019 5:30 pm

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Featured Personality: Elindra (also known as) Kshrlmnt
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Our guest today, is Kshrlmnt, a creative player who created or helped support some fun NS GP projects like Lolcats and Disney Princesses. Kshrlmnt also did a stealth invasion of The Proletariat Coalition which is probably the coolest raid anyone has ever pulled off in NS. Most of my conversations with Kshrlmnt have been for advice when something incendiary was happening, "how to write better" mini-lessons (thanks <3), and fashion\clothes. Due to a fun TWP Secret Santa event I also got to make her a cool banner.


How did you learn about NationStates? How long have you been playing NS?
If I recall correctly, I found Max's writing blog via a post on creating the cover of Jennifer Government. When I found out he'd created a game to promote his book, I had to check it out. That was back in early 2010, and I've been haunting NS since.

That's pretty cool! I think you're the first player I've met who found the game through the books rather than the other way around! Fave Max Barry book?

What is the significance or story behind your nation's name and flag?
I must have made my nation not too long after studying sonority sequencing in linguistics; I wanted something that was pronounceable without vowels. I've cycled through various flags over the years, but my current is one of my favorites and was one I used early on. It's a pencil drawing by Jerry Cai.

Tell us about your early career in NationStates and the significant things you did to lead you to where you are today?
I was a quiet issues&RMB person for 6 months or so, but happened to log on in the middle of an attempted coup in late 2010. I started messaging people to see what was going on and, once peace was restored, got more heavily involved. I got married, started learning to raid, and had a lot of fun. My best raid was The Proletariat Coalition, but I enjoyed smaller raids as well, bouncing around and playing tricks on TITO. When a leadership gap opened up in Unknown later in 2011 I was named regent and later Archempress of Unknown. I've met people all over NS and enjoy hanging out in several regions, but Unknown is and always will be my home.

What region are you currently a part of? What do you like best about this region?
I'm the Archempress of Unknown, though functionally we're quietly retired (like Vesuvius?). I love that we've got a cultural mix of roleplay and gameplay that I've never seen anywhere else. I also hold citizenship in TWP (poet laureate ftw) and TEP, where I admire their strong effort to keep the region clean without losing its uniqueness.


What kind of poetry do you write? What are some of your favorite poems?

I mostly stick to writing limericks and haiku for special occasions nowadays, with the occasional villanelle thrown in. For reading, I enjoy poets such as Ogden Nash, T. S. Eliot, Carol Ann Duffy, Robert Frost, John Donne, and Allen Ginsberg.

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The poem Homework by Allen Ginsberg, which Kshrlmnt believes to reflect NS :P


What are your thoughts on the various gameplay venues (forums, Discord, gameside\RMB)?
They're all good for different things: the RMB for drawing in newcomers, regional forums for in-depth organization and records, NS forums for public announcements, and Discord (and the chats before it) for building community and connections. I was originally a grump about changing MSN for Skype and then Skype for Discord, but I think Discord has the best of all these worlds (except the ability to change your font)

What has been your favorite historical moment in NS?
Gameplay, I'm a bit of a "good old times" person and still treasure the raid on The Proletariat Coalition. Culturally, my NS Lolcats and collaborating on the NS Disney posts.

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

What would the next book be about (as written by Kshrlmnt possessing Max Barry)?

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A banner I made for Kshrlment last year to capture her essence!


What do you do for fun when you're not on Nation States?
I read voraciously, bake, knit, and make jewelry.

Oh that's super cool. What is the last book you read?

The last delictable delight you baked?

What types of items do you usually knit?

Also OMG JEWELRY MAKING - what do you make?


What is your favorite movie and\or TV and\or anime show(s)?
I like a wide variety of things, particularly superhero, sci-fi, and mystery (with a splash of Disney). I'm a total Rapunzel. If I think more deeply, though, I think I'd have to call Man of La Mancha my favorite movie.

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Man of La Mancha is a 1972 adaptation of the eponymous musical and based on Don Quixote, and is a film starring Sophia Loren and Peter O'Toole


Favorite book(s)?
Too many to count. I tend to like series with a cross between characters and strategy, particularly in reading fantasy, a bit of sci-fi, and history. A few worth mentioning are Narnia, Ender's Game, Pride and Prejudice, and Eichmann in my Hands. I've also been reading a decent amount of theology and church history lately, too.

Favorite music?
Classical and folk (particularly Celtic and Quebecois), but my YouTube playlist has everything from French pop to steampunk.

Also, if I could be bothered to play a musical instrument (which I can't, because mostly I stick to arts I can hold in my hand), it'd be the hurdy-gurdy.

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The hurdy gurdy is a string instrument where strings are attached to a wheel and cranked to create sound. It's a historical instrument and comes in many beautiful designs.


What is a game (outside of NS) that everyone should play?
National Security Decision Making Game. It's like NS politics irl, sans salt. I also enjoyed the first Pandemic Legacy.

So you wake up one morning and receive the delegacy of any region you choose. Which would you choose? And what would you do as delegate?
I'd choose a large region with an executive WAD so I could post poetry wherever I wanted and kick anyone who complained.

What is one change you would make to NationStates to help improve the game experience?
For mechanics: put the promised delay in the activity feed so stealth raiding is viable again. For culture: to be honest I don't fully know what mods could do, but I'd tell a new player to avoid the drama and seek out the pockets of more mature and experienced players, particularly in older regions. It'll be better for your sanity.


Thank you to Kshrlmnt for the interview :)

User avatar
Escade
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Posts: 1018
Founded: Apr 11, 2013
Liberal Democratic Socialists

Postby Escade » Wed Aug 07, 2019 5:31 pm

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Gameplay Magazine - Style - NSers Cookie Edition

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When thinking of NS mini-games and events, I thought that politicians are far more likely to engage in fundraising (for PACs and lobbies, etc) than to come across nukes or zombies (at least hopefully). What could be more delightful than a mini-event that revolved around raising money perhaps through the selling of baked goods (scrumptious cookies and cupcakes and cakes and brownies and pastries oh my)

My all time favorite games has to be Cookie Run: OvenBreak and I've been playing it on and off for years. The game has always been aesthetically delightful and Devsisters (a South Korean gaming developer) has consistently worked on improving the game and making it fun to play whether or not you buy things. While the game has changed a lot since its first iterations, one thing remains constant (the constant updates) and the adorable cookies and their pets!

Recently, the game released Season 4 with Sands of Yogurca, an Aladdin inspired theme. Each cookie and pet (along with the events) has a backstory. P.S. 90% of the cookies are gendered as "female" but that was irrelevant in the selection.

Without further ado, Cookie Run: NS Edition:



Aleister
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Gumball Cookie
"The hard outside and soft inside of a gumball was separated, then evenly mixed into this cookie batter... and Ta-Da! Gumball Cookie was born! If you smell sweet and sour aroma, Gumball Cookie is nearby! He is out on a mission to transform the "boring" into colorful and fun! Walls? Ceilings? Obstacles? Everything is a canvas for this mischievous cookie! It is said that he even made the Witch angry for coloring her oven the day after he was born. For such reasons, he is resented at times but he will stop at nothing to share his art with the world. When he discovered the City of Wizards, he danced with joy for finding a canvas like world waiting to be colored!"

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Altino
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Macaron Cookie
"Did you think this Cookie was made with artificial food colorings? Guess again! She was made with 100% all-natural ingredients. Even her long, gorgeous eyelashes are completely organic. Cookies are drawn to her friendly smile and gentle voice. In fact, cute little macaron animals love to gather around her too. Once she starts playing her macaron drum, the macaron animals start a little parade. At times, the parade can get out of hands, but Macaron Cookie still enjoys the company anyway. When she gets really excited, Macaron Cookie may debut her most festive performance for you."
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Altmoras
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Muscle Cookie
"Muscle Cookie's recipe requires protein powder and at least 3 weeks of kneading (the longer the better). Such rigorous cooking process prepared him to push through most obstacles without losing Energy. Consistent upgrades will strengthen his crust even more."

~
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August
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Ninja Cookie
"No cookie knows the importance of training better than Ninja Cookie. But is it just training? The secret to his multi-step jump is unknown. Some say he steps on wind, others claim he is more than a Cookie. The higher his level, the more he can jump."

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Bran Astor
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Wind Archer Cookie

"Originally, this Cookie was the wind who loved the forest green. This wind delightfully spent its days spreading fresh and sweet fragrances across the forest. Until the fallen souls started to invade the forest and eat up everything sweet that they saw, leaving the desserts to live in fear. In order to save the paradise in peril, the Sugar Swan, blew life and power of purification into the wind. Transforming the wind into the Wind Archer Cookie, the protector of the forest from the darkness. As long as Wind Archer Cookie's heart containing the hope of the forest is intact, he'll never stop protecting the forest."
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Community
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Soda Cookie
"After coating himself with a special glaze, he soaked up some sun and was toasted to the perfect shade of golden brown. He is now a free-spirited waterproof cookie who loves to surf around on the soda popsicle board he found in the Witch's freezer. Given the chance, he would embark on a never-ending pursuit of the perfect wave. Would he ever come back? Maybe not! With his miraculous power for generating soda waves, he could surf for the whole summer! You'll know the true meaning of and endless summer with this Cookie."

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Cormactopia Prime
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Cherry Cookie
"Decorated with bright cherry syrup, this Cookie is always looking for trouble. The cute look makes her dangerous pranks that much more unexpected. Beware of Cherry Bombs that she loves throwing around so much."
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Darkesia
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Cocoa Cookie
"Even if her body is 80% cocoa, she's always sipping hot cocoa, even during summer time. Her marshmallow hat is so deliciously sweet she needs to resist the temptation of taking a chunk out of it and dipping it into her cup. Her plump smooth cheeks just add to her charm! When she indulges in a freshly prepared cup of cocoa, all her worries melt away."

~
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Dalimbar
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Cheesecake Cookie
This is a flavorful Cookie made out of an entire cheesecake. Since she never had problems with money while growing up, she likes to throw luxurious parties and set off Coin Fireworks for her friends. She is rich in flavor and likes to stay stylish as she casually jogs along. It's hard to resist the temptation to devour this deliciously decadent Cookie.
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Davelands
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Banana Cookie
"Step right up to see Banana Cookie's sweet Hula Hoop Show! Once in, you'll see that the crowd is filled with her wild animals friends. After all, she used to be a world famous explorer. Watching her show will energize you to the max! Banana Cookie's favorite part of the show is when she's showered with Coins after the finale act, Maybe she enjoys it a bit too much. Some even say that she takes all the Coins, even though it's the monkey who does the tricks. But the truth is, she donates most of the circus earnings to animal protection organizations, and the monkey approves."

~
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DeadEye Jack
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Hero Cookie
"While the other Cookies escaped the hot oven one by one, this Cookie remained inside, lost in his research. He was brilliant enough to finally succeed in building an ultimate escaping machine, the 'Caramel Syrup Suit'. "

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East Malaysia
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General Jujube Cookie
"This long-bearded Cookie is from the furthest eastern edge of the continent. Don't let his fierce appearance intimidate you, he is actually quite sweet. And he becomes even sweeter when his face reddens with anger or surprise. With his Candy Scimitar he can destroy everything standing in his path with a swift slash. But, don't worry, behind his rough exterior is a delicate soul. Every morning he can be spotted carefully combing out his beard."


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Elegarth
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Skating Queen Cookie
"Top quality ingredients, exhausting rehearsals and unparalleled discipline made the Cookie we know today. She gains extra points with a performance so perfect in technical merit and presentation that all others pale in comparison. Beautiful in every detail."

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El Fiji Grande
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Peppermint Cookie
"The mint leaves used to make this Cookie was gathered from a town near the clear sea. This refreshing Cookie likes to stare far away, with a distant dreamy expression. Its eyes itself seem like a deep, deep ocean. When it is deep in its thoughts, it gives an even more mysterious atmosphere. When it blows its treasured conch shell, an old friend, Peppermint Whale appears for company. Peppermint Cookie believes in and treasures, not the great, but the unchanging things, just like the waves that come and go. May its smiles be unchanging as well."

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Eluvatar
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Wizard Cookie
"Having come to possess the Witch's Candy Wand by accident (or not?), he discovered unique magical powers, which seem to be reinforced by his wafflecone hat. Frequently used spells include "MayeverydaybelikeHalloweennolessnomore", which never fails to start up celebrations here and there."

~
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Erastide
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White Choco Cookie
"A Cookie made of rich and indulgent gourmet white chocolate containing abundant butter. White Choco Cookie's moves are both elegant and precise. With her fencing sword, she is sharp and graceful. Without it, she remains delicate and exact. Watch her perfect hair shine with every step she takes. White Choco Cookie can always be found surrounded by her devoted Cookie fans. With her excellent skill and dapper appearance, it's no wonder she makes the hearts of her female fans bubble with adoration."

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Ever-Wandering Souls
Roll Cake Cookie
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"A Cookie applied with a generous amount of fresh whipped cream. Only the fluffiest and sweetest ingredients were used to make this Cookie. So it's a huge mystery on why he's so wild. Roll Cake Cookie carries a giant Roll Cake Hammer to crush all obstacles on his path. But that's not all, he rides his enormous Road Roller to squash some more. Phew, what a character. (But they say that the Road Roller tastes better with the almonds stuck to it from all the squashing!) Perhaps the milked cow had a wild side, or the whipped cream was whipped too much? We'll never know. And here's another mystery to solve. Roll Cake Cookie was heard yelling, "I too wanted to be a lovable cake!"


~
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Fedele
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Rockstar Cookie
"''He's the only Cookie to discover rock and roll in the oven. His rock shows will knock your socks off. What makes his performances so stunning? He knows that practice makes perfect. Amidst ceaselessly tuning his style, he discovered the Slide Blast ability. He's a shining star amongst the Cookies.''"

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Frattastan IV
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Pancake Cookie

"Browned to perfection, the cute and energetic Pancake Cookie was born. Unlike his brother, he is cute to the extreme. And he knows it! He even added a piece of butter on top of his head to make himself even cuter. Cuteness overload! This sweet and innocent Cookie's favorite thing in the world is Acorn Jelly. You can try to resist his charms, but he'll get that Acorn Jelly from you one way or another."
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~

The Grim Reaper
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Moon Rabbit Cookie
"Fresh rice harvested from the happy soils of Dessert Paradise were used to bake the happy Moon Rabbit Cookie. This Cookie's chubby cheeks are always filled with sweet rice cake. How cute! But her desire for rice cake has a dark side too. Under a full moon, Moon Rabbit Cookie's craving for rice cake can grow so strong that she transforms into giant Rice Cake Bunny! She then jumps around wildly, crushing everything around her until someone gives her some rice cake to calm her down. Once upon a time, during one of her crazy transformations, the other Cookies tried to keep the giant Rice Cake Bunny in check by grabbing each other's hands and building a circle around her. Ever since, the Cookies have keep a tradition of holding hands and going around in circles under full moon."

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Hakketomat
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Vampire Cookie
"The Witch was busy making cookies while brewing a batch of her favorite grape juice, but she used of over-ripened grapes and left it in the barrel for far far too long. She tried to create a juice flavored cookie, but out of the Barrel came Vampire Cookie, an incredibly potent yet delicious cookie with an unquenchable thirst for grape juice. As the Vampire Cookie's body is 10% grape juice he's always on the hunt for extra juice droplets to stop his juice level from dropping. The hunt keeps him up late into the night so he really struggles to get up in the morning. His lazy morning attitude may make you think that he likes an easy life, but he is full of passion and legend has it that he risked his life to free the Alchemist Cookie from the Witch's lair. His charming attitude and rugged handsome looks make him popular with the girl cookies. When not on the hunt he likes to relax with a nice glass of grape juice and ponder the meaning of life."

~
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Harmoneia
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Cotton Candy Cookie
"Cookie made of sweet, sweet sugar. Apparently, Cotton Candy Cookie has the highest level of sugar among the Cookies. With a heart so sweet, no wonder she's always in love! She spends all day writing love letters, but discards more letters than she sends. She does not write those letters for her love to come true, but to cherish each moment of being in love. Almost every Cookie has received a letter from Cotton Candy Cookie. They say that the contents of the letter are so sweet, that every Cookie hopes to receive one someday."
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The holy principality of saint mark
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Pirate Cookie
Sea water and rum are crucial ingredients when it comes to Pirate Cookie. He might look tough, but really is a hopeless romantic. In his ghostly form, Pirate Cookie walks right through obstacles but, alas, is unable to pick up any Energy Potions.

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Imkiville
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Fairy Cookie
"With the least calories and highest fiber content, it's the healthiest Cookie of all. She can even produce oxygen, which keeps the air clean around her. The energy of the forest feeds her protective shield. Those who envy Fairy Cookie say she has strawberry jam of arrogance inside, but you don't believe them, right?"

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Imperium of Josh
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Cinnamon Cookie
"Sweet cinnamon powder lightly scatters each time this Cookie swings its cape. This delightful Cookie insists on showing its Card Tricks, which are so hectic, as they go up and down from side to side, it is almost impossible to follow. Some of the other Cookies at times refer to Cinnamon Cookie as frivolous. But as long as a single Cookie enjoys the show, it must go on. Keep your distance, being too close to this sweet scented magician will make you sneeze. Poof!"
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Jar Wattinree
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Ninetales (Kumiho) Cookie
"Originally a fox-shaped marshmallow. She aspired to be a cookie so much that she survived on only flour and butter for 999 days while mastering the sorcery to fake a Cookie. As a result, she can now disguise herself as a seducing and appealing cookie. Anyone who catches even a glimpse of her will fall in love with her."

~
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King HEM
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Adventurer Cookie
"This cookies has traveled far and wide, beyond the realm of the Witch. All other Cookies thought he was a legend, but he's back and will guide others into uncharted territories of a new exciting world. His thirst for the unknown is unquenchable and will continue to roam the wide world as long as he can."

~
~

Kshrlmnt
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Blackberry Cookie
"She always wears a nonchalant look and other Cookies might think she is hard to approach. But looks are deceiving. She has the amazing ability to concentrate on one task until it's finished and has been helping other Cookies with their problems with amazing organizational skills she learned from working for a prestigious household. Anyone would think one Cookie is incapable of doing so many things, but she proves everyone wrong. When it's time to run, she really cranks it up."

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Kortexia
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Alchemist Cookie
"Made from the freshest of grapes said to have descended from the heavens, this smart cookie only cares about one thing; Research! Not only she can calculate the value of all matter in her head, she can figure out what elements to add to transform it! But she knows that being lazy or sitting idly by will achieve nothing! To get something of value, you have to give something of value in return - that's the Alchemist Cookie's theory."

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Kyrusia
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Devil Cookie
"Mysterious in many ways. Looks hot and spicy, but tastes like Cola. A byproduct of Angel Cookie batter exposed to dark magic, he can see flying Spirit Jellies unknown to other Cookies. Catching those Jellies unleashes the feared Super Devil."


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Lamoni
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Dr. Wasabi Cookie
"An odd scientist that's always experimenting on the unimaginable! Judging by her crazy inventions, it's probable that the wasabi used to make this Cookie far exceeds the recommended amount! Dr. Wasabi Cookie enjoys experimenting with her patented Wasabi Syrup. But be careful, cause the syrup is so powerful, it causes genetic mutations! Miscalculating the dosage even the slightest bit will turn living things into curious creatures! But hey, someone's gotta create new creatures right? Right?? And no worries, no creatures are harmed in the experiments--- Or so they say."


~
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McMasterdonia
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Moonlight Cookie
Moonlight Cookie's graceful wavy hair shines under the night sky, elegant and mystical as ever. She was created by the ancient wizards even before the Cookie Kingdom itself was built, and learned the secrets of the City of Wizards. But for some unknown reason, she was left to protect the city all alone. She is strongest while in her dreams, therefore was able to protect the city from intruders. But being by herself for a long time has made her sad and lonely at times. At these moments, she falls asleep, where she is able to lean by her friend Moon and draw in the night sky with her Star friends to cheer up.
~
~


McStooley
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Lime Cookie
"When baking this Cookie, large amounts of citrus peels were used. Perhaps that's why Lime Cookie is so feisty. Her trademark bangs were made with sweet, sweet pudding. No matter how fast or wildly she runs, her bangs stay perfect. Don't let her cute appearance fool you, she is known to be a bit cold to the other Cookies. "

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Miss Bad Life Choices
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Apple Cookie
"This cute little cookie loves apple shaped balloons and alphabet bubbles. No other cookie can rival her powerful innocent creativity. She even created her own Bonus Time to play to her heart's content. Like any other kid, she runs like crazy at first and slows down when tired."

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Miss Madeline
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Peach Cookie
"Peach Cookie is a master of martial arts from far, far away. She picked two of the juiciest peaches in a sunny valley and wears them in a traditional "ox horns" hairstyle. Don't be fooled by her cute smile–-she can crush your bones! She is brimming with confidence and ready to fight any obstacles standing in her way. The Bamboo Forest is hardly a challenge to her. You can always tell where she's been, for she leaves behind a sweet, peachy scent... and a few fallen enemies. "
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Pallaith
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Snow Sugar Cookie
"Made of snow, sugar, and an unknown secret ingredient, this Cookie was once very lonely, wandering through a vast snow field. Then one day, it found a magic wand that could summon snow creatures and wouldn't melt even in the oven. The Cookie learned to summon friends like the Sea Snow Cone and the Great Snow King and was never lonely again."
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Reploid Productions
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Avocado Cookie
Gather some avocados (the more, the better!) ripened under the hot sun (the more ripe, the better!), then mash, mash, MASH! That's how you make a healthy and nutritious Avocado Cookie! But you know what terribly lacked nutrients growing up? Her sense of humor! And you will soon know why. Avocado Cookie is a famous master smith. She spends days and nights at the smithy making this and that. It is said that Avocado Cookie can create just about anything!

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Rigels Light
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Orange Cookie
"You can't find another cookie as zesty as Orange Cookie. She enjoys all outdoors activities, especially on a sunny day. The sunscreen ingredient inside of her is the secret to her perfect tan. She is always full of positive energy and just being with her makes others happy. Her smashes are getting stronger every time.. perhaps it is because of her childhood friend?.."
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Salaxalans
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Pistachio Cookie
"A purple storm cloud loomed over the forgotten forest where Pistachio Cookie was sleeping. She was suddenly struck by lilac lightening and a devine and mysterious being appeared to her in a vision to tell her that it was her destiny to rescue all the other Cookies from the oven.

When she awoke she was surrounded by a thousand fireflies with hard pistachio shells and she realized right then and there that was now her time to shine!

She then swore to the devine and mysterious being that she would give her life to helping other Cookies.

Clad in her shell armour the healthy and deliciously nutty Pistachio Cookie then set out on her sacred mission to rid the oven of danger.

This was the first step in Pistachio Cookie's journey to becoming a hero and a saint!"


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Salvarity
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Herb Cookie
"Warm like the sunshine and fresh like the scent of rain, Herb Cookie will ease your mind when you're feeling down. Herb Cookie was made of fresh, nutritious organic ingredients, which may not be to everyone's taste. On rainy days, Herb Cookie keeps himself dry with a leaf umbrella while listening to the sound of falling raindrops. On warm days, Herb Cookie enjoys the sunshine while carrying around his favourite potted plant. This Cookie treats all living things and each and every moment as precious. He believes the little things in life that make you laugh or cry are to be cherished, just like a ray of sunshine after the rain."



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Sylven Razedusk
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Cream Puff Cookie
"She is the sweet Cream Puff Cookie that makes you feel good just by looking at her. Something about her makes you worry about her, but that's her charm point. Although she is a bit clumsy, great powers lie within her, and her potential is unpredictable. After many failed attempts with her spells, she visits the library to cheer herself up. That day, she found out about the City of Wizards, and hence her adventure to become a respected wizard begins! Will Cream Puff Cookie be able to reach her goal?? Let's find out!"

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The Notorious Mad Jack
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Muay Thai (Red Pepper) Cookie
"Hot peppers were directly added to the dough to make this one spicy Cookie. His desire to be the best is unbeatable. He will use pain as his weapon. All the Cookies say that Muay Thai Cookie stayed in the oven a little too long to become tough. He's now got quite a tan, which goes perfectly with his charisma. He's thinks his hairstyle shows his diligence so he'll never change it."

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Tim Stark
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Lemon Cookie
"The acidic and sharp Lemon Cookie was born in a cold laboratory while the creator was experimenting with electricity. A giant, fresh lemon with a high dose of acidity was added in the making of this cookie, hence it courses with electricity. The cube that Lemon Cookie carries with him controls all the high voltage electricity his body contains. Lemon Cookie's childhood friend found this cube quite intriguing. Thanks to the friend, Lemon Cookie learned various ways to solve the cube and even has some of his own tricks up his sleeve. When Lemon Cookie was unable to control its power it became a danger to other cookies. This childhood friend may have been the only one Lemon Cookie could talk to. Lemon Cookie might not be easy to approach, but electrifying surprises might await us if we do."

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Vincent Drake
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Special Force Cookie

"Armed with a sweet candy gun, Cookie passed special force training with flying colors and joined Cookie Intelligence Agency shortly after. Her mission is classified, but probably involves escaping from the oven first."

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Xoriet
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Princess Cookie
"The royal family's darling, she always gets her way. Don't be fooled by the adorable smile and cute hairdo. Princess Cookie had some serious martial arts training growing up. She's fearless, knowing that her whipped cream petticoat is as good as a shield."
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Queen Yuno
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Cherry Blossom Cookie
"On a warm spring day, the first pink cherry blossoms were collected, then made into liquid essence for a generous amount of time. And with this essence, Cherry Blossom Cookie was born. Just by looking at her, you will feel splendid and warm inside, with a tingle on both your cheek. On a perfect weather, you will be able to witness her humming with her umbrella open, trying to fly into the air. She is most adorable when she offers you her delicious sandwich and tea. But watch out, once she starts to chat, you will lose track of time."
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~

(If I forgot you and we like actually chill vibes then DM me :P )
Last edited by Escade on Sat Aug 10, 2019 11:13 am, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
Escade
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Posts: 1018
Founded: Apr 11, 2013
Liberal Democratic Socialists

Postby Escade » Wed Aug 07, 2019 5:31 pm

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Featured Personality: Lynxi
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Our guest today is Ghostfox, former Pharaoh of Osiris and an NSer who's experienced many different facets of the game. I first really got to know Lynxi when we were both defenders and loved her band name and appreciation for Paramore!

How did you learn about NationStates? How long have you been playing NS?
I honestly forgot how I learned about NS. The first time I made a nation was in 2011, and I was in college. I think my lack of a dnd group at the time drove me to it- the thought of rping online was tempting in the vacuum of pen and paper. Turns out this is what would eventually lead me back to NS as I got tired of another online rp community and wanted to do political roleplay. And then I remembered NS and have been stuck here since. That would have been in 2016. So a decent chunk of time passed between my first nation and my actual diving into the game.

DnD! One of the most often mentioned NS games so much so that I want to try it! What class\type of character do you usually play?

Cleric. I am in love with fantasy religions, their concepts, the pantheons and the portfolios of each one. I have been taking a break from playing Clerics recently actually, but I always go back. The best part is looking into the deity my character worships, figuring out how its aspects play into the life of my character, and then making those tings a big part of the roleplay.

What is the significance or story behind your nation's name and flag?
I have quite a few nations and I haven’t gone by the same name. Cthoria is what I was originally known as and that came from my first nation: The Cthonian Divide. Which came from a metal band. The nation that I consider my main and that I held the Osiran delegacy with, however, is Ghostfox. That nation came about when TWPAF has its Halloween raid contest (I think the first one?) and Caer Sidi participated. I used Ghostfox because ghosts and foxes. It seemed simple and natural. When I decided to join Osiris, I thought it was fitting because of the resurrection theme. The flag is a still from Spring Breakers which is a movie you should totally watch (but only if you’re 18, let’s be honest).

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I love the ghost and fox symbolism\mythology. Also if you're a Selena Gomez fan you might watch Spring Breakers (even the cringey parts) :P

Tell us about your early career in NationStates and the significant things you did to lead you to where you are today?
My early career was all over the place. But I started really paying attention to the game when i joined Equinox and found EQ Mafia. Aynia and Satya were major parts of why I learned anyting in this game and I followed them around for a bit. Because of that I ended up in some interesting places- KoGB before Don went bonkers, Arda en Estel, Wintercrest, Hellenic Empire. I was sort’ve a cosmo but it was my first year and I just did the tings I wanted for fun. Caer Sidi got its start around the summer of 2017, along with my first steps towards becoming a defender as I joined SPSF as Nineteen Lights for a bit. A big moment was meeting Altino and Rigel. They have really been some of my best friends, mentors, and role models throughout the game.

I remember think Nineteen Lights would make such a great band name! The NS experience is a lot about finding your people (real people not the fakes) that makes it better.

What region are you currently a part of? What do you like best about this region?
I’m sort’ve in the middle of a semi hiatus. I am still a citizen of Osiris, though I’m not doing anyting there. I’m a member of the RRA and an Enlightened of Karma. I update when my schedule allows me to and I lazily write legislation. Every region I’ve ever been in I’ve chosen for the people first, the politics and NS stuff second. I also stay in these places because they are helpless against my rampant sock theft and it increases my collection considerably to infiltrate and become part of the community. For some reason people are far more willing to part with their socks if you smile at them for a while first.

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Sock puppets, an underground world that I never knew before,...if you look for GIFs.. be prepared


What are your thoughts on the various gameplay venues (forums, Discord, gameside\RMB)?
Each venue has its purpose, and I don’t think any have been completely determined to be useless. Yet. Forums for government organization, discord for the day to day, and the RMB for enticing innocent bystanders to join the treachery that is the metagame of NS.

What has been your favorite historical moment in NS?
I haven’t been here for a lot of history, so my answer is probably going to pale in comparison to literally anyone. But I really liked the defense of the Phillipines in 2017 around Christmas time. It was a really fun op, felt great to be on the winning side of it, and the VC afterwards went on for like hours after update. It’s the little things.

If you were Max Barry for a day, what would you do?
Transfer money from his bank account into mine, then patiently wait out the rest of the day watching TV or something.

What do you do for fun when you're not on Nation States?
I play music, party (but like, late 20s partying instead of crazy early 20s partying. Way more beer and grilling, way less Tove Lo), play actual games, pen and paper rpgs, and I am currently learning carpentry from a friend. It’s way more fun than it sounds, and might lead to the possibility of studying to be a luthier. We also do it drunk, so that might be why it’s more fun.

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A luthier is a maker of stringed instruments such as violins and guitars. Very cool!


What is your favorite movie and\or TV and\or anime show(s)?
Movie- Never Let Me Go. It hits real hard in terms of “Bad things happen and once they’re done, they’re done.”
TV Show- Skins. Very much a nostalgic show for me, only barely beats out Buffy. It’s sad.
Anime- Neon Genesis Evangelion. You’re probably sensing a theme here. This show is about giant fighting robots, but it has nothing to do with giant fighting robots. Don’t watch if you have daddy issues, feel like a doll instead of a person, or can’t face your flaws.

Favorite book(s)?
Real hard one here- it’s a toss up between The Idiot by Dostoyevsky or the Magician’s Trilogy by Lev Grossman. Both touch on the inability to change things once you’ve done them, both are pretty sad.

We've talked a bit about The Magicians (books vs. TV show). It's such a great series and sad (although the TV show is very divergent from the books).

Favorite music?
Metal, from tech death to this jazzcore stuff they’ve been doing recently. Anything that has people hitting notes at fast speeds on levels of perfect synchronization.

What is a game (outside of NS) that everyone should play?
Chrono Cross for the Playstation 1.

So you wake up one morning and receive the delegacy of any region you choose. Which would you choose? And what would you do as delegate?
I would choose The Pacific. I’d change the WFE to My Little Pony and then resign, because I don’t actually want to get involved at the level of delegate again and I feel like they might like ponies if they try hard enough. ^-^

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My Little Ponies: Osiran Edition


What is one change you would make to NationStates to help improve the game experience?
More people, but lower percentage of fascists. Like a percentage of 0.

Thank you to Lynxi for the interview!

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