From Nn In En

The source of this text is the English Wikipedia.

Jennifer Government: NationStates is a multiplayer nation simulation browser game. It was created by Max Barry in late 2002, based loosely on his novel Jennifer Government.


[edit] Play

[edit] Beginning

In the game, a player has charge of a nation. At the start of the game, the player chooses a few basic characteristics such as name, currency and style of government. The nation's population starts at five million and increases every day automatically with play.

[edit] Issues

Gameplay hinges on deciding government policies: the player is presented with automatically assigned "issues" and chooses a response from a list of options. Players can also dismiss issues, to ignore them: this has no effect on the nation.

The frequency with which new issues arise is set by the player (from five to fourteen issues per week). After the original thirty issues written by Barry were found to be too few for the game to develop satisfactorily, players with national populations of over 500 million have been allowed to propose new issues since July 15, 2003.

All issues have a peculiar characteristic, and no option is the "correct" one. Each usually has a positive and a negative aspect, although the latter is usually highlighted, and both are always exaggerated. Many issues are posed in terms of radical or extremist beliefs, and the accompanying opinions are rarely well-founded. This is for both humorous and didactic reasons: many opinions are extremely funny or ridiculous, and the player learns that there are no perfect ideas which will work in every case.

There are occasional "Easter Egg" issues.

[edit] Rankings

The player's decisions affect the nation's status in the areas of Political Freedoms (how democratic the nation is), Civil Rights (how much freedom the citizens have), and Economy (how strong the nation's economy is), as well as other variables, such as crime rate, industry size and public sector spending.

Based on the nation's personal, economic, and political freedoms, they are assigned to one of 27 "UN Categories", from Scandinavian Liberal Paradise and Capitalist Paradise to Corporate Police State and Psychotic Dictatorship. The "other variables" are used to compile the game's daily UN reports, which lists every nation in the game in order of their rank in that day's chosen variable.

Finally, the nation's main page briefly describes the population, government, economy and latest policy decisions resulting from the player's choices.

[edit] United Nations

Players may voluntarily join the NationStates United Nations, making their nations automatically affected by the decisions of that body. However, various players role-play disobedience. Discussions on draft/proposed resolutions take place on the forums, often home to all manner of political debate. A dedicated team of volunteers moderate the forums; most of them also moderate the game to keep it free from vandalism.

[edit] Group play

Nations are grouped into regions. New players begin in one of five Pacific regions and may move their nations into any other region at any time, or set up their own. Many regions have an elected leader, or Regional UN Delegate, and some participate in complex regional governments, though some contain only a handful of nations. Players commonly attempt to collectively "invade" another region by entering it and seizing control of the regional Delegateship. Within the game, this process is called "region crashing". Some regions have password-protection to stave off such attacks.

Many multi-regional organizations have formed - either to organize invasions or to organize those who defend against raider play.

Invading, or "region crashing", first became prominent with a group of players calling themselves the Farkers (now referred to as invaders or raiders), who all arrived due to links between the game and the website Steps have been taken to reduce region-crashing and griefing, while regulating the more benign invasion types. In order for a nation to eject another from the region, they must have a specific amount of "influence", which is partly derived from the age of the nation. This helps ensure that invaders do not flood a region, install one of their own as UN Delegate, then eject the original members from the region.

[edit] Roleplaying

NationStates' relatively simple simulation has given rise to more in-depth and freeform role-playing, with players using their nations' statistics to measure how their nations would fare in international trade, diplomacy, and war. Some players have even developed complex statistical calculators. Part of the appeal of NationStates lies in the ability to create an unrealistic utopia (or dystopia) as the subject of conversation and political philosophy, without needing to worry about practical matters, like national defense, that might become factors in a more comprehensive simulation.

[edit] Technical history

Due to the unreliability of the NationStates server, which commonly led to slow or inaccessible forums, January 2004 saw the announcement that the British gaming company Jolt Online Gaming would take over hosting of the site as well as the development of NationStates 2. On 28 June, 2004, after several delays, the game switched to the new servers; however, continued programming issues compounded by the death of Max Barry's father caused the forums to remain down until July 13 2004. Flag size increased from 6k to 10k around August 15.

A second version of the game, currently in development and called "NationStates 2", may include complex functions for war, trade, diplomacy, and customization. Rumors about the sequel to NationStates have existed since the summer of 2003, and the release date has been postponed since. It is perhaps unlikely that a sequel shall be produced, due to declining popularity, voluntary administration and the lack of its creator.

[edit] Technical failures

At three points during the game's existence, the large amount of data required to hold the names and information of over one million nations exceeded the amount of room available on the game's server. Rather than shutting down, the server continued to operate, but failed to save any additional data. As a result, anyone who logged into their nation found that their nation's name had been changed to "The 0 of 0", and that their region was suddenly without a Delegate, Founder, or name. On each occurrence, game administrators loaded a backup file from the previous day. The first "Great Disk Space Disaster" occurred on April 27, 2005 with subsequent errors taking place on August 27, 2005 and April 2, 2006. The April 2 incident may have been a result of the April Fools joke the day before, where the game had been turned into an online matchmaking service, "NationDates".

[edit] Statistics

As of December 7, 2004, players had set up over 1,000,000 individual nations since NationStates premiered in late 2002. At any time fewer than 150,000 remain in existence because of inactivity, or as a result of deletion due to various rule infractions. Though the specific time has varied greatly over the years on-line, NationStates has a current inactivity limit of 28 days (or 60 days if nation-owners enable "Vacation Mode"), after which the system automatically deletes the quiescent nation. However, the Moderators can resurrect nations deleted for inactivity (though not for rule-violations, unless circumstances warrant a repeal of the deletion) on the request of the nation's original owner. Resurrected nations arrive at the region Lazarus, rather than the Pacific regions where newly-made nations start out.

[edit] Forums

NationStates also has a forum community. Originally, they were phpBB forums hosted by the NationStates server, but after NationStates was acquired by Jolt Online Gaming, the forums moved to Jolt's forum site. The off-topic / out-of-character 'General' forums are mainly used for recreational purposes and political discussion. Role-playing is done in the NationStates and International Incidents forums.

[edit] External links

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