Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Running a nation...

Sounds easy and at first it is, then it gets more and more difficult. The site NationStates allows a player to explore the kinds of questions and issues a government might encounter.

Create a couple of "countries" and explore how they behave under various conditions: make the choices in one according to your own morals, another according to your idea of far-left and another according to your idea of far-right principles...currently, I seem to be a centrist democrat...vive la libertie, now I'll send in the tanks I think... :-)

The FAQ is here ... some interesting entries from it are reproduced below:

>How do I play?

Click on the Create a Nation link and follow it from there. You'll be asked to choose a name for your nation, a motto, a national animal, and a currency. Then you answer a short questionnaire about your politics. This will determine what sort of nation you end up with: authoritarian or permissive... left-wing or right-wing... compassionate or psychotic... you get the idea.
Once a day, you'll be faced with an issue, and need to make a decision as to what to do about it. This determines how your nation evolves.

>So what is this?

Jennifer Government: NationStates is a nation simulation game. You create your own country, fashioned after your own ideals, and care for its people. Either that or you deliberately torture them. It's really up to you.

>Is it a serious political thing, or just for fun? 

Well, you can play it either way. NationStates does have humorous bent, but that's just because international politics is so inherently funny.

>Why is my nation so weird?

Everything is exaggerated a little. Well, okay, a lot. Your decisions affect your nation very strongly, so your country might seem like a more extreme version of what you were aiming for. Unless you have radical politics. In which case you probably think nothing's wrong.

>My decision had unintended consequences!

Yep, that'll happen. For one thing, see "Why is my nation so weird?" above. For another, pretty much every decision you make will involve a trade-off of some kind. It's kind of an exercise in choosing the best of a bunch of bad options. You might find this frustrating, especially if you're the kind of person who thinks the solutions to all the world's problems are obvious.

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