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Nationstates - An introduction to the government simulation game

Updated on June 17, 2014
Nationstates is a game where you get to manage your own nation.
Nationstates is a game where you get to manage your own nation.

What is Nationstates?

Nationstates is what is know as a government simulation game. Created by author Max Barry and released on the 13th of November 2002, it tasks the player with running their own nation and solving various issues that may occur, such as funding the defense or health departments and whether or not to allow public nudity. Whilst there aren't a massive number of features, aside from dealing with issues and forming alliances with other nations, this title offers roleplayers (such as myself) an immerse experience that allows you to plan your government, political policies, military forces and even your shipping laws on cargo pants down to the finest detail.

Although it veers towards a humorous stance, the game does show moments of fascinating detail, most notably from the large community of dedicated players, that show a true passion for this world of seemingly limitless possibilities.
Although it veers towards a humorous stance, the game does show moments of fascinating detail, most notably from the large community of dedicated players, that show a true passion for this world of seemingly limitless possibilities.

Nation Management

As the leader of your nation, you get to decide which position the government adopts on certain issues. You might be faced with a group of workers on strike who are demanding a pay rise. Do you give in to their demands or change the employment laws to get them fired? Or perhaps you have to choose where to spend the government's budget. Should it be on providing free health care to your citizens? Or do you use it to finance your super soldier army? Whatever you choose will normally have an effect on one or several of the three main nation stats: Civil Rights, Economy and Political Freedoms.

Factbook

If you're one with an imagination, Nationstates allows you to compile a factbook. With this, you can create documents related to your fictional nation. From the history of how one man founded the country after winning a game of poker, to the religious beliefs, and even little bits of nonsensical trivia. You also have the ability to create dispatches, news articles concerning your nation that are sent to other players. I myself had quite the bit of fun after declaring a new 'suicidal penguins' military program. Needless to say, I received a few strongly-worded telegrams.

The main reason you'll want to join a region is to persuade players to give you endorsements, thus making you a delegate and allowing you to propose resolutions in the World Assembly.
The main reason you'll want to join a region is to persuade players to give you endorsements, thus making you a delegate and allowing you to propose resolutions in the World Assembly.

United We Stand

As soon as you sign up to Nationstates, you'll be bombarded by telegrams from several different 'regions'. Similar to how single players join clans in other online games, regions are composed of different nations from across the net. Joining one gives you the opportunity to chat with your fellow players and see how you fare up against them stat wise. Each day you'll receive a census report, regarding anything from economy to health care, followed by the ranking of everyone in the region.

The World Assembly is run by players, for players.
The World Assembly is run by players, for players.

The World Assembly

Sooner or later, you'll be introduced to the World Assembly. They're essentially the United Nations of the Nationstates universe, the sole difference being they actually get stuff done. Players actually have the ability to submit resolutions to change the laws and help better the numerous nations and regions. Whilst the effects of the resolutions are only for roleplay, you cannot help but admire how well written the documents are. I wouldn't be surprised to see these in the actual UN!

The Community

Once you've spent some time getting to know the website, you might want to check out the forum. Here, you'll find the bulk of the community, ranging from the casual dictator to those who don't know the difference between Earth and Westeros (yes, there is in fact a Game of Thrones region). Nearly everything here involves roleplaying on a whole level above anything most people will be used to. You'll find topics prompting airliners, mercenaries for hire and oil mining industries. Of course if you're not a fan of selling imaginary services, you can send imaginary troops to their deaths! There's something about steamrolling another player with giant mechanical sheep that gives you a warm, fuzzy feeling.

The game was originally created to promote Jennifer Government.
The game was originally created to promote Jennifer Government.

Based on a true story!

Did you know that Nationstates was actually created to promote one of Max Barry's books? Jennifer Government is the story of a dystopian alternate reality, in which greedy corporations dominate Earth's many nations, with the government no longer in control. An amazing book and one I highly recommend you check out.

My personal review

4 stars for Jennifer Government

Would you consider joining Nationstates?

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Choices and Consequences

As you continue to solve or dismiss issues, you'll begin to notice that your nation changes. One minute you could be an Iron-Fist Socialist state, ruling with a tough but fair hand. The next, you'll become a New York Times Democracy, after you became soft and started giving your citizens the right to free speech they'd been yammering on about. This gives you the opportunity to run things how you'd actually want to run them in real life... or maybe you'll behave like the real government, outlawing all political freedoms and taking bribes left and right.

To sum-up...

  • Nationstates is a government simulation game.
  • Your choices affect how your nation develops.
  • Regions can be formed between players, increasing their power and influence.
  • World Assembly for voting for and passing laws.
  • Dedicated roleplaying scene.

In conclusion

This has been a mere introduction into the world of Nationstates. Whilst I've covered all the basics, there is so much more content to explore! An in-depth look at the World Assembly, an analysis of the storefronts, and even a game of political dominance, allowing players to take over nations as they see fit. I plan on 'hubbing' (jeez that sounded stupid) all of these topics and more!

And with that, I would like to thank you for taking the time to read my hub. If you enjoyed my content and want to see more, please take a moment to click that follow button. Until next time!

Comments

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  • Gyanendra Mocktan profile image

    gyanendra mocktan 

    16 months ago

    I'll share this on the facebook. I hope our politicians will gain some fair amount of knowledge from your article. Oscar Gilmour, Thank you very much.

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