Founded: November 13th, 2002
Site Founder: Max Barry
Site Owner: Max Barry
- Max Barry
NationStates is a multiplayer government simulation browser game. It was created by Max Barry and was publicly released on November 13th, 2002, based loosely on his novel Jennifer Government. Barry founded the site as an independent vehicle publicizing the book one week before its release. The site continues to promote books written by Barry, but has developed to be a sizable online community, with over 5 million user-created nations.
In this early time of Nation States, the only feeder region was The Pacific. There was no Lazarus, no Rejected Realms, no Regional Controls, no Founders, and only a handful of different daily issues to amuse us with. You didnít even have the option of color for your World Factbook Entry for your region. The Nation States Forum was slow and clunky. It took forever to load anything and much patience to use. The UN, (which is what the World Assembly was called back then), was unmanageable at best, with too high a percentage of UN delegates needed to approve a Proposal into Resolution form. That and any UN member could submit as many Proposals as they wanted to. There were usually 120 pages of Proposals at any given time for a Delegate to look through and most didnít.
This was probably one of the most exciting years to be in NationStates. It was when Invaders like The Farkers and The Driftwood Clan began sacking region after region, as well as other smaller groups of less noteworthy Invaders that lacked the organizational skills or the staying power to be much of a threat. Regions like the United States, Heaven, and America were among the most victimized, to the point where the Invaders became thought of as the natives of those regions, and Invaders somehow conned the Mods into installing them as the Founders, something they did in a number of other regions. Invaders relied on massed UN member states to take over the Delegacy of regions, but employed non-UN states for a variety of reasons. Some were used just for harassment and spamming. Others traveled from region to region (likely on a script) to check for potential targets that werenít password protected, once regional powers were introduced. Some of the Invaders were nationalistic, as in case of the Irish regions fighting long protracted battles with the British regions. Not surprisingly the Nazi invaders often got into fights with the Soviet invaders.
Many of the older and craftier invaders are still around in the Nation States World. Many are fixated on the politics of the Pacific regions and some remain active Invaders, but many have left that behind them to be members of the same regions they once threatened. Despite the voracity of their battle with the Heartlands, some notable Farkers ended up settling there. Some Farkers even settled in Texas and Wysteria. Others continue to torment the natives of the region, America. Nations associated with The Driftwood Clan settled into regions like British North America, Royal Alliance, and Canada, although they have always maintained a claim on the United States.
A number of smaller regions (Lazy College Students, The Axis Region, and Poland) fell to The Farkers before they set their sights on The Heartland. Wysteria, along with Texas and other regions, provided valuable intelligence reports and defenders to retake The Heartland. The spamming and griefing by Invaders was at times completely out of control and there was no Moderation control on obscene behavior. Without Regional Controls the battle for the Delegacy was a nightly occurrence. The defense of the Heartland brought about increased communications between Texas and Wysteria, and laid the foundation for the Triumvirate. The Farkers did their best to hide their identity, by distancing themselves from their home region. A not very competent group of Invaders based in the 100 Nations of Conquest took credit for their attacks, resulting in a huge backlash against that region while the Farkers happily went about their business elsewhere. When The East Pacific was originally created, the last of the Pacific regions to be made, the Farkers got wind of it and camped in the newly created region, ejecting any UN nation that didnít endorse their guy. In a way, the East Pacific defeated the Farkers, because they were limited in their Invader activity by the amount of effort necessary to hold onto the feeder region that they had seized. That or the nomadic Farkers got caught up in the endless schism over who their true home region was: Farkistan, Farktopia, or even Fark.
Early Defenders were just groups of interested players and regions banding together to protect regions they knew to be in trouble, as was the case in the defense of the Heartland. Later came the organized groups of Defenders like TITO and the ADN. TITO itself was the reaction to a failed invasion of the 10000 Islands by raiders from The Empires of Power. After barely surviving invasion itself, with the help of other regions, the 10000 Islands in turn created TITO to protect other regions in the Nation States World against the threat of invaders. Battles between Defenders and Invaders became very vicious and nasty at times, although in some cases the banter between them in contested regions was more a case of friendly familiarity.
Another large and well organized group was called The Atlantic (ACC). They were aiming for domination of the entire Nation States World. They threatened regions to join them or face invasion. They threatened Wysteria, but by then we were strong enough to tell them where to go. They were the bullies of NationStates alliances, forcing those who submitted to membership to avoid invasion and to post about it in their World Factbook Entry.
Regions werenít the only things being fought over. Early on, the Meritocracy attempted to take over the United Nations and force upon it their right wing conservative agenda. Failing to do that they withdrew on masse from the UN, before being caught up in their own schisms of various Meritocracy regions. Because of their withdrawal, the left wing was left as a dominant force in deciding UN resolutions and many corporate police states left in disgust that their pro-slavery and torture stance was being ignored.
The Nation States system faced a huge overhaul in 2003. In April, the United Nations started to become a more manageable beast, after the NationStates administration began weeding the proposal listings for stupidity and making it so you had to have two endorsements to submit a Proposal. There was still a ways to go on lowering the requirements for Delegate backing to make a Proposal into a Resolution, but things were at least starting to turn around. It was suddenly a lot easier to be a Nation States Delegate.
April was also the beginnings of Regional Controls for Delegates and the creation of The Rejected Realms. Founders were introduced and we no longer had to put up with spammers and griefers camping out until they got tired of being annoying. There was the problem of regions created before Founders were introduced, because they didnít have Founders. Some of the older regions, including Wysteria, petitioned to get this resolved and by May, the Bruce was given the status of Founder. There was a cut-off of July for older regions to apply for Founder status and some regions never quite got it together or could agree on the subject. There were also some irregularities, where Invaders got to be Founders in regions that the Natives had put a lot of work into, allowing the Invaders permanent authority to torment their victims.
By May, there were hard and fast rules regarding the etiquette of Invaders and Defenders, resulting in some complaints by Invaders about the system taking away their fun. By June, the need for refereeing the various troublemakers and spats between players overwhelmed the Admins so much they brought in Moderators. In July, players were able to submit their own Daily Issues. By September, Nation States increased the size of the telegram boxes from 10 to 15. In November, players with Nations States with populations in excess of 500 million were able to create custom titles, like the Green and Pleasant Dominion. With December came ignore options for telegrams, in the effort of cutting down on spam and griefing.
2003 was when Francos spain began to make his mark on the Nation States World, becoming the Delegate of The Pacific and ejecting huge numbers of nations. They became the talk of the Nation States World as the biggest Dictator Delegate of them all, preying on a helpless feeder region. Other Pacific regions were also ejecting huge amounts of nations, but because his opponents were making the most noise everyone had eyes only for Francos Spain, resulting in much of the Nation States World becoming polarized.
Organized groups of spammers, like those from the Pudding Regions, drove some regions insane to the point where a lot of players quit the game or sealed themselves off from the outside world forever. Even regional controls were not enough to stop these annoyances, because these gnats usually never stayed in the regions they victimized long enough to get kicked out. Once the Moderators started taking a heavy hand with regards to spam, things sometimes settled down a bit, although players who exist in the game only to harass others seems to be a constant in the online community.