|Genre: Simulation||Status: Final|
|Time Unit:Realtime||Theme: Politics|
|Graphics: Text with graphics||Period: Present Time|
|Fee: Free||Developer:Max Barry|
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NationStates is a free nation simulation game. Build a nation and run it according to your own warped political ideals. Create a Utopian paradise for society's less fortunate or a totalitarian corporate police state. Care for your people or deliberately oppress them. Join the United Nations or remain a rogue state. It's really up to you.
The object of the game is to take charge of a country. At the start of the game, the player chooses a few basic characteristics such as name, currency and style of government. Answers to the questions in the next page determine the initial rating of the country's civil, economic and political rights rating. The nation's population starts at five million and increases every day automatically with play.
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 ignore issues by dismissing them: this has no effect on the nation.
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.
The player's decisions affect the nation's status in the areas of Political Freedoms, Civil Rights, and Economy , 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 government type, from Scandinavian Liberal Paradise and Capitalist Paradise to Corporate Police State and Psychotic Dictatorship.
The nation's main page briefly describes the population, government, economy, that day's World Census ranking and latest policy decisions resulting from the player's choices.
The World Assembly
The WA is the world's governing body. It proposes and votes on resolutions, which are then binding on all member nations. In other words, it's a hot-bed of political intrigue and double-dealing. Your nation can join the WA, but it's not compulsory. As a non-member, you are unaffected by any WA decisions.
So if you're happy looking after your nation and don't want to dabble in international politics, don't join up. If you're ready to take your nation onto the world stage, though, the WA is for you.
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 omprehensive simulation.
BBG: Jennifer Government: NationStates
In summary, NationStates is a game with grand ideas and grand potential, but a lack of consideration to its users and a lack of realism means that it fails to meet its objective. It is fun for a while, but only if you play in a light-hearted manner. After I found myself starting to get bored, I decided to spice things up so to speak, and as Delegate, I destroyed my entire region just to see and feel the after effects...More