by Max Barry

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by The Sparkly Mermaid of Escade. . 38 reads.

Gameplay Magazine - Featured Personality: Community

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Featured Personality: Community

Today we sat down with a player I didn't know until the interview! Recommended as a "he's a sweetheart" by Xoriet, I got to know someone new along with our readers!

How did you learn about NationStates? How long have you been playing NS?

I have actually learnt about this polsim at around the middle of 2015 when I was still pursuing my tertiary education. I wasn't paying much attention back then during my lectures so I had all the time to mess around with my laptop and browsing Reddit was one of the many ways I spent my time in the lecture hall. There was an AskReddit thread that discussed free online browser games and NS was one of the games featured in it. It was described as a 'sandbox-y and free roam-y game where you can build and control your nation and the ways you want it to grow'. I was immediately fascinated by the premise of the game so I decided to check it out just to pass an hour or two and a couple of hundred issues later, I'm close to 4 years in NationStates.

What is the significance or story behind your nation's name and flag?

Japanese Schoolgirls stems from the very same AskReddit thread. A comment there spoke of a nation mainly built around squirrels or some dorky animal Ö maybe a marsupial. I had wanted to do the same thing. However, I wasn't too hung up on what entity to base the nation on because I didn't know nor care much about worldbuilding then and also because I initially planned to only stay in this game until my lecture was over so having a well thought out nation concept wasn't number one on the agenda. At that period of time, I was also binging on a lot of slice-of-life and high school themed animes so my mind must have put two and two together in that instant and I came about naming my nation Japanese Schoolgirls. I'm not in any way related to Kawaii Schoolgirls though I find it cool that there's another Schoolgirls-nation out there in NationStates.

My current flag bears the standard black and blue that members of the NPO use so it is nothing much to write home about. The lady in the flag is singer Kim Taeyeon of So Nyeo Shi Dae (Girls Generation). I've put her in the flag to pay homage to her newest mini-album, Four Seasons, and to pay homage to her in general. She's been a huge part of my life ever since 2008 and her group and their talents were the reasons why I was hooked to K-Pop in the first place.

Kim Taeyeon of Girls Generation

Tell us about your early career in NationStates and the significant things you did to lead you to where you are today?

My early career in NationStates was comprised mostly of issues answering and posting in the RMB. It was only when I met this player named Arlansepi who introduced me to the offsite forums and the official NPO Skype group (Discord back then was just gaining traction as a platform) that I became a more proactive member of the organization. Ever since then, Iíve been involved in a lot of the community events of the region and eventually became an Imperial Governor with a high focus on community building. I went from participating in events to organising them such as our Spam-A-Thons, Pacifican Art Feature and the NPOdcast. I still pursue community-building albeit in a different level as Pontifex Maximus.

Oh that's really cool, I haven't heard of those cultural projects before but always find content creators or builders super interesting! What region or region(s) are you currently a part of? What do you like best about this region?

The Pacific. What I really love about TP is the loving community it offers. It may not be the most engaged in affairs outside of TP and some of the aspects of the game itself but the guys and girls I have met and hung out with throughout the years have been consistently awesome. It's also tightly knitted I'd say - everyone knows each other and the many things that interests or concern them. So, the sense of family is very prominent.

What are your thoughts on the various gameplay venues (forums, Discord, gameside\RMB)?

The integrated forums is a blessing since it doesn't bring the individual on an endless loop just to communicate with other players. Truth be told, the Gameplay subsection does provide a steep learning curve especially for newbies because you have to know the political landscape of the game in order to really understand some of the things presented in the threads. The individual player just needs to dedicate a bit more time to study and grasp the politics of the whole game and then they'll be on their way to being able to engage other people in the Gameplay subforums.

Discord is excellent and my main channel for communications. It truly is the best platform for any matters beyond gameside.

RMB is a bit restricted because it doesn't provide channels or threads for conversations about the same subject matters but it does it job as a venue to hang out with the entire region and for casual discussions. It could seriously do with more features and functions if it wants to compete with Discord as a social platform.

I completely agree and wish there were more RMB features or better forum integration with regions on game side, would cut some of the multiple sites problem. What has been your favorite historical moment in NS?

I would say it would have to be the second coming of UPPERCUT in N-DAY 2018. The first operation by UPPERCUT was lots of fun but N-DAY 2018, in my opinion, was where we optimized our performance. Nukes were more coordinated, strategists were nigh 24/7 and the economics functioned accordingly to the situation. It was amazing seeing that big of a collective function like a well-oiled contraption.

If you were Max Barry for a day, what would you do?

I would write more books but if we're talking about what I would do to NS as Max then I'd tweak the RMB to accommodate image uploads and more formatting so that it has a similar variety of formatting as the dispatch's text editor.

The first thing Community would do, as Max Barry, is write more books!

What do you do for fun when you're not on Nation States?

I would play games. A huge part of my daily life is music and I listen to music almost every living second of my life. Iím notorious for being the ďK-Pop loving KoreabooĒ in TP but I listen to a ton of genres, deep house and hiphop/rap being my other main squeezes. I also like to run and work out a lot and right now, Iíve been working on my endurance so I can eventually finish a half-marathon in record time. Finishing full-marathon in 2019ís the destination so thereís a lot more training to be done.

That's awesome, I almost always am listening to music to or at least for a large part of each day! What is your favorite movie and\or TV and\or anime show(s)?

My favourite anime series would be Psycho Pass, specifically the first season. The cyberpunk theme combined with a concept that could be taken straight out of Black Mirror was a perfect combination and made up for a very thrilling ride all the way to the end. Having an individualís capacity to commit crime assessed by an operating system was a very interesting basis for the setting. The second season kinda fell flat in my opinion mainly because the villainís depiction wasnít really doing him justice and the plot became too convoluted to pack in a seasonís worth of episodes.

Favorite book?

Cirque du Freak by Darren Shan. It was a series that I grew up with and I remember fond memories of reading the books in the middle of the night just because I was so hooked to the world the series was built on. It was a very refreshing take on the vampire genre and the ascent to the finale was worth it because youíve read all the struggles of the main character and you would have seen everything fall in place and the finale pays off in a massive way.

Favorite music?

Well, the obligatory K-Pop answer is Genie by Girlís Generation. If itís from another genre then I guess it would have to be a very obscure song from the Timbaland discography - If We Ever Meet Again feat. Katy Perry.

What is a game (outside of NS) that everyone should play?

The Sims. It doesnít matter which game in the series or how many expansion packs you have, itíll be fun nonetheless. Create Sims that mimic your friends, have Sims paint for the rest of their lives so you can fill up your virtual pockets or just let them figure out how to get out of the pool without a ladder. Each playthrough is unique and certainly will have you entertained for hours on end.

Thanks to Community for the detailed interview!