October 2021 Edition
By Polder Eiland, Journalist
In case you all didnít know me, hi, Iím Jinkies, Administrator and Moderator of the Anterian Discord, and definitely not someone in powerís girlfriend. Jokes about nepotism aside, I know that at times, moderation can be at odds with parts of the community, especially because our process is not always transparent. In this article, Iím going to make both administrative and moderative processes as transparent as possible while also making any discussed cases as anonymous as possible.
Moderation can be serious business. In the past, weíve had to deal with stalking concerns, harassment, outright bigotry, and sexual predation. Every time something that violates the dignity of a member occurs, we have to balance letting the community know whatís happening with the privacy of the victims. You may not even have heard of some cases for this reason. When we get a report of this nature, if the issue is grave enough, we may ban the perpetrator immediately, for the safety of the community. If this is the case, we rarely, if ever, take appeals.
Of course, most moderation issues are not nearly this grave. Most involve run-of-the-mill spam control, telling people to cool down in politics, etc. When this happens, the member is allowed to appeal via the AugustinAndroid bot in DMs, where they are sent notification of a mute/warning. Probably about half of the time, people do appeal. The appeal is not allowed to be considered by the same moderator that issued the warning, only by other moderators or the founder. Most of the time, the appeal is rejected. Moderators are chosen by the Director of Enforcement because they have a firm grasp on Anteriaís rules, and so most of the time, their decision-making is in accordance with other moderators. However, about 10% of the time, an appeal is granted for various reasons. If the appeal is rejected, final appeals may be sent to the Director of Enforcement or the Founder via DM, though such an appeal has never been approved.
Occasionally, if a situation or series of situations suggest the need for additional moderation, Anteriaís rules may change. When a moderator suggests a rule change, the proposed rule is discussed by both the moderators and the administrators. If most or all moderators and admins agree, the rule is implemented. The most recent occurrence of this was the addition of rule 11, which prohibited the discussion of banned persons in public.
These procedures are not be-all-end-alls, merely guidelines. However, this is what tends to occur, as a rule of thumb. Behind the scenes is far more discussion of the behavior of individual members and groups of members than appears at first glance.
Itís at this point we introduce the Administrators. Anteria only has and has only ever had 4: Hatstheput, Albithica, Tsokeiku, and I. Administrators control the operation of the server, updating roles, creating channels, and changing permissions as necessary. Their role is more background-focused, mostly popping up once in a while when discord updates things or a Director asks for a new channel to be created. Administrators are able to see all the channels in the server. Since this is the highest level of control over the server, this is reserved as a possible role for only the most trusted members of Anteria. Administrators do not usually interfere in moderation themselves. While they do have the power to, this job is reserved for moderators.
Administrators and moderators are different positions, but are united in ensuring the Anterian discord runs smoothly. The positions are rewarding, but require work and good judgement. Want to try your hand at being a moderator? Applications are open! Telegram The Byrdlands to apply.
By Vultesia, Roleplay Councilor
While NationStates, the home and host of the Region is by definition a computer game, our little slice of the site and the community we call Anteria certainly bears a great deal more resemblance to a pen and paper, round table role playing game than any comparable video game; nation simulators included.
One of the most common mistakes Anterians both new and old make, is to emulate and apply the story telling, organisation and logic of video games - most notably games in the 'Strategy' genre such as Hearts of Iron, Civilisation et al- to their worldbuilding and roleplay. While the narrative and layout of these games work perfectly in and of themselves, they, by necessity, cut out many of the realistic and crucial aspects we look for here in Anteria. A few common examples of the Faction Fallacy, and solutions for how to overcome it, are detailed below.
Example: 'Vultesia signs trade deal with Exampleland. Vultesia will receive Examplese bananas, iron and televisions, in return for the export of Vultesian rifles, clothing and shellfish.'
In Anteria, just as the real world, international trade is a complex web of national policy, private enterprise, opportunity, surplus and luck. Nations are far more likely to discuss tariffs, movement of goods, and incentives, than trading raw products in some form of like for like swap. If you struggle with trade at the macro-level, we have plenty of experienced players on hand to help.
Example: 'The Examplese military is good at beach landings, jungle fighting and anti-air, but has bad morale and isn't good at arctic warfare
While Real Time Strategy games often give their armies boons in certain areas and drawbacks in others, in reality, a military's strengths and areas in need of development are more blurred -not to mention that specialist climatic skills are usually taught on a need to know basis. A real military always tries to excel in all areas; though how successful yours is, is up to you.
Example: 'Examplese people are tall people with red hair and green eyes, they are conservative and religious. Examplese people love chocolate and piano music'
Though broad brush statements can be helpful in summing up a player nation, we must be careful not to treat populations as monoliths. Nations are filled with millions of people, all with their own experiences, hopes and tastes; throw into this mix immigrants, diasporas, religious communities and more. Always remember, a stereotype is just that, nothing more.
And finally a very special mention goes to perhaps the most common ways players fall prey to the Fallacy.
Example: 'In the Examplese Civil War of 2005, the Eco-Fascist group fought the Anarcho-Communist Group. The Lutheran Christian Group held the South of the country while in the North the Monarchists fought the Post-Capitalists'
When designing factions for civil wars the temptation is always there to split your nation into colour coded sections, occupied by factions with clear goals, united -often fringe- ideologies and distinctive aesthetics. While this is the entire premise of many video games, it couldn't be further from the truth when it comes to civil wars; which in reality are usually messy, fought between coalitions of vaguely aligned groups and factions, and in swathes of territory home to thousands of unaligned people who just want to get on with their lives.
So now you've seen just some of the many ways that the 'video game logic' of the Faction Fallacy can manifest in worldbuilding and roleplay, you're better equipped to spot it in your own writing, and others'. Remember the RPC is always on standby to clear up any questions you may have, or to advise on any number of topics. Thanks for reading, and happy role-playing.
By Zhousheng, Roleplay Councilor
As some of you might have noticed, my article about the Borelian language, which is a conlang I created, got featured on IIWiki. I have decided to take several steps back and look on what exactly have I created and what intrigued the gods of IIWiki to bestow their blessings specifically on that one my article rather than the thousands others on that website which for sure deserve some attention. Here is a summed up history of how I came up with a concept for Borelian.
1) Taking the first steps
Originally, I intended the Borelian language (Borεnli/) to be a more tongue-in-cheek experimental project. My conlangs at the time were exclusively slavic base with some other influence (Khmer, Germanic, Chinese...) and although I still personally have a soft spot for Slavic-based conlangs, I have decided to try out a project which is not related not only to Slavic languages, but to any languages. And thus- Borelian was born. The name itself was actually originaly derigatory, as I felt like I would end up being "bored" because of that project and ditch it for some other future development.
My original decision that inspired it was to create a language which doesn't distinguish the predicate and the subject, but merge them, along with other modifiers, into a single word. Thus, I made the decision to create new part of speech, the Predicate-subject complex (I would be repeating this a lot, so let's just call it "PSC").
2) Breaking rules and cutting corners
After I have set up the basic grammar, creating three words and pronouns with which I could experiment, I decided to go even further and link nouns to verbs, making the new PSC dependent on declensions of the nouns. After I have done that, I started to ask - who not do more?
And just like that, adjectives and adverbs were absorbed into the growing noun empire as well. The consequences to this were, that adjectives work as a seperate grammatical case. In turn, that posed a problem of how to do a declension of adjectives standing alone, which I decided to solve by allowing the word to posess multiple grammatical cases at once. That way, the word can be both the subject and the object at the same time, creating double valency, but more importantly, you end up with the ability for an adjective to be in coexistence with other cases.
Another idea that came up was for the suffixes that define the PSC to work in a transferred form with nouns to change the meaning of them as well. Thusly, you can prefix the noun and suffix the PSC with the very same syllables, changing the meaning to your will. This allowed me to make the language more poetic in a way and removed the need for almost all defining pronouns besides those prefixed to the PSC.
3) Writing, numbers and idioms
If there ever was one thing I am really a fan of, it was developing multiple orthographies and having them impact each other. Thusly, I created a proto-Bornese shapes (Borenese is still a WIP language family of Borelian and 2 more languages), which I mixed up, creating the writing system of Borelian. The consonants have three types: initial (), medial () and finial (), depending on where in the word they are placed, while vowels confort to the writing of the line between syllables, creating lineless () and lined () variants. As such, I originally decided to use an octal numbering system for Borelian, which later changed into decimal, and also decided for it to be written onto a line as well.
Creating idioms out of pronouns and nouns turned out to be rather favorable experience. Although the letters are generated by random from noise, my laziness still prevailed and the language got its form, where the word changes its meaning depending on the placement, case and prefixing - for example, the root "Tlik" is related to the concept of time or rush. From it, there are derived words, such as "Moltliknilo" (Sometimes), "Stitliknilo" (Often), "Sultlikino" (Eternal) or "Xatlik" (When). The word for race - Tlikagi - derives from this word as well and as such then roots into far more derived terms such as "Moltlikagi" (Hurry).
With such flexibility in prefixing and suffixing and with linking together verbs, adverbs, adjectives and nouns, you can derive suprisingly lot from the few things you have to bruteforce.
4) Easter eggs
Every project, no matter what it is for, is better finished than hardly started, and as such, I kept up creating more and more new concepts for Borelian just for the offshoot of sometimes putting in a misheard real word in a rather humorous situation. For example, the word for help - CukleÓ - is a misheard counterpart to the one of many Czech terms for sexual intercourse.
It is not professional to put in things only you can later decipher back, but it keeps you going. Not only did I think of new ways to put in the name of my math teacher, but besides that, I already got around to actually figuring out a lot about the language I would have never been able to without a proper motivation.
Monthly Statistics - July
Questions? If you want to give feedback or aspire to see an article of your own posted in the newspaper, send a telegram to Foxomexra or a DM to Foxomexra#4816 on Discord.