NationStates Semester Exam
Mark A. Foster, Ph.D.
Instructions for the NationStates Semester Exam are directly below. Please read them thoroughly before beginning. Bear in mind that this is an online participant–observational exercise. In plain English, at the same time as you are participating on the NationStates website, you are also observing others and their activities. Be as creative as you like. However, the entire process is simple and largely intuitive. Are you having any difficulties on NationStates? You can telegram me at either of my two nations: here or here. Remember. NationStates is an online gaming site.
  1. Create a nation As illustrations, you are welcome, if you are ever sufficiently bored, to look at the pages related to my nations: Democratic Communist Federation (Spartakusland) (in The Antifa Luxemburgist Communist Collective with its own website) and The Multiversal Communist Collective (in The Confederation of Traditional Socialist Nations). The dedicated website for my personal work on NationStates and similar sites, Communist Social Fiction, includes separate pages on The Dialectical metaRealists of Democratic Communist Federation (Spartakusland) and Ṭarīqaẗ ʾal–Bāhuwiyyaẗ of The Multiversal Communist Collective. You may, if you are interested, also design your own national flag and submit it on the settings page. Also from the settings page, my suggestion is to select the mobile theme.
  2. Search for a region and join it (the first month of the term). When you establish a nation, you will be automatically placed into a region run by NationStates. I suggest that you quickly change to another region appropriate to your own nation or your own interests. (If you want some help in figuring out your political philosophy, take this online quiz.) In my view, most of the better regions are run by ordinary members, not by NationStates. Make sure that the region and its bulletin board are active. Generally, larger regions—those with a lot of nations—are preferable to smaller ones. Post regularly on the board. A link to the board will appear on the main page of the region. Many regions operate Discord chat rooms. In that case, the room will also be linked from the region’s main page. Unfortunately, some regions are dominated by immature people and bullies who do little more than flame one another, by control freaks, or by liars. If you do not like a region, there is no limitation imposed by NationStates (or by me) on the number of times you can move to a new one. However, join an existing region. Do not create your own. Otherwise, your nation and your region would be essentially identical. Oh, and as soon as you establish a nation, you wiil be flooded with telegrams inviting you to join their regions. If you like one of them, and it is active, you might choose to join it. Or you can simply ignore the invitations and find a region on your own.
  3. Join the World Assembly. Vote on all resolutions as they come up (on the World Assembly page). Check the page every few days.
  4. Post a factbook/dispath in which you describe your nation (political and economic policies, philosophy, etc.). You can, at least partially, treat the factbook/dispath like a blog. Whether your nation reflects your actual views—fully, partially, or not at all—is up to you. As you regularly participate with others in NationStates, write about your observations or experiences in the factbook/dispath. Additionally, comment in your factbook/dispatch regarding the discussions of others, or your own discussions with others, on your region’s board. Toward the end of the project, describe, in the same factbook/dispatch, how your moral compass has actually been challenged, changed, etc. as a result of the experience. The entire factbook/dispath should be at least 1,500 words. For suggestions, you can see Ponderosa’s Guide to a Wiki Style Factbook or Guide to Creating Factbooks, Embassies, and Consulates.
  5. Respond to all, or to the vast majority, of the issues. (They are multiple–choice questions.) A new one is posted approximately every 5½–6 hours. If you are occasionally given an issue, and you disagree with all of the responses, you can simply press the “Dismiss this Issue” button. (On average, I personally dismiss roughly 10% of the issues.) The issue will then go away. You can also respond to all of a day’s issues at the same time. On the other hand, make sure you do not skip any days, or the older issues will simply disappear.
  6. Beginning on the first month of the semester and continuing throughout the semester, post a message, at least once per week, on the NationStates forum.
  7. Post a second factbook/dispatch in which you link to each one of the messages you posted on the NationStates forum during the semester. For creating links, you need to use BBCode (Bulletin Board Code), not HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language). For detailed information on using BBCode, you may, if you wish, read any of these guides: NationStates BBCode Guide, BBCode guide, and Guide for Nationstates BBcode. However, the simple BBCode linking format is all you really need to know:
    [url=]Post 1[/url]
    [url=]Post 2[/url]
  8. A general manual on NationStates rules is available at The One Stop Rules Shop. Above all, please do as I say, not as I do: Remain completely anonymous on NationStates. Do not give out any personally identifiable information.
  9. You are free, if you are interested, to participate in regional politics or governance (should that option be available in your region) or to engage in role–playing (commonly abbreviated as “RP”). However, since my experiences with NationStates governance only started on January 16ᵗʰ, 2018, and I have never taken part in role–playing (though I have observed others doing it), most likely I could not offer you too many suggestions or assistance. You would, for the most part, be on your own. In any event, involvement in regional politics and role–playing are not required for the semester exam. For anyone who is interested, here are a couple of role–playing activities I stumbled upon: A Modern World and The NSG Senate. The Cobalt Network is a region dedicated to role–playing. Another role–playing region, Realism and RP, has a recruitment message on the NationStates forum. (I know nothing about these activities and regions.) Obviously, if you become involved in regional politics, role–playing, or both you can discuss your experiences in the factbook/dispatch mentioned above in number 4.
  10. On or before the due date (given in the syllabus), email me from your address to mine (mfoster followed by @ followed by Include your first and last names, the name of the class (either “Introduction to Sociology” or “Social Problems”), the days and times the class meets per week, and the URL for your NationStates nation. Five additional points: First, I require stumail, since, according to college policy, I cannot use non–JCCC email accounts for grades. Second, I did not create a personal email link in order to avoid spam. Third, do not place anything in my physical on–campus mailbox. (Things have gotten lost that way.) Fourth, as you will find out, I am not shy about expressing my political philosophy. This project can allow you to talk back to me online. Fifth, if you are curious , the name by which I am known on NationStates is Mōšẹh ʾẠhărōn hạ–Lēwiy bẹn Hẹʿrəšẹʿl or Mōşẹh ʾẠhạrōn hạ–Lēwiy bẹn Hẹʿrəşẹʿl (Hebrew/ʿIḇəriyṯ, מֹשֶׁה אַהֲרֹן הַלֵוִי בֶּן הֶערְשֶׁעל; MP3).
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