I began playing NationStates on 17 May 2003. At the time, I was a sophomore in high school with a meager social life and in need of social stimulation. I quickly became an active member of the community, frequenting the United Nations forum and getting an UN resolution passed ("Outlaw Pedophila", #22). By the end of the summer, my name was occasionally suggested as a candidate for moderator and I was quite well-known around most corners of NationStates.
My junior year of high school, especially the 2003 part of it, was a dark time in my life. I was having academic issues, caused by overloading a bit at high school (suffice it to say that dropping lunch was a bad idea), and I wasn't getting out much. NationStates, especially the #nationstates_general IRC channel, provided a community and a peer group. At this time, NationStates was here for me, and I will always appreciate this. This time also saw an evolution in my play, with the rise of the New Pacific Order in the Pacific. The pleas of the exiles for help and for the freedom to return to their region motivated what would become my later involvement in interregional politics, away from the roleplaying forums. It is a cause which I support to this day.
By the summer of 2004, things were looking up in my life, and I was less dependent on NationStates to fill my needs. It was also the end of the classic era of NationStates, with the old phpBB forums being removed and Jolt taking over the hosting of NationStates. In many ways, I still look at that time as the end of the old NationStates. The game may have moderately increased its speed (although I sit here with my gigabit college connection and still experience significant page-loading lag), but the forums were no longer our own; they were under the administration of an apathetic Jolt staff who continue to have a lackadaisical aspect to bug fixes and software patching. I would rather see [violet], SalusaSecondus, and [reploidproductions] administrating any day. It was also the time of Great Bight's control of the North Pacific and the first Puppetmaster attack, which I was sadly uninvolved in due to a vacation at the time.
The end of 2004 began the Pixiedance regime in the North Pacific, but this time period saw the ascendancy of a new strategy of interregional politics that continues to this day. With the invader threat diminished, the traditional unified defender front fractured, leading to new heights of defender infighting. Although this had been extant before, never had it been so open. Additionally, claims of duality became predominant. I have never been a supporter of duality play; I am the Founder of Democratic Underground first, an officer of Nasicournia second, and anything else is ancillary. But my approach was no longer the favored one. Instead, people would openly (I would have at least had respect for espionage) claim full citizenship (I'm not talking about just sending a friendly puppet) in several reasons and then argue that they acted independently in all of them, which is nearly impossible to believe. Sadly, people seem willing to turn a blind eye to the affiliations of those they support for regional office, not recognizing the long histories of most of these players. This is a major factor in why I have decided to retire.
However, another major factor is the changes in my personal life caused by the onset of college. I have not had that much time for NationStates during the weeks of the semester; this is partially due to homework but more due to the fact that I finally have a real-life peer group in which I can be in almost constant contact. I am no longer bound to the computer, hoping that somebody will connect to the Internet and want to hang out. This is not to say that I do not count many of you from NationStates as friends. Indeed, I look forward to meeting anybody that will be going to the Los Angeles book signing on Wednesday, including the Tetragrammaton Lord himself. But real life is substantially more fulfilling than text-based chat, and I would prefer to engage in it. Indeed, maybe I'll come back in four years when this condition ceases to apply.
A final factor in my decision is that much of what I support in NationStates, from an In Character perspective, is failing. I have just recently received word that the West Pacific has fallen to oligarchy, seemingly towards the path of the so-called "People's Republic of the Pacific". More and more, the great regions of NationStates either demand political conformism or support the regimes that demand the same. It saddens me greatly that the model I found most abhorrent - that of Francos Spain, albeit with sugary padding - has proven the most durable for superregional government. It is just hard to keep going when one's hope is so diminished.
Over winter break, I rejoined NationStates and saw that nothing had really changed, just degraded. However, I foolishly overestimated my willingness to keep playing and made a couple of agreements that I have not fulfilled (particularly in the region of Nasicournia). For this, I apologize profusely and can only hope for your forgiveness. But I came to realize that NationStates, though addicting, was doing nothing for my life; I was only continuing out of a sense of duty. And so I simply ceased to log in and decided to keep it that way.
I do not wish to completly terminate my presence on NationStates. I will continue to support and be active on NSwiki, as it is one of my NationStates endeavours that continues to give me hope (and I would be royally screwing people over if it went *foom*). Indeed, all of the time I would have spent on NationStates will be now directed at NSwiki maintenance. I will also be retaining the four Goobergunchia nations I control, although my other puppets will likely lapse. I hope to still drop by IRC from time to time, although not in the near future (there are people that have a major right to be angry at me for my abrupt retirement). Finally, I stand by my pledge to the exiles of the Pacific: I will not permit my presence on NationStates to cease until either I die or you can return to your home. If my services are ever required to the furtherance of this aim, please notify me through e-mail, IM, or IRC.
It's been a good ride. May the Sixth, Seventh, and future Ages of NationStates bring better times.
The above statement may be reproduced in full on other NationStates-related media. In fact, it probably should be.
The storm clouds were rolling in from the north as the President stood at the highest point in the Guncheslarbor, the large building which houses the Councils of the Liberal Unitary Republic. She checked the great clock, opened the scroll signed by the combined membership of the High and Low Councils, the judges of the Gunchenjuris, the Elder Lords (a title now nearly devoid of power, but still required for this), and the Cabinet Ministers, and began to read:
"We the undersigned, governors of the Liberal Unitary Republic of Goobergunchia and her ancillary states, with powers vested as Founder of Democratic Underground, inter alia, do hereby withdraw the government of the Charters from the world of NationStates, severing the Wiki Project from the Charters in the process. Let the Republic be sealed within its own realm until such time as it may reveal itself once more!"
She signed her name in the space labeled "President of the Liberal Unitary Republic", then handed the scroll to an ancient, ghostly man nearby, who nevertheless exuded an aura of being only eighteen years of age; he, it would seem, was not of this world. In a space reserved for "The Controller", he signed the name "Martin P."
Immediately a brilliant ring of light arose from the cupola of the Guncheslarbor, passing over the entirety of the Republic. As it reached the boundaries of Goobergunchia, it faded into a dark, impenetrable mist over both ocean and mountain. Those watching from without saw the Republic fade into an indistinct haze.
In Goobergunch City, the Controller stated simply "It is finished" and disappeared into the night.