The Ever-changing Tides of Foreign Affairs
Written by @Olde Delaware
I think one of the things I miss the most is how random things used to be in the old days. These days, you can tell when something is going to happen because of Discord, scripts, or other programs. But if someone were to declare war on you or invade your colony or region back before all these became the standard, the only way you'd know is by going to your computer. This happened in my first region, Great Britain and Ireland when we were invaded - and I use that term generously - by a band of people from a region called Federal Commonwealth Society on Christmas Day of 2006. They and their commander, a person by the name of ----GreatBritain, which looked to be a spoof of our then founder --GreatBritain--, took and attempted to hold the region of Falkland Islands which was home to our then resident now known better as the legendary R3n.
The invasion was halted, just like in RL, and we declared war on the region. I remember the Cabinet questioning, "How did this even happen. What do we do now?" Fortunately for us, we got the region back. The NS world learned that day that you don't mess with North East Somerset (NES). Let me take a brief minute to explain the NES I knew versus the NES the rest of Nation States knows.
NES, the King of Balder, the second King of Great Britain and Ireland, is an elder statesman to be sure these days, but in the grand old yesteryear of 2006 I believe was still finding his feet. A man not unlike Onderkelkia but different in how they handled their business. Onderkelkia was more likely to convince you through oratory devices, whereas NES was, is, and always has been more tacit. Both men are made of tremendous moral fiber and character, but NES has, to me, always been the more tactical. His use of organization and “gentle” persuasion as Prime Minister was key in leading us to a diplomatic victory in the fledging days of the NS forum before we had even landed in the Falklands.
But you have to stop and think about the technological challenges. I believe it took us nearly a day to rally the troops, it being Christmas, before we could take the region back. Nowadays, a Christmas or holiday raid is almost always expected. It's a time when we are at our most vulnerable, and yet we can still find someone on social media to help us turn the tide. Help is just a phone call or a text message away.
Social media is an amazing tool that has helped bring our worlds, fake and real, closer together, but they've also had an adverse effect. A region may have at one time depended on its Ambassadors to be a positive force and representative to the world rather than confined to MSN and the forums. Social Media platforms such as Discord have made that job as easy as searching online for the right person to talk to. This has led to recent calls, especially here at home, to ask what can we do to ensure the role of Ambassador evolves to fit our ever-changing needs as a region in an always-changing NS world. It's also caused us issues here at home in more drama via arguments, more hurt feelings, and even more disciplinary issues for our many underappreciated forum administrators. Discord and Social Media are unlikely to go the way of the dodo in the next few years so we learn to adjust and move forward.
I'm a resident that constantly lives in the past. It's just how I have always been. I love to reminisce about the good old days even if my friends on the forums and on Discord have no idea what I am talking about. My parents have always taught me that the past can teach the present if those in the present open their ears long enough to listen to the message and take it to heart. In our case, we have taken the best and brightest from the past: R3n, NES and Onder and have used their knowledge and their strengths to build a Foreign Policy machine that can rival any of the Game Created Regions of the NS world. We are lucky to continue to have the tutelage of giants such as WritingLegend, HEM, Sopo, Drecq, Calvin, and Aexnidaral to draw ideas from and help evolve our region through any crises, real or imaginary, we may face, but it is time for the next generation to stand on their shoulders and take their rightful place.
Tides ebb and flow. They change sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worst. It is important that we ride the tide for as long as we can, paddle when we need to, and never stop believing that we can do or be better. Times change, people change, but good friendships remain true to the very end.
Thus is the way in real life and thus is how it is and should be in our NS world thanks to our dedicated Foreign Affairs servants.