2002 government simulation video game

NationStates is a website and browser based game and online community. It is about creating and managing a nation. It was created on 13 November 2002 by Max Barry.[1] He created the game to advertise his book, Jennifer Government.[2] The game does not cost money to play, however people can donate money to remove adverts. They can also buy bonuses related to "telegrams", which are the way that players talk to each other directly.[3]

Type of site
Government simulation game, internet forum
Available inEnglish
OwnerMax Barry
Created byMax Barry
RevenueFrom advertising, paid premium memberships and encouraged book sales
Users232,632 active nations as of 7 January 2021
Launched13 November 2002
Current statusActive


Registration is free and users are asked to provide the name of their nation, a national motto, a national animal, and a currency.[4] After playing for a few months, players can also modify their government type and religion, leader, etc. Players can upload or choose a flag for their nation.

There is a forum in the game, where players can chat about whatever they like, whether it be politics, recent events, etc. There are three major categories: General, which is for "discussion and debate about anything", Forum 7, where you can "relax, unwind, share a joke, and generally goof off," and NationStates, where users can "come together and discuss matters of varying importance".[5]

Players are able to create and manage regions, which are communities for players. Each region has a Regional Message Board, which acts as a type of forum. Each region is managed by its founder (the player who created the region), but players within the region can also choose a World Assembly Delegate. The World Assembly (WA) is an organisation and part of the game acting as a stand in for the United Nations.[6] It makes laws that apply to nations that have joined the WA but nations are not required to be a member. It used to be called "The United Nations", however Max Barry was sent an email by the United Nations telling him to not use their trademark in his game.[7]

Players are also able to create factbook and dispatches about their country, which they can use to tell other people about their country.


  1. Barry, Max (13 November 2004). ""NationStates is 2!"". Retrieved 2019-03-07.
  2. O'Connell, Pamela Licalzi (2003-01-16). "Online Diary". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-03-07.
  3. "NationStates | Store". Retrieved 2019-03-07.
  4. "A Web Site of Virtual Nations". ABC News. 2006-01-07. Retrieved 2019-03-07.
  5. "NationStates • Index page". Retrieved 2021-01-10.
  6. "NationStates | The World Assembly". Retrieved 2019-03-07.
  7. "Max Barry | The United Nations vs Me". Retrieved 2019-03-07.