I see people who join NS falling into one of two main categories.
One category would be those who joined because the idea of a political role-playing game appeals to them, probably because they feel unable to affect political life in the "real world", and are basically unsatisfied with it all. I would imagine that these types of people have some really good ideas and want a forum upon which to express them. Kind of like this forum. Now this category could be subcategorized into several other categories, based upon the amount of time and effort an individual puts into it.
Some people get very involved and before long a social bond can form if they're sharing the same forum(s). There's a couple of problems with this, however, in that these people probably spend all their spare time in the game (it can be addicting, in that respect), and the possibility of becoming "elitists" could evolve from this limited social interaction, especially if the players have been at it for multiple years. This isn't to say that there aren't people in this subcategory who are more than capable of playing the game and keeping it in perspective.
The amount of involvement of others throughout the other subcategories might be dictated by their home life, work life, school life, et al. But they do probably make some effort, if nothing more than making their voice heard by uttering little gems of wisdom at the appropriate time.
It's the other main category that befuddles me. People who join and don't do anything at all, except respond to Max Barry's Issues. Not to take anything away from ole' Max. I like his sense of humor...to a point. But why bother? I realize that this is very prejudicial on my part. I'm the kind of person who doesn't attempt anything unless I give it my all. I try and cram everything I can into my life. I'm interested in a very broad range of subjects. Blah, blah, blah; enough about me.
But I am perplexed as to why anyone would enter this "game" and not play it. You have to admit that there's very little to do unless you get involved somewhat on the regional forums. Here is where a group of like-minded people have the opportunity to create something. Certainly it has no real substance; it is role-playing after all. But it can be very satisfying, in an ethereal sort of way.
I realize that this is just my limitied way of looking at things. A more learned and experienced person might analyze this whole business and say I've only scratched the surface. But what do you have to say? Do you think that all I'm doing is trying to stir up a hornet's nest and get people to express themselves and become more involved? You might be right.
Or maybe I'm just venting my spleen.