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Title: Sitting Down with Blackbird
Description: Interview

Meg Stern - July 23, 2005 05:21 AM (GMT)
Recently I was fortunate enough to spend some time with Blackbird, Director of RLA Intelligence, Secretary of State in ADN, Senator in Meritocracy and one of the most influential players in NS.

Thank you for taking the time to meet with me. How long have you been in NS?

"Since December 2002."

There has been alot of rumors in regards to RLA and ADN...difficulties if you will. How do you manage to balance the two in your NS life?

"With the greatest difficulty. I'm often criticized at both for being too close to the other. Ultimately, both organizations are defenders, and both of them are filled with great defenders and great people. Although a few of my detractors (and I hope they're few) might claim differently, I've put a lot of effort into seperating my duties and my personas so as to prevent any allegations of conflicts of interests. In the end, both organizations do a great deal of good, and a great many things right, although I don't agree with absolutely everything each does and has done. I doubt you can say that about any organization though."

So it is difficult, but you honestly feel your allegiance to both is equal??

"My allegaince is to defenders. Always has been and always will be. If the organization defends, then my allegaince is theirs."

On a lighter note, you are one of, if not the most influential nation in NS. How do you feel having such a huge responsibility?

"Well, I don't know if I'm the most influential nation in Nationstates, but I do have many responsibilities. How do I feel about it? I feel the people who place trust in me give and I try to fulfill all the expectations set for me."

How did you get to where you are in NS??

"Is this a question about my entire history, because that's pretty long."

I guess I am asking what goals you set for yourself when you started or did it just evolve into who you are today?

"What goals did I have when I started? Boy, they were different than what I have now! When I started, there was no TPC (The Proletariat Coalition, my region) no RLA, no ADN, no Meritocracy. I joined TPC in the summer of '03 and my goals then became to be Delegate.
When the MASS Alliance formed, one of my goals became to be a defender, and advance the defense, first of leftists, and then, as I learned about the world, and about the fight against griefers (which were the main threats then) and invaders. My goal then became to advance the defense of everyone, regardless of political beliefs. That's really been my ultimate goal since. I co-founded the RLA to advance those goals, and then had my region join the ADN (although I was already there) to help advance those same goals there. I joined the Meritocracy, at first just to have fun, because I liked the environment, and then, as the Meritocracy's foreign policy changed, I was appoined to positions there, and got serious about a career in the Meritocracy. MASS Alliance stands for Marxist-Anaracho-Syndicalist-Socialist Alliance."

One of the biggest events in recent NS history was TRF's DEN infiltration. What part did you play in that?

"I am the Director of Red Liberty Alliance Intelligence, and as such, I ran and directed his operation. The Red Factions is an incredibly talented agent, and a great deal of credit certainly goes to him as well."

Do you feel the infiltration achieved it's desired goal?

"Our goal was to destroy DEN, so no, it wasn't achieved because of the ousting of our agent by Unistrut. DEN is still up and running. However, DEN was still significantly weakened by the Red Factions, and numerous other secondary goals of any infiltration, such as counter-intelligence operations and the destabalization of raiders as a whole were achieved several times."

Are there any parts of your personal political schema that overlay onto your game persona?

"Most likely, but less than you'd think, although that's a hard question to answer from a first-person perspective. I believe in unity, and that's something that's in a lot of leftist belief: solidarity, etc., etc. (that word is in my PM/TG signature in fact), but on the other hand, other basic core Marxist beliefs that I have simply don't apply to the gameplay mechanics of Nationstates, and I believe most of the RLA feels that way too. For instance, although I am a Marxist, I don't believe in invading capitalists or anything of that sort, because you can't foment revolution in the game of Nationstates. There are people behind these nations, and invading people with whom you have ideological disagreements is a pretty silly idea in Nationstates. You can't change a nation's (the in-game nation) politics without changing the player behind the nation, and that's simply not a realistic goal. So, for myself at least, and in fact, for most people of any political persuasion in this game, having in-game conflicts based off political ideology is a moot point."

Do you feel you have more to achieve in NS?

"Well, we always strive for perfection, don't we? And a perfect world would have no invaders, no problems, etc., etc. I would like to see relations between defenders mended again. I look with promise towards the Defender Summit opening up, but have realistic expectations regarding any potential outcome. Although defenders as a whole are unified, personalities do come into play. Defenders continue on as always."

RIA set up the Defenders Summit?

" Yes they did."

What do they hope to accomplish with this meeting? Your opinion.

"I think they hope to help mend some of the ties that were broken. I believe there's also going to be discussion about new defenders tactics and methods of organization. As the Summit hasn't officially started yet, to my knowledge, or is rather just being started, it's hard to comment on what it could be."

What do you feel your greastest accomplishment as a Defender has been to date?

"Hmm...That's a hard one. I would have to say that co-founding the RLA would probably win that one. It was incredibly difficult to set up an entirely new alliance, build it from the ground up, recruit regions, members, and set up a now world-renowned intelligence department."

Yes that was/is quite an accomplishment.

"Thank you. *bows"

Who do you feel is the most respected player in NS?

"Not to slight anyone by not naming them, but here's a couple in no particular order: Ananke, New Clarkhaller (retired), Jasque, Jako, and Southern Tasmania."

Is there anything else you feel my readers should know about you?

"I enjoy chuckling. *chuckles"

You are aware a lot of raiders read Nsn?

"*chuckles* I know."

There are alot of negative feelings towards RLA since the TRF incident. Any comment on that?

"To those invaders out there reading this, know that I might be reading it too, as one of you."

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