Cyberia’s 10th Anniversary
On July 19, 1997, I created a mailing list that I called Belaria – the beginning of what I thought would be an interesting project of creating a fake nation over the Internet.
The name changed to Cyberia, the medium for discussion shifted to message boards, and by October of that year, we had settled on the basic form of government – a President, a unicameral legislature using proportional representation for electing members, and a system of fake provinces to allow experimentation.
Now, ten years later, I’m far removed from the micronation due to other projects, but there it remains. Still standing, I think Cyberia is now one of the oldest running micronations on the Net.
I can attribute this to the growing popularity of real politics, and congressional simulation games like AGS, as well as software like 80soft’s President Forever game. But it probably didn’t help Cyberia that it faced periodic factionalism, bouts of intellectual philosophy debates that deter the average viewer, and, more importantly, it had built up a certain bureaucratic sense of self that it began less open to new ideas.
Even with those limitations, the fact that Cyberia is around 10 years later is a strong testament to the resiliency of its members to keep up with the project.
Here’s to another 10 years, Cyberia!