Those of you alive as long as me will remember the rise of PEACE and the first great battles between that long dead alliance and the ATLANTIS alliance they fought. The conquest and partial occupation of Hungary by Romania, the march Eastwards to challenge Pakistan and Indonesia in their homeland, the introduction of Serbia to the game all led directly to a series of conflicts that have torn and defined the world ever since. Ever since the allied forces of PEACE paradropped into Budapest to free Hungary from Romanian forces, the conflicts between Romania and Hungary and Serbia-Croatia have been more or less synonymous with the alliances they led.
Over time new enemies became prevalent. The addition of the Republic of Macedonia to the game led to new conflicts with Hellenists in Greece, defining another long term conflict which has added to the never ending divisions in the new world. The Balkans became ever more a fiercely contested area, the term “balkan wars” came to symbolise an endless, fruitless and futile war between nations. In fact after a while it even pushed the temporary creation of CTRL, an alliance which was designed to stand aside from those conflicts and present the interests of the “rest of world” group.
Whether the first tentative discussions over CTRL were a wake up call, or the wars were just winding down of their own accord is a matter of debate now, but the fact is that the endless wars have...mostly ended. With a tentative peace between Romania and Hungary, and Greece being mostly ambivalent towards the SerHun block to the North with MKD now in CoT, the war has quietened and fronts have gradually shifted. We live in uncertain times.
The Hungarian-Romanian conflict is perhaps the oldest in the game, and the most consistently hostile. But we all know that when you face enemies time and again, there comes a certain respect. The UK and Ireland fought each other for years, but when peace arrived on the agenda mutual cooperation wasn’t hard to reach due to the fact we knew and liked each other despite the antagonism and wars. In a sense the Hungarians know Romania better than any country except perhaps their southern neighbours Serbia, and the Romanians probably feel the same way.
One famous Romanian citizen, Alpho, wrote an article not so long ago about his RL identity. It’s interesting reading. He talks about how he draws his heritage from Romanian, Hungarian and Szekely roots- even a little from Germans, Italians, Serbs and Croats. It may appear sometimes to outsiders that the Balkans is fiercely nationalist, but there’s also a great deal the countries have in common- especially compared to countries outside the region. There are many cases of this- Kistru, possibly the most famous Serb of all time, and a good friend of mine, was half Croatian.
Mutual understanding is something which is often seen as an unrealistic goal, yet time after time we see situations like this where people reach across boundaries of ingame history and find that their enemies are in fact closer to them than they think. Ever since the breakdown of ATLANTIS I’ve been out of touch with the Romanians in the game, yet when we worked on the same side I always found them to be quiet, respectful and thoughtful. There are exceptions of course, but they were much admired and respected as pioneers- especially of military theory in eRepublik. Recently I’ve started speaking to the odd Romania again on their national channels, and found that not much has changed. Really it was only my own prejudgices which prevented me from making friends amongst them.
Now is a time of uncertainty, but that’s a good thing. It lets us think outside our normal box, let’s us approach the game in a new way. Remember that not everyone you fight is your enemy. Remember that the respectful enemy is far better than a disrespectful friend. This game is about trustworthiness and honesty, not about who has the most troops or the biggest amount of resources. Trust is something which you can never value highly enough- that’s one thing EDEN definitely got right and our own alliances have in the past got wrong. Try and reach across those boundaries, and talk to your fellow players. Don’t let real life antagonisms get in the way- as a Brit I expected many Serbs to dislike me automatically because of my countries role in the last fifteen years. However most people just treat me as another player, and were keen to talk about our similarities and their culture and history. One of the main reasons I love our alliance is that I’ve always been passionately interested in the history and culture that part of the world.
So from this article take a simple message. Enemies are people you can’t trust, not people you’ve fought in the past. We all have to reach out to people and take bold steps in times of uncertainty. Old enemies are already 80% friends.
Thanks for reading-
What is this?You are reading an article written by a citizen of eRepublik, an immersive multiplayer strategy game based on real life countries. Create your own character and help your country achieve its glory while establishing yourself as a war hero, renowned publisher or finance guru.