Rules of Exumbra

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Exumbra is the name of an interactive geofiction project, and of the universe of that project. These are the rules that apply to the real human participants of that project, hence to the creators of the fictional countries in the Exumbra universe.

see also:


1. introduction

Exumbra is an interactive geofiction project, and also the name of the 'universe' of that project.

These rules apply to the real human participants of that project, hence to the creators of the fictional countries in the Exumbra universe.

2. definitions

  • affiliated country : a fictional country that is recognized by the participants as existing in the Exumbra universe, hence in the same world as all other participants' countries. ('affiliated country' is a rules-level status, not a country-level status.)
  • member state : an affiliated country that is a member of the Exumbran Convention.
  • participant : a real human being who is the creator and maintainer of one or more fictional countries that are affiliated with the Exumbra universe.
  • acting participant of "X" : the participant who created and maintains fictional country "X".
  • collective participants : the collective of all participants.

3. coordinator

[3.a] The participants appoint from their midst a coordinator who facilitates and manages communication between participants and between participants and candidate participants whenever necessary.

[3.b] The coordinator is appointed for a term of half a year ending on March 1 or September 1. On those dates or as soon as possible thereafter another coordinator is appointed or the same coordinator is reappointed. There is no maximum number of terms.

[3.c] A coordinator can be dismissed by the participants by normal majority of votes. If a coordinator resigns or is dismissed before the end of his/her term, then a new coordinator will be appointed as soon as possible. This new coordinator's term ends on the regular ending date (either March 1 or September 1).

4. obligations of participants

[4.a] Participants are expected to treat each other with common courtesy.

[4.b] The requirements of affiliated countries also apply - where relevant - to the acting participants of those affiliated countries.

[4.c] Participants should inform all other participants of important events in their affiliated countries and affiliated countries at least once a year, and in the English language.

[4.d] Participants are expected to avoid official state-level contacts between their countries and fictional countries that are not likely to satisfy the requirements of affiliated countries as much as possible. (See also 5.1.e.)

[4.e] All public discussion between participants takes place in the English language.

5. requirements of affiliated countries

5.1. realism

[5.1.a] Affiliated countries are (more or less) 'realistic' countries on (contemporary) Earth.

[5.1.b] All description by participants of affiliated countries, aspects thereof, and developments therein, must be internally and externally coherent. That is:

  • (internal coherence) the description of the country itself has to be coherent, and 'facts' about the country have to be explainable on the basis of current scientific knowledge; and
  • (external coherence) the country has to 'fit' in (or cohere with) its (external) geographical and historical earth context, including what has already been described about other affiliated countries.

No description can be contradictory with previous description or with scientific knowledge, unless no participant objects.

[5.1.c] What is considered to be realistic is - if necessary - decided by majority vote among participant, but only after thorough debate and exchange of arguments.

[5.1.d] If an affiliated country violates the rules with regard to realism in such a way that this seriously and negatively affects the realism of other affiliated countries or international organizations, then any other participant can bring this up for discussion. If in the discussion the acting participant of the country in violation cannot provide an acceptable explanation (thus removing the violation), the collective participants can request that participant to change the description of aspects or events in that country in such a way that the violation is removed.

[5.1.e] If a country has contacts with non-affiliated countries, then the acting participant of that country is expected to prevent as much as possible that those contacts lead to facts or events that cannot reasonably be ignored by other participants, and if such facts or events occur, to give an alternative explanation that is acceptable to the collective participants.

5.2. minimal available information

For all affiliated countries, the following information (in English) must be publicly accessible - either at Geopoeia or elsewhere - at all times:

  • a map of the country showing main geographical features, and its location on Earth;
  • an outline of (recent) history, culture, politics, and government;
  • basic economic data on (potential) exports and (needed) imports, and the state of the economy.

5.3. communication

All participants must be informed (in English) of all important events in all affiliated countries. A record of these past events must be publicly accessible - either at Geopoeia or elsewhere - at all times.

6. admission of affiliated countries

An affiliated country is a fictional country that is recognized by the participants as existing in the same universe.

6.1. application

If someone wants to affiliate a country that he/she created with the Exumbra universe, than he/she can do so either by contacting the coordinator or by posting this application in the Exumbra forum at Geopoeia.

By filing the application, the country in question becomes a candidate country.

If the person filing the application was not a participant yet, by filing the application, he/she becomes a candidate participant.

6.2. deliberation

After application, all participants and candidate participants discuss whether the candidate country satisfies the criteria for membership, in particular those mentioned under 5.1. realism and 5.2 minimal available information. During this discussion, the creator can change details and/or add information about the candidate country if desired.

6.3. decision

[6.3.a] If the coordinator thinks the application has been discussed sufficiently he/she can inform the other participants that he/she wants to come to a decision. Unless more than a third (rounded up) of the participants within reasonable time replies that they want to continue discussion, a decision on the application will be made.

[6.3.b] A candidate country becomes an affiliated country if a majority of the participants votes for admission, and none of them uses his/her right to veto.

[6.3.c] A participant can only veto an admission if both of the following conditions apply:

  • he/she explicitly and elaborately explained his/her objections and concerns in the prior discussion and
  • the recognition of the existence of the affiliated country can be reasonably assumed to affect a member country of the vetoing acting participant in such a way that this recognition would require that vetoing participant to rewrite significant parts of the history of the affected country.

[6.3.d] If an application is rejected, the candidate country is not considered to exist, or at least not in the same universe.

7. semi-affiliated countries

Countries that are existentially recognized (that is, recognized as existing, not necessarily politically recognized) by all participants and all member states can be designated 'semi-affiliated' if no participant objects.

Creators of semi-affiliated countries are not participants (except if they are also creators of affiliated countries).

Semi-affiliated countries (like affiliated countries, but contrary to non-affiliated countries) are considered to exist in the Exumbra universe.

8. the Exumbran Convention

The Exumbran Convention is the international organization at the 'center' of the Exumbra universe.

If a participant wants to apply for membership of (or any other applicable status with regards to) the Exumbran Convention for an affiliated country that he/she created, than he/she can do so either by contacting the coordinator or by posting this application in the Exumbra forum at Geopoeia.

On the geofictional level, simultaneously, the government of the country in question submits an application to the appropriate office of the Exumbran Convention.

Further procedure with regards to admission is a geofictional procedure and is regulated by the founding Treaty of the Exumbran Convention.

Special rules with regards to the Exumbran Convention are described in the Rules and Procedures of the Exumbran Convention.

9. expulsion and dis-affiliation

If an affiliated country no longer satisfies the requirements of affiliated countries, any participant can start a discussion about expulsion. If the coordinator thinks the expulsion has been discussed sufficiently he/she can inform the other participants that he/she wants to come to a decision. Unless more than a third (rounded up) of the participants within reasonable time replies that they want to continue discussion, a decision on the expulsion will be made. Expulsion requires two thirds (rounded down) of the participants' votes.

Countries of participants that are expulsed per 10.1. expulsion of participants are automatically expulsed simultaneously.

9.1 dis-affiliated countries

Countries that are no longer affiliated with the Exumbra universe, either because of expulsion, or because the acting participant of a country withdraws its affiliation, are replaced by dummy countries. Such a dummy country is a copy of the original affiliated country, possibly with minor changes if violation of 5.1 realism was the ground for expulsion, but no further development or events. Dummy countries only continue to 'exist' for the purpose of continuity. Affiliated countries and the Exumbran Convention should (realistically) gradually terminate all contacts with a dummy country.

This article equally applies to former semi-affiliated countries that became dis-affiliated.

10. participants

A participant has at least one affiliated country.

If an affiliated country is admitted that is created by someone who was was not yet a participant, then simultaneously with that admission, he/she becomes a participant.

If the affiliate status of a participant's only affiliated country is terminated, for whatever reason, then simultaneously, that person ceases to be a participant.

10.1. expulsion of participants

If a participant no longer satisfies the obligations of participants, any other participant can start a discussion about expulsion. If the coordinator thinks the expulsion has been discussed sufficiently he/she can inform the other participants that he/she wants to come to a decision. Unless more than a third (rounded up) of the participants within reasonable time replies that they want to continue discussion, a decision on the expulsion will be made. Expulsion requires two thirds (rounded down) of the participants' votes.

Art. 9.1 (dis-affiliated countries) equally applies to the countries of expulsed participants.

11. meta-rules

[11.a] If a participant wants to change these rules or the Rules and Procedures of the Exumbran Convention, he/she can start a discussion about the issue. If the coordinator thinks the proposed change has been discussed sufficiently he/she can inform the other participants that he/she wants to come to a decision. Unless more than a third (rounded up) of the participants within reasonable time replies that they want to continue discussion, a decision on the proposal will be made. A change of these rules requires two thirds (rounded down) of the participants' votes. A change of the Rules and Procedures of the Exumbran Convention requires half (rounded up) of the the participants' votes.

[11.b] Anything not covered by these rules, and any issue of interpretation of these rules, is decided by majority vote among the participants.

[11.c] In case these rules and a treaty or agreement between affiliated countries diverge, these rules take precedence.