Internet Relay Chat (IRC) is a service that allows for real-time text based communication.
IRC is used by players to communicate with each other in real-time. Chat rooms are called channels, and are denoted by a #. For example, the public Politics & War IRC Channel is #Politicsandwar. This is the default chat room that you join when you use the IRC Channel link in the sidebar.
The IRC Network that Politics & War uses is called Coldfront. It is not owned by Politics & War, and the only place that P&W has control over is the channel #Politicsandwar. When you join IRC, you can join many different channels. Channels other than #Politicsandwar may not be monitored or censored, and it's important to be aware of potential dangers.
Even in #Politicsandwar moderation is not available all the time. Always be careful when using IRC. It is very easy to impersonate another player or even Game Staff, so never give out any personal information, and beware of clicking on any URLs anyone posts.
Your nickname on IRC is how people will see your presence, and can be changed at any time with the command: /nick NICKNAME. Be aware that anyone can use anyone else's nickname, and that the person you are talking to may not always be who they claim to be.
For extra security, you can register your IRC nickname with the command /msg NickServ register PASSWORD EMAIL. An e-mail will be sent to you which you can use to verify your account. Once your nickname is registered, you will need to use the command /ns identify PASSWORD when you've joined IRC and have chosen your nickname.
With a registered nickname, you can register your own IRC Channels, be given permissions in other channels, and much more. If your registered nickname is not used for 30 days, the registration will expire and the nickname will become available again for anyone to use.
Quite a bit of roleplay and interaction occurs in real-time, on IRC. Players will discuss relations, alliances, wars, treaties, and much more with each other on IRC. A great way to become more involved in the Politics and War community is to hang out in the #Politicsandwar IRC Channel and join in on discussions. If you have a question about the game, visiting the IRC Channel can be one of the fastest ways to getting an answer to your question.