Ever since NAG mysteriously showed up around 17 years ago, many researchers, have been trying to determine exactly what it is that makes it so successful and why it has a symbiotic relationship with its owner. What they found was quite interesting:

NAG entices its host with its vibrant cover which usually features a digitally created character as well as the promise of more information pertaining to that character when the host chooses to accept NAG as its host. In return NAG will give the host what are known as “Demos” of games. This symbiotic relationship is beneficial for both the host and the NAG magazine since it has advantages for both of them. These hosts are what have become known as the “NAGged”.

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The NAGged

The NAGged are the hosts to NAG magazines and although their attachment to NAG lasts for only one month, the mere fact that they were once bonded to a NAG magazine is enough for them to want to bond with another one. The attachment process begins in the magazine isle of the store where the NAG magazines lie and wait for their hosts to walk by. It seems as though the hosts purposefully want to become attached to the magazines possibly due to the advantages that they gain from the symbiotic relationship that they have with it. Once they have selected it, they then leave the store having exchanged pieces of paper/metal with the store owners. Upon arriving at their place of residence, they open the tough protective covering encasing NAG and become bonded with the magazine which causes them to become The NAGged.

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Each year NAG sends out a telepathic signal to other hosts causing them to congregate at one location, The Coca Cola Dome, in Gauteng South Africa. Here, The NAGged from all over the country arrive in large numbers and engage in ritual combat to the death (this only applies to their digital characters). Others arrive dressed as their favourite characters and also engage in (mock) ritual combat. This event is known as rAge possibly due to the numbers of individuals who become frustrated by being killed while playing their favourite games. Or it’s due to the queues that form outside that cause the NAGged to become enraged.

Pic 4The future of NAG

It came as a surprise when it became apparent that NAG would not be around for much longer. Genetic analysis determined that it was becoming less and less likely to survive in its current form and that it was actually undergoing rapid mutations. It seems as though as of July, NAG magazine will be no more and that it will become a digital entity. In some way this is the natural progression of NAG since it was always related to the digital world even though it interacted with its host in a physical way. It does remain to be seen how the NAGged will react to this change since they were attached to NAG in such a profound way. It has been noted that NAG will continue to send out its telepathic signals to gather people for the rAge event each year.

This 17 year study into the biology of NAG has yielded many fascinating clues into magazine/human interactions. The next phase of this research will surely have to be to look at how NAG interacts with its host across the digital space.

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