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"How Card Games Became Cool Again"

Featuring Stimhack’s own mediohxcore.


I really love this article. It makes me want to evaluate what I can do to make my meta more inclusive. Even though I am the primary organizer, I am also the only non-cisgender-guy in my group.

I will definitely try to organize something outside of a game store but would love to hear other ideas people may have for attracting more than the typical male gaming crowd.


Obviously turn it into a viral twitter campaign #ProLiferate

Wait, that sounds like a right-wing abortion crackdown.


Sounds like a weird reference to a magic the gathering keyword too

You know, I’m not sure I agree with the idea that not bringing in non white male players into netrunner is a bad thing. If people like the game, it doesn’t matter what color they are, what sex either. Netrunner needs more aggressive marketing, and more public awareness, things FFG doesn’t really have control of compared to wizards of the coast or whoever. What a tricky topic, white male (nerds) are just here to stay in the card game world, let’s not make integrating others the priority, but make it as attractive as possible, naturally


I enjoyed the article and while we clearly have work to do, it’s nice to know that we’ve had some amount of success at creating a welcoming community.

I’ve had a couple of thoughts the past few days about something mentioned both in here and the other discussion thread about that guy. There mention of how online spaces are still seen as no go areas by a lot of women for both a variety of reasons. I was thinking about stimhack and what we could do to make it more inviting for women (and to a lesser extent people in general).

For one thing, we should probably have some sort of forum code it conduct. Online harassment is a very common occurance, and while we haven’t had any problems with it that I’m aware and I believe we would respond well, there no way for an outsider to distinguish this from zone where harassment would be tolerated. Just a simple thing l about what the rules are and stating who to contact and what to do if you have a problem.

Secondly, we talk a lot about netrunner here, but it would be nice to have this be a place where we can talk about things other t an this visibly. There isn’t really a good visible off topic section that is well suited to discussions about non netrunner (or other games) things. It would be nice to have a good spot to about sports or our pet rock collections or tv or whatever. I can understand if we don’t want this to be a non-netrunner forum, but just a thought.

Thirdly, it’s pretty intimidating to post here with all the world class players who are here. I’m a pretty confident person, but I was pretty much too scared to post here until I’d won stimhack league. Especially considering the running thread of confidence issues among women on entering a traditional male competitive space. Additionally, there is no visible etiquette quide and you just sorta have to jump in here. A new player section/thread would maybe be a nice way to give people an entering point. Just sorta a thread where people could post a little bit about themselves, what they’re playing, how long, if they have any questions. Then a veteran can come in with a semi canned response and say hey, introduce themselves, and link to a guide on etiquette guidelines (how to make memstrips joke for example). There was something like this Ina forum I was in before, and it seemed pretty successful at getting people integrated into the community and feeling welcomed.

Just some thoughts about the forums and Some potential point for discussion.


The FAQ has the rules/guidelines (although I don’t believe there is a single question in there) and the About lists the mods & admins for who one can contact.


I agree that a Off-Topic zone can be a good thing that helps build community. One can only talk about Netunnrer so much. Sometimes its nice to bond over which Taylor Swift song we secretly like.

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Oh man, I play stimhack league a few times, get rocked, decide to only play jank, and I’ve been playing here for a year now. You’re very modest, there’s so many good players yes, but they’re all nice guys/girls (for all anyone knows)

By the way, I could totally do well in the league if I wanted, I’m just saying…

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Yeah, me too! I’m actually Spags in secret, this is my troll account where I pretend to scrub around to lull others into a false sense of security. My 200+ ranking in SHL4 was all part of the plan. I’m gonna wait until the last 4 days of this league, then challenge all the top players, and jump up to top position at the last minute. :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

I actually think you’re pretty top, @cmcadvanced, I bet you could be top of the league, for real. :smile:


When I read your post I hear that you’re coming from a well-meaning place, and in general I’d say it’s true, focusing on promoting our hobby and being as welcoming as possible is a great place to start.

I have to take slight issue, though. the idea of “we don’t need to take active steps to diversify, we’ll just improve our community/company/organization in ways that make it more welcoming!” is a very common one, and historically a pretty ineffective one if you actually want to connect with different types of people.

While it’s not a perfect parallel, you (or at least I do, but this is my area of work) often encounter stories from the people hiring in tech and elsewhere saying “I don’t want to get into affirmative action; we’re cultivating an inclusive and safe workplace, so as long we just hire the best candidates, we’re bound to hire some people of color/women/other/all.” This sounds great, and it’d be great if it worked this way, but the reality in many of these spaces is that without active steps taken, all those “best candidates” just happen to be mostly white men.

While it’s certainly not the exact same situation, I believe the lesson applies; you can never take human biases and tenancies out of the equation entirely. No matter how hard you tell yourself “I don’t have any biases towards or against a particular group,” when it comes down to it people choose others like themselves far more often than not.

I like this article a lot, and I really don’t know what the right solutions are. I think Quinn’s efforts with reserved female tourney seats and explicitly safe-space events are a couple great steps in the right direction. Contrary to popular belief, bringing new people into our circle is not an accusation or indictment of the players already here -

That’s true, and that’s great! A lot of my best friends are white male nerds! And no one’s asking you to change it! But I want to live in a world where everyone I know plays this game (ok, that’s shooting a bit high), and that doesn’t happen until the great organizers, hosts, volunteer and staff that make this hobby thrum reach out with intention, and not simply sit back and assume that people will figure it out.

It’s not a zero-sum game. When we say things like “let’s not make it a priority” it imagines that we need to do this because other things are more important, and we’d have to choose one or the other; we don’t.


I wonder if mediohxcore’s assertion that many players are liberal comes from statistics or just personal experience. Unless card games in general tend to attract less conservatives, or unless the corp being flavored as the bad guy turns them off, there’s no reason why they wouldn’t play netrunner.

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I guess it just feels that way? I realize that there are certainly people of all political affiliations who play Netrunner, all of my close friends that play lean left. If there are any conservatives at all that I know of, they tend to be Libertarian types who, while sorely misguided about economics, are generally just as accepting of people of all types if not more so.

I don’t have any stats to back up the claim. I could be off the mark about the global situation; most of what I know about how Netrunners lean politically comes from the people I know in my area.


I agree with the overall sentiment of making the game better for underrepresented minority groups by making it better for everyone, but at the same time, I believe you can get a lot more work done by catering to new groups entering into the scene. I think that everyone has competitive drive and the same human brain that has the potential to want to play and become great at a game like Netrunner, and that means that the reasons why we don’t see more females, for example, playing the game, are social. If the environment is particularly great for groups that might otherwise be marginalized by gaming culture, not only do we stand to gain a greater share of the people from those groups from other games, but just by attracting a few people from these groups we can ease the entry of other potential players as well as create role models. I think it’s well worth the effort to go out of our way.


The point of affirmative action is to break vicious cycles, like if a girl says “I don’t know any girls that play netrunner, therefore I won’t play netrunner”. Making a special effort to get the first one in the door means you can get the second one in more easily.


Cyberpunk has always skewed pretty liberal as a general rule, and a lot of the flavor text jokes certainly lean that way.

I’ve met plenty of the American religious conservative types who would probably have trouble identifying with ANY of the factions in the game. Maybe a couple of the Shapers?

Anarch? Fighting for justice in a corrupt world?
Weyland? Standard profit making company punishing troublemakers?
Or they could see the world of netrunner as a warning about what could go wrong if we aren’t vigilant against developments like bioroids, cloning etc.
Flavor isn’t an absolute turn off. People like to play games with good mechanics.


Valencia Estevez: The Angel of Cayambe

Carries a console called “Vigil”, heavily into social justice, probably Liberation Theology.

Maybe you don’t consider that to be “conservative” religion but there’s a particular strain Catholicism that seems to be referenced here and despite not being squarely “right wing” it is a conservative strain in many ways.