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Increasing Diversity In The Netrunner Community


The English spoilers for Crimson Dust have finally come out, so to reiterate what Kenny said we’d welcome and appreciate input outside the usual faces for the Meta Prediction article. The pack reviews are a great way to get started on this kind of thing, but we’re also open to any other ideas or content that you’d like to work on. Come hang out, even if you don’t have anything specific in mind just yet, because we enjoy chatting about and developing ideas for later down the line and appreciate input from all angles. By no means is it restricted to established names or competitive mindsets (speaking as a relative nobody myself).

The current article is pinned in #stimhack-articles on the Slack, or else you can get in touch with @SimonMoon or myself and we can point you in the right direction.


I am a non-binary player who is entirely new to the game of netrunner. I am currently at the stage of really enjoying getting lost in articles about all sorts of strategies, whilst still learning what cards are able to do. Whilst looking through the cards I have been really impressed with the fact that I can associate with much of the runner imagery; many of the runners are portrayed ina manner which is really welcoming as a non-binary player, and would make me much more comfortable taking the leap of going to a tournament at some point (when I don’t feel like a total beginner any more).

I think that increasing diversity in the player base is somewhat synonymous with adding new players; there needs to be some kind of outreach to groups that might enjoy the game, with some level of realistic method of getting them involved. This might be through getting people involved at gaming expos or other similar events, where people may have gone to look at other games, but could then be drawn to a massive banner of Kit or Noise, as someone they may associate with. Once you’ve drawn people in, having a way for people to try the game, and then find out about an awesome community behind it (without it seeming like they would be turning up as the token ‘different’ person) would be great.

Apologies if this is a little bit of a ramble, my brain is somewhat fried from trying to read so many articles on here, but I feel that this is a really important thing to raise, and would be happy to help if there are ways that I can.


I second that first part.

Seeing people present in all sorts of ways, and even saying people who aren’t like me be more represented in the game, helps me feel more welcome, even if the vast majority of players are cis white men.

The things I read, and the people I have interacted with also seem significantly more welcoming than other games I have played. I send people messages about buying things or such, and when mentioning my partner, they don’t immediately misgender them. That sounds like a small thing to point out, but I have been banned from MTG groups and music groups because I’ve asked people not to misgender me, so it’s a big step up.

This isn’t really about increasing diversity, more just a comment on how this kind of thing and the game itself are already miles ahead of most of the hobbies I’ve ever had.


I would agree with @Tamijo in relation to the Netrunner community already feeling extremely welcoming. I am really looking forward to delving more into the depths of the game, and the community. I think using the imagery that is so welcoming for people who may feel they don’t necessarily fit in elsewhere might help.

As a way to build on that, it may be possible to show some of the art of netrunner off on facebook or other media, to show people just how inclusive the game is inherently, and how many awesome alternative characters exist in the world of netrunner, might be a way to get new people interested, once they see what an awesome world has been built. One caveat to this though, it needs to feel natural, and not forced, as that is more likely to result in people playing the game and becoming hooked. :rainbow:


I do, however, really wish they would change the gendering of players on new cards…

Most cards read…
If X happens, he or she must do Y, or
If X happens, the runner must trash one of his or her programs

I am not really sure why it doesn’t say “they” / “their” instead of “he or she” / “his or her”… not only would this be more inclusive, it would also save them some space on cards as it is shorter and still entirely gramatically correct.

Is there anywhere that this could be suggested to FFG, or anyone who might be in a good position to do the suggesting, and get it listened to?

I have a number of friends for whom this has been a severe annoyance in other games, mostly MtG which does the same.


MTG/Wizards say it’s because they use the California style guide, which only late last year was updated to include using “They” over “He or she”. I don’t know how FFG work, but it could be similar.

On the one hand, it’d be nice, but being neither he nor she means half the cards in the game don’t affect me, so I’ll take it! [/s]


They did use singular “they” in the new core set rule book and the rules reference, which was a welcome change, especially since the original rulebook used “he” for all players except in examples. But they still have “he or she” on at least one card in the new core set, and I see “his or her” on two of the Kitara cards that have already been released, which is a bit disappointing.


Thank you! I don’t have Core 2.0, but nice to know they have done that a little so far, gives some hope for future cards even if we aren’t seeing it yet!



Hahaha, I like your point of view and think this could be the route to tournament infamy!

Seems legit to me though!


I think their heart is the right place, but Netrunner is a bit infamous for all kinds of inconsistent/poor templating in card text. I don’t think it’s a bad idea send feedback.

Michael Boggs (Lead Designer) is a member (and sometimes responsive) in the Netrunner Dorks FB group. So a polite post and maybe tagging him is not out of the question. There’s also the general customer service form:


Diversity is definitely in the DNA of the Android IP, so I think feedback from the diverse parts of the community should be very welcomed.


I obviously can’t fully comment, but Boggs is actively pushing for ways to reduce gendering in card text, for example when referring to zones sayig “the stack” and “your stack” where appropriate instead of “his or her stack”. There is so much more FFG can do though, I hope they continue to push in that direction!


shout outs to my fellow theys and welcome to the community! :black_heart::purple_heart::yellow_heart:


How’s about shut up?

MTG is suffering a decline because they are banning a crap load of cards in standard.

Marvel’s decline is because they are forcing retailers into lose-lose scenarios where the stores take big risks for small rewards, because they have to to get special variant cover arts. Don’t order enough to get the special cover and the store around the corner does and you sell zero. Order enough so that you get it and you might just not get enough sales. Coupled with the fact that people are sick of crap and rehashed story-lines, and you have a poor business model. That’s why Squirrel Girl is overselling. Because it’s good, and appeals to the growing audience of people who actually give a shit about diversity in modern media.

That’s why Black Panther did so well, you tool.


What on earth has made you think that “a diversity-centric agenda” is “a direction [Netrunner] is not currently operating in”?

Netrunner cards have portrayed a very diverse world since the original core set. In fact, the Android universe has been portrayed as very diverse since well before Netrunner was rebooted in it. I’ve seen the setting’s diversity remarked on positively many times. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone say they were quitting Netrunner because it was pushing diversity.

I assume the lack of complaints is because most of the white dudes who are opposed to fictional universes that contain people who don’t look like them never start playing it in the first place. There are a few who grumble about it, but if they’ve played the game enough to be grumbling in Netrunner discussion spaces, then it seems pretty clear that it’s not really a dealbreaker for them.


Posted 13 hours ago Joined 13 hours ago Read 20m

… this is the topic that made you feel the need to create an account? Grow up.


Because of breaking this rule, the last five posts (including my post here) will be deleted


Thank you Tamijo and Internet Potato for being so accepting of another person’s view. If you go on youtube and watch some videos from different content creators regarding the decline in sales of Magic the Gathering and Marvel Comics, you will find that (as I stated earlier) although the push for more and more diversity is not the SOLE cause of declining sales, it is a large factor.
I’d like to state that while I do not think having diversity represented in a game is a negative thing --if it’s done in a believable way, I do think over-representation of minorities (to the point where if feels unnatural) is detrimental to the game.
Magic has always had diverse characters in its storyline (minorities and women), but in the past five years they have started taking their diversity goals to the nth degree and the game suffers for it.
I’ve had the base box of Android Netrunner for several years but never played it too much. I like cube drafting a lot and now that my interest in Magic is waning, I’m looking to get more in to Netrunner and potentially build a cube now that a good amount of expansions have been released for the game (so, Internet Potato I did not create an account for the sole purpose of posting in the forum and bothering you). I agree with Absotively in that Netrunner has always had diversity. The core box itself featured female and non-white characters. And they make sense. I guess what I’m wondering is, "if there was diversity back then in 2012 and there has been some level of diversity all along up to the current day of 2018, why is there a need to create this thread and act like the diversity levels need to be ramped up?"
To me, there doesn’t seem to be an issue with representation in the game, but it’s not enough for some people. Can’t it just be left alone?


Makes sense. Obviously the natural state of the world is for white dudes to vastly outnumber everyone else, and also it would be terrible to have anything that feels unnatural in games about VR cyberspace replacing the internet and/or dimension-hopping wizards beating each other up.

Anyways, this thread mostly isn’t about diversity on cards, and I don’t know why you think it is. The thread is about increasing diversity in the Netrunner community. That’s why the thread title is “Increasing Diversity In The Netrunner Community.”

(I’m sorry, I know I shouldn’t respond to the off-topic nonsense, but I just… waves arms vaguely towards post with the phrase “over-representation of minorities.”)


Ok, point taken.
Then why does the game need to be played by anyone who isn’t currently enjoying the game now? And why do those hypothetical individuals need to be identified based solely on their race and/or sexual orientation/identity?


It’s not about recruiting a specific subset of players, it’s about making sure everyone who wants to play has a seat at the table.