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Increasing Diversity In The Netrunner Community


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.


@robnixilis - the basic premise of this thread, stated in the first post, is that while Netrunner as a game celebrates diverse, the Netrunner community is not itself diverse. Explicitly,

“We make the baseline assumption that work to improve diversity is necessary and valuable. Posts questioning the premise that we need explicit action, or suggesting that this is somehow discriminatory against those majority demographics who don’t currently need any special diversity efforts to feel welcome (e.g. accusing organizers of women/non-binary only events of ‘reverse sexism’, etc ) are unhelpful and will be removed.”

I won’t remove your post for the moment - instead, I would ask you to re-read the thread entry post, and all the comments which have been made subsequently, before contributing further.

More generally, please could we keep this civil, and let the moderators deal with posts which are out-of-line or off-topic.

Now, onto ideas for increasing diversity in the Netrunner community!


In the future accounts which were freshly created just to post in direct violation of the top post in this thread, with no other contributions to the community elsewhere, will be assumed to be in bad intent. Please just use the flag button rather than engaging and let the mod team deal with such users via PM.


What my intentions have always been whenever I take efforts into “increasing diversity” in Netrunner aren’t solely based on the premise that diversity needs to happen for the sake of diversity. While diversity in general in any community is a positive thing that I believe benefits everyone (greater variety of experiences/thoughts/mindsets/etc to help inform your own deeper understandings of things), there is a much more empathetic side that is just as important. A significant amount of people, including myself, have had bad experiences while engaging in the Netrunner community, due in part to people treating them negatively due to their gender, orientation, race, etc etc… There are a lot of people who are treated unfairly or feel unwelcome in Netrunner environments due to this. As @rubyvr00m said, it’s making sure that everyone who wants to play Netrunner is welcome to do so. It’s not really worth my time to list examples of discrimination that people have faced at play nights, in online communities, in game stores in general, etc, but it’s important to recognize that this happens, even if you aren’t experiencing it or actively seeing it happen. Diversity for the sake of diversity is important, but it’s also critical to know that not everyone is able to experience the game in the same way. And that these issues need to be addressed, as everyone who plays Netrunner is benefited when more people are playing.


Hi all, this is my first post in the forum.

I’ve noticed a difference in female participation between Netrunner and other LCG, or even board games in general. Even though the Netrunner community is very welcoming, there are fewer women playing Netrunner than L5R for example. I think that the Android/Cyberpunk theme is less appealing to them.

My wife is an avid gamer, she loves L5R, Ashes, Mage Knight, Through the Ages, Gloomhaven, 18xx, etc, so she isn’t scared of heavier games. She’s a de facto member of the Netrunner community in my town, but she doesn’t play Netrunner.


This interests me. I wonder if there’s a more general gender preference divide between sci-if and fantasy (literary) genres. Any anecdotes?


My gf played Netrunner for quite long, even attending some tournaments with decent results. She didn’t even want to learn L5R, although I don’t think this was due to theme as she doesn’t care about theme in any game we play :slight_smile:


The idea that there’s an innate and inescapable gender divide between Netrunner and other games in other settings is very frustrating to me.


Well, duh – people have different tastes in themes! However, these are not inherently due to gender, people just like different things. Suggesting that women are somehow inherently less likely to like Netrunner is also extremely unhelpful in the discussion about how to make Netrunner more welcoming to people who are not male.

I for one by far prefer the Android setting and theme over any of the other competitive card games. Does that make me less of a woman?


One more thing to throw in this pot. I was explaining to my gf (who does not play netrunner) about how the limited supply of R&R was causing a bit of a kerfuffle around some events which are trying to adhere to FFG’s “official FFG cards only” policy, how R&R was almost certainly going to end up getting heavily bootlegged if FFG botches the reprint, would be heavily proxied until the reprint, etc.

She asked about whether people would feel slighted if they had ponied up for “real” cards, but their opponent was using proxies. My knee-jerk response was “I would not feel irritated by it now that the game has been discontinued, but I would be slightly annoyed that they were not supporting the company / game shops if that happened during production.” This opened up a whole can of worms about how board gaming in general and competitive play of a collectible/living card game in particular is more closed off in terms of economic diversity than many other hobbies. Pretty much anybody that wishes to can get access to the necessary equipment to run, play soccer, play chess, etc, but there are far fewer options for commercially produced games.

I don’t really have any concrete suggestions, but if FFG’s official support of Netrunner is coming to an end, it might be worth keeping an eye on how that shifts the economics of the game one way or the other (e.g. people dumping collections on ebay vs. people hoarding the now-limited supply of cards). If online play via jinteki.net becomes the most common avenue for continued play, that also changes things. You don’t have to be a Billions-aire to play this game, but it is pretty much invisible and mostly inaccessible to folks without a decent amount of disposable income, regardless of their interest.


Well, if your primary interest in real cards is supporting FFG, I’d note that once cards are sold, FFG’s interest in what happens to them drops dramatically, so I don’t see proxies as harmful to FFG (especially if the choice is proxies or nothing, given hoarders) post-discontinuance. And if this game is going to have a future, we’ll all be playing with proxies eventually. So I think in the long run, HQ scanned proxies of existing cards will be both necessary and virtuous.


This all seems true (though the question could get thornier if Wizards or FFG decided they had some future interest in a similar product).

One question we might want to collectively address is exactly what proxies would be acceptable.
Printouts of the actual cards would be ideal, assuming the channels for distributing them are allowed to continue to exist, and assuming the costs are low enough as to not raise economic justice concerns in themselves. (Are black and white copies okay?)
On the other hand, the most inclusive policy would be to allow handwritten proxies, but that could substantially increase the risk of play errors and such.


This is a really good point, and something I actually brought up recently as a thing I hope Project NISEI can address in some way. I too was led to this line of thought by the R&R situation and I am glad I’m not the only one.

Jnet as an avenue of play once official tournaments stop is definitely something I’d support.