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NISEI Real Talk™: Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion

How would we know whether or not there are people who would like to play, but don’t for one or more reasons that are covered in the article, or in the subsequent discussions of it here, on FB or on Reddit etc? Genuine question.

As one example, the gender split amongst visible Netrunner players is nowhere near proportional to that of the general population - why is that?

I don’t think anyone is suggesting this. Just using “they” as the generic pronoun in an attempt to make all people feel comfortable and included.


I also had similar thoughts as @Paoloco and it took me some time to disentangle them in my head. I am not sure if other posts also mean to go in this direction, but for me it boils down to the following:

Inclusivity in real life and in the community basically means “be a decent human being”, which I think everyone agrees with.

Inclusivity in the fiction (for me) means to “show the world as it is”. That of course includes Runners and other characters from all ways of life. But it also includes the non-inclusivity that is an inherent part of the Android fiction. At least for me, that is one big reason why the world is so believable, realistic and interesting.

In particular, I thought the Mumbad-Cycle with its fight for the Clones to be recognized was one of the most compelling narratives in Netrunner. I want Edward Kim to be calling Bioroids “bucket-heads”, some of the Criminal Runners to look down on the poor because they only value money, people from Earth to have prejudices against Martians and “Loonies” and of course against Clones and Bioroids. I hope this aspect of the Android universe does not get lost.

After all,
It is the future, the world changed, people did not.


Incredibly glad you guys are taking this strong and clear a stance on this - bravo. :slight_smile:


To those worried about tolerance or inclusivity, ANR has already incorporated your viewpoints! Rejoice!


Well, they can tell it. The advantage of a fan based project, expecially with a relatively small community, is that authors are more sensitive to players and potential players opinions.
I think it’s pointless to take special precautions “just in case”, we won’t even been able to cover all the cases and restrict the game for wrong assumptions.

Hmmm, I think this is personal preference (clearly driven by society and by education), which is far far beyond reach of any initiative we can make.
What is the proportion for Magic players?
And what is the proportion for boardgames players outside countries with a long tradition for family boardgames (Germany, Netherlands, US)? [At Italian conventions it’s 20-80 for young and 1-99 for elderly]
And what is the proportion of computer geeks and techs?

In fact Netrunner at competitive level is currently male only. Me too I would love to see more non-male, but I think this is society-driven, there is nothing we can do at global level.

Sound odd to me, but anything which is neither ambigous nor heavy to read is fine and very welcome.

BTW, is there really somebody who feels bad at being referred to with a wrong pronoun BY A CARD? In real life it can be, but by a card I wouldn’t mind even being called “it” or “s/he”. :grin:

Thank you for your answer!

Yes. Having cards say “He or she” instead of “they” is very exclusionary. It’s not being misgendered, it’s being told you shouldn’t be playing.


Just to sum up my thinking on inclusiveness: please do it, but paying attention not to fall into paradoxes.
As an example: next location for worlds. In theory, not in US which already hosted several, not in Europe whose players can travel fairly easily, it would be “inclusive” to set them in underrepresented ANR communities. But how many American players would we lose this way?

If you make a product of some kind, decide not to advertise it because people can just find it with a quick search if they want to, and then it sells no copies, whom do you blame?

There is a middle ground between changing society all at once and accepting the status quo. In fact society is never changed all at once.

This line of argument is addressed by some of the articles linked to in the main “increasing diversity” thread linked in the top post of this thread, perhaps especially Myth #7 in this article. Please give these a look.

It is much easier to say this having grown up male without a lifetime of board games referring to you by the wrong pronoun already. It’s thousand cuts.


@Tamijo : they hides the biggest discriminated group in the world, though.

I’d rather a she as neutral, but just warns that there will be esthetic rejects about it.

Just a though, as I agree both with Bifurcator and Spag. We need more cards like Human first.

“Hate” get not much representation either. It is not a matter of saying good or bad, but as social security, religion matters, pension problems, I don’t see hate disappear in the future.

It is a distopia, not an utopia.

Anyway at least hate get more representation than fat dudes in the current card pool.

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I don’t know why you think this, but I know plenty of women who play competitive Netrunner here in the UK, one of whom made a cut at a Regional event just this weekend.

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Please stop replying in bad faith about sexism. You clearly do not understand gender-based discrimination.


Happy to see staff agree on this issue. It’s a simple but very important change to me.

I suggested “they” to replace “he or she” earlier in the thread. It’s actually shorter and easier to read. While I get that you personally will not feel offended by being misgendered, some people will feel uncomfortable by being misgendered. It’s one of the reasons Magic the Gathering went with “he or she” in 1993 - because the standard of simply using “he” about players in role-playing games simply didn’t make much sense. Now, for people who do not adhere to either binary gender, using “he or she” isn’t just misgendering, it is simply not acknowledging it as a possibly option. It is forcing people into one of two boxes they do not fit in.


Tamijo, are you talking to me? In case tell me and I’ll delete this post (if possible).

I don’t know why you think this, but I know plenty of women who play competitive

I simply counted the faces on online pictures and videos (some are even at store tournament level).
However we can get a much better indicator, at least on the online community, from the survey that is undergoing.

It is much easier to say this having grown up
male without a lifetime of board games
referring to you by the wrong pronoun already.

Partially true.
It’s 3 decades that I have to read roleplaying and board games in English and German, I feel diverse and in the early period not included as authors and editors were definitely not foreign friendly, but honestly it has never been a problem.
However, I shall investigate with my female boardmates whether this is an issue for them.

Thank you for all your answers

You clearly do not understand this problem exceed the english langage and culture. A “they” is offensive to any, or most, latin langage based feminisms, where this problem can’t be solved by a simple “they”.

Ask feminist people speaking espagnol if you know some, if you’re from the US. They will translate this either by “ellos” or “ellas” and the problems will remain exactly the same. And in fact they though a little more than 2 minutes about this subject.

“Bad faith”, pff. Open your mind. You’re the one having problems with feminine and masculines pronouns. Not a single one of the latin LGBTQ+ I know.

English has a gender-neutral pronoun that works well in “they”. If a Spanish translator didn’t know that, they might translate “they” as “ellos”. Ideally, they would translate it as whatever pronoun or pronouns best includes all people, including non-binary Spanish speakers.

Myself, I am not familiar enough with gender-neutral pronouns in French and Spanish and what pronouns are ideal to include non-binary French and Spanish speakers.

But just because “they” might not work in Spanish is not a reason not to use it in English.


Pronouns is just less a problem here than in the anglosaxon world.

Each try to put a neutral gender in latin langage ends with people listening to you laughing at you. Solution, pick the gender you prefer at the moment you’re talking and don’t mind if people are confused.

“They” would stay her or him in french. There is no, or very rare uses of “ielles” in french, and nobody would understand your orthograph anyway because there is no neutral gender there (the use of masculine is neutral, but it’s a use, not a proper gender). I saw one people use ielle/ielles but this is very very uncommon.

Espagnol uses - : ello-a-s. French tries to, this is a more common way. So let’s say “il-s/elle-s mange-nt assi-e-s sur un/des tabouret-s”.
As you can see, this hashes sentences, and I hopefully used regular feminine and plural terms. This stay written, you can’t talk with this. If you can’t talk with it, the practice will die.

And people prefer to be looked at seriously than not be misrepresented here. Respect before image (which may be one of the very exemption to the image rule there).

This is a ridiculous statement. Pronouns are a much bigger issue in German because there is no “they”. Every nonbinary person I have met in Germany uses “he” or “she” not out of choice, but because the German language doesn’t really have any good alternatives right now.

Apart from that, I don’t see how the language issue matters at all. We’re all communicating in English, presumably the Board of NISEI will communicate in English, so what matters is the usage of the English language. Edit: To clarify what I mean with this is that we need to set up a structure that works in English and then try and see what will work in other languages, instead of the other way round. I hope this makes sense.


Personally, speaking only for myself, I think this is the key point. The majority of Netrunner players speak English and play with English cards, so solving the pronoun issue for English is a good thing to do.

Syntax makes good points about how the same approach may not work in other languages, so this should also be considered, but the fact that it would be challenging (or even impossible) to solve this for non-English languages shouldn’t be a reason to avoid solving it for English if possible.