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NISEI Real Talk™: Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion


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.


This. The way I see it, the NISEI team would do well to partner up with native speakers of each language to translate them as inclusively as that language can handle. But that’s an issue of logistics, not policy, and one for way down the road. As for English, “they” is more than fine.


Translators are one of the additional roles which have been identified as being needed on the NISEI Org Chart, so I’m sure the Board will address exactly this once they’re in place.


@Syntax lack of gender neutral pronouns in other language was something of which I was unaware. Thank you for pointing that out. As others said, using ‘they’ for English will work just fine. We do, however, need to figure out the most inclusive language for all the other languages we want to use.

To that end, can you maybe tell us what Magic the Gathering uses in the languages you speak? They switched to using ‘they’ on English cards quite awhile ago, and I think perhaps did something similar for other languages MTG gets produced in.


TL;DR: “Yep. Good direction.”

I think I fall into the ‘Ambivalent’ camp.

I don’t care that Hayley is a girl, that Quetzal is a ?? or that PoCs exist on card art.
I care that Hayley’s ability makes her strong for tournament play.

That said, I have no problem with expending effort in this direction. I mildly worry about resources being used on this that could be used elsewhere, but I don’t see that happening. Thus, I have no complaints.

Neither do I have advice, because I’ve looked into increasing diversity in spaces and have not found any real answers. My anecdotal experience has been that if you don’t focus on it, the diversity in your game equals the diversity of the spaces it is played in. And if you do focus on it, the diversity of the spaces you play your game in equals the diversity of your game, and people complain when they aren’t represented, celebrate when they are, and generally drives a bunch of communication and conversation about your game for the net benefit of Free Marketing.

The only real negative that comes along with focusing on this aspect is that you become open to criticism about ‘not enough’ inclusion. (I don’t count people complaining about too much inclusion as a real negative.) You get more benefits than that negative, barring some morality scandal.


Sure. “Latin world have less problems on pronouns than in the anglosaxon world”.
That’s just what I’m saying dude.
Unless I’m unaware, german as langage belongs to neither but is more a cousin to anglosaxon than to latin world.

When there is no neutral pronouns and neutral gender, this makes the thing so much laughable and/or complicated that you prefer :

  • a - to be understood
  • b - not to be laughed at
  • c - both.


I remember seeing something about translating ‘Ruler’ into other languages, that some would translate it as ‘King’ and some as ‘Queen’, and few would use a gender-neutral term. Same would happen with ‘Nurse’, the pronouns and context would imply a female or male gender depending on translation and language. e.g., “The nurse did their job well” would translate to “The nurse did her job well” in some languages.

More than anything else, this is what convinced me that caring about pronouns is folly. Yes, we should use genderless pronouns when possible (singular ‘they’ is better than ‘he or she’), but caring about it and stating that either “this forces people to feel marginalized” or “this is just pandering to sensitive snowflakes” is not worth it. You use genderless pronouns when possible, and otherwise you just flip a coin.


I don’t know if I agree with that. I would posit languages are mutually agreed upon cultural norms, and are constantly evolving. There’s no reason we as human beings can’t take an active hand in the evolution of our languages and guide them to something more inclusive. Lack of a gender neutral in other languages might be something worth solving.

Language is important. How we communicate with each other says a lot about who we are, the ideas we value, and the things we value in other people. Flipping a coin on gender tells me that we either don’t care about it, or that we don’t think it is important enough to see. It’s a small thing, but lots of small things add up to large things. We should change the small things that we can, when we can.

On a completely different subject:

There is apparently a way to be a little more inclusive in German, though I have heard it isn’t super elegant. As an example, the word combo “spieler/in” would roughly translate to “gamerguy/girl”. If anyone speaks German as their first language, I would be interested in if this sounds ridiculous to them?


OK, I’ll backdash a little. I don’t want to enforce “he or she”, or “she” or “they” or whatever.

My goal there is just to make understand that on these matters what NISEI will choose is detrimental to other culture combats for diversity : it’s a matter of culture. You and I would agree that you don’t have the same current discussions whether you’re a feminist in asia, middle-east, africa, south america, north america or europe.

I just tell NISEI staff to be conscious about that.

In France, as bizarre as it seems, hate is not based on appearance (that was a 60-90’s combat), it’s based on what people thinks.
In result, most if not all appearance based “tools” coming from the US (positive discrimination, etc) are severly putting the debate on an allready won causes, making hate growing rather than progressing on accepting different cultures or peoples.

By living on the crossroad of west Europe, demonym mixing is really a non-issue for most frenches. What haters don’t like is culture mixing. Aka : they don’t like mixing ideas, and they don’t care appearances.

That’s why I said “ANR on this subject is ok-ish, on these problems I’d like to enter their minds”. Now people from the US would say “but this is politics, I don’t want that in a game”.

See ? We don’t have the same concerns.


A lot of attention is on the future design, but I think the Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Team would make a meaningful contribution to Organized Play. Feeling included and welcome starts with the play environment and gatherings like weekly meet-ups and casual events, and FFG at best offered a few guidelines in the floor rules and tournament regulations. I could see NISEI OP finding creative ways to give TOs and community organizers resources for making an inviting space and dealing with conflicts between players and staff. If a judge program ever gets off the ground, it would be great to see “being a good host” and “resolving player conflicts” as a part of what’s taught through it.


Just wanted to add my 2 cents here.
In my view, the “he or she” does not refer to the players but to the runner or the corporation (= Valencia who is a she, etc.).
I think that the Corporation should always be referred to as a ‘‘it’’, because Corporations Are Not People. (I actually find it ridiculous when the cards, e.g., Activist Support, refer to the Corp as ‘‘he or she’’.)
As for the other side of the board, well, the pool of runners already includes Apex or Adam who, regardless of people’s opinion on gender issues or whether we care about said opinion, are clearly non-binary, so we have to find terms as neutral as possible.

NISEI Selection Committee Rezzes The Board