Meet the NISEI Executive Team

The past few months have been a flurry of activity here at NISEI Plaza, with new members alighting off the Beanstalk almost daily thanks to Neuropantser’s efforts! However, there is much shuffling around of existing members as well, with the restructuring of NISEI which Serenity wrote about late last year now finally complete!

Helming NISEI now is the brand new Executive Team, led, as before, by President Austin, aka “icecoldjazz”, who assumed the post and its ceremonial cloak of office made of Rezeki playmats last year. Supporting him will be three Vice-Presidents, each heading one of the departments of People, Product, and Engagement, and collectively able to stand in for the President. 

All three VPs have now been appointed, and are ready to lead NISEI into the future! We’re happy to introduce our new VP of Engagement, Serenity “swearyprincess” Westfield, whom you know as our former Head of Community and interim holder of the post she now occupies; our VP of Product, Kevin Tame, long standing member of NISEI’s exceptional graphics design team (and creator of our logo!); and, as VP of People, newcomer Carl “Golden Ruby Fish” Barber!

We’ve interviewed each of our new VPs to let them say hello to the community in their own words, and tell us what drew them to want to help shape the future of Netrunner.

Serenity “swearyprincess” Westfield – VP of Engagement

What is the history of your involvement with Netrunner and its community?

Netrunner – in its ONR form – was responsible for me failing my degree, so when ANR was released I was obviously very excited. I started playing with one of my old uni friends (who did manage to graduate) until 2016, when we got involved in the competitive scene around the UK. Then when FFG announced the end, I figured I should apply for Community Manager as either I’d get it, or I’d be beaten to it by someone more suitable than me! I’ve done that now for 3.5 years, and it’s been a blast.

I’m pretty sure I also have the record for the most in person events run solo at the same time since Worlds 2019, where I ran 17 pods in one day, with 9 concurrently; and did the same online the following year with 34 pods and 14 concurrently!

What are your goals for the role you’ll be undertaking in NISEI?

Mostly making sure the people in my department have what they need to achieve their goals. Overall, my aim is to make sure there’s better coordination between teams, but in the short term my personal project has been to get everything documented, as a recurring theme amongst people joining NISEI is that there’s no central “here’s what you need to know” reference guide.

What is your favorite rotated card and why should it be forgotten, and never allowed to return?

Edge of World. It should be forgotten because it’s frankly ridiculous, and if anyone ever got it to work reliably then there would be much wailing and gnashing of teeth, SBT would ban it, and I’d cry. You’ve already taken Breached Dome and Kakugo from me, you’re not taking my ludicrous, beautiful child too.

Kevin Tame – VP of Product

What is the history of your involvement with Netrunner and its community?

I’ve always been drawn to cyberpunk and dystopian themes, so when I bought a core set of Netrunner in 2013 I thought I would immediately take to the game. Unfortunately, it sat on my gaming shelf for about 2 years collecting dust, and I nearly forgot about it. One night in 2015, only one person showed up to my weekly game night and we decided to pull out Netrunner and give it a go. We quickly got hooked on the game and started playing with each other regularly. One funny thing about one of our first games is that we didn’t realize you could use click actions on cards. So, at the end of the game, I remember complaining to my buddy about how dumb Magnum Opus was. I hadn’t used it the entire game and didn’t even know why I installed it.  I wasn’t sure what it even did. We eventually figured it out, and it became my favorite card for a long time. Now I have an Aurbits credit card version of it in my wallet all the time, reminding me to get those Magnum Opus bucks! 

Kevin's Aurbits Magnum Opus credit card and wallet
I just wish this one gave me some real, honest-to-goodness UN certified creds.

What are your goals for the role you’ll be undertaking in NISEI?

When NISEI was first started it felt like we were a bunch of hackers working together to stick it to the man and make sure our game didn’t die. I know I had the thought “screw these corps for cancelling our game… We’re going to make cards and they are going to rock!” I’m pretty sure others felt the same as well. But despite how much I love Runners, the hacker mentality isn’t always the best approach to running an organization. Over the past few years, we’ve had some real growing pains and we’ve had to step back and reflect on who we are. I think one thing that has become clear is that it is really hard to maintain an organization as a conglomerate of chaotic hackers. It seems like it is time for us to learn from our arch-nemeses, the more sophisticated ultra-efficient Megacorps. I don’t think we will ever lose our hacker spirit, but it is time for us to grow up a little bit. So, my role is to help us make this transition and establish some processes that will allow us to successfully release cards on a regular cadence. 

Office Supplies card art with Kevin's head photoshopped on top of Sunny.
I heard donuts are a pretty effective tool in the workplace. Maybe they will be at NISEI as well.

What is your peak memory of playing Netrunner? Where? What deck did you play?

I have some amazing and disappointing memories from various tournaments such as Cache Refresh, Store Championships, Regionals, and Worlds. However, I think the greatest memory so far is one that I shared on Netrunner Dorks:

“My son for the longest time was resistant to learn Netrunner. He usually wanted to play Pokémon or Magic… or just some other board game. It made me sad, but I just had to get my fill by playing on Jnet. When System Gateway came out, I thought I’d pitch it to him as an easy to learn intro to the game. After a few weeks of my persistent marketing, he took the bait and I taught him the game. 

“It was really cool how easy it felt to teach with System Gateway. The experience was really good for him and he quickly fell in love with the game. Overtime he has become better and better, which is so fun to see. 

“Tonight, he asked me if I wanted to play Netrunner with him and if he could play the Worlds winning PD deck. Of course I immediately dropped what I was doing and we played a few games. The last game we played he had the win in the remote and I did a big dig on R&D with Mad Dash and The Turning Wheel. He was out of seat as he slowly showed me the 6 cards I was accessing. I whiffed hard and he scored out for the win on his turn. The smile on his face was priceless!

“Man, I love Netrunner and I’m so glad to have another person to play with.”

Kevin playing Netrunner with his son.
Mid-game with J.

Carl “Golden Ruby Fish” Barber – VP of People

What is the history of your involvement with Netrunner and its community?

I first joined the Netrunner scene during the SanSan Cycle and immediately loved the cyberpunk aesthetic and asymmetrical play. I’m the first to admit that I’m not the most competitive player, so I have been a kitchen table player on and off since then. (Though I have to admit that I’m also a fan of A Game of Thrones TCG as well!)

As for my involvement in the community to date, well that’s complicated.

I haven’t been active in  Discords or Reddit, haven’t attended organized play events yet, nor will you see any deck lists on NetrunnerDB with my name against them. 

A bit of a strange decision to join the community feet first as NISEI’s VP of People then, I guess!

The community, and the abstract way in which it has supported me, is 100% why I decided to throw my hat in. I have been reading forum posts, trying out netdecks, and listening to podcasts ever since the game became a fascinated compulsion for me. To this day, I still listen to reruns of Run Last Click on a near-daily basis! 

The sense of foundation this gives me is incredibly strong, and I had always hoped to contribute to the community, but was always worried that, as someone who didn’t create winning decks or attend store games nights, I’d have little of value to contribute.

But now, having returned to the game, I feel that my work and experiences can actively contribute to NISEI. I am more than happy to be joining the team and helping to grow the community! You’ll be seeing me in the beginners lounges on Jinteki.net soon! 

What are your goals for the role you’ll be undertaking in NISEI?

With the Department of People being a new aspect of NISEIs structure, the greatest challenge we face is understanding our role in both supporting NISEI as an organization, and in supporting the well-being of the individuals in it.

With a diverse volunteer group in every sense of the word, just walking in and trying to overlay a corporate HR plan would be devastating. There’s a balance that needs to be struck between providing structure and organization where needed, and maintaining the culture and ethos that NISEI is so proud of.

My first goal, in fact, is a very simple one: to carry out a staff-wide survey to ascertain the current health and well being of teams across NISEI, trying to identify what is working well and what may need to be improved upon, and giving everyone the opportunity to feed into the people strategy I am developing. Beyond that, goals are very much still in the primordial soup of ideas waiting to be shaped by the outcomes of the survey.

One thing, however, that I am clear on, is that, whatever the People team focuses its efforts on, everything will be done transparently and inclusively. Our team is small at the moment, but even as we grow, no request for information will be refused unless it breaks confidentiality agreements with individuals.

I will be publishing our first year plan once we have established it for anyone to see and question, and I expect the NISEI community to hold me to account if they feel we haven’t stood true to this plan or provided value.

Without a doubt we will need to add more members to our team, so please keep an eye out for recruitment opportunities if you have relevant skills or interests!

Netrunner is special because its lore and universe is more diverse and queer than lots of other games. What will you do to help push that, both in the game and in NISEI?

As a Heterosexual white middle aged male with a wife and two kids, I can completely relate to all of the different ways people identify and define themselves by, and am completely woke. 

And that’s a pile of crap! Well the bit about me and my family was true but the rest is the usual rubbish people think they should say when asked any question that touches on an EDI topic. 

Can I honestly relate to everyone else’s experiences? Nope. Am I the best person to consult when trying to write a narrative piece that is trying to convey the passion felt by an under-represented, or, worse, an oppressed minority? Also nope.

But I think that, in any role, it  is important understand that one doesn’t know everything and can’t personally represent every view or feeling that everyone else has ever experienced. What I can and will do as VP of People, is ensure that we continue to provide the encouraging and supportive culture that NISEI has worked hard to create.

For the game itself, we need to continually listen to all of our team members and the wider player community to help build an inclusive universe that anyone, including myself, can find characters or situations that we can identify with, and even aspire to. (Although if you can identify with the character on the punitive counterstrike card then that may be a problem you should see someone about!) 


As a final bit from me, in the interview of Matt, NISEI’s Visual Director, he was asked what was his favourite piece of card art. While that would be a completely irrelevant thing to ask the VP of People, I thought I’d answer the question no one asked! 

For me, it’s House of Knives from System Update 2021! I love the atmosphere that card invokes through its use of colors and lighting. It’s the gritty dystopia I enjoy from the setting! 

House of Knives card art (System Update 2021)
Golden Ruby Fish seen stalking the corridors of NISEI HQ