“We’re raising state-of-the-art facilities in close proximity to cozy residential neighborhoods, fantastic ethnic cuisine, and convenient mass transit. This renovation is going to bring high-end jobs, as well as highly skilled workers, and it’s going to improve our quality of life in this city.”
The cyberstruggles of Android: Netrunner continue to escalate. As we see the release of more ground-breaking ice and icebreakers, the time has come for both corps and runners to take a second look at how they want to wage their burgeoning cyberwars. Are the flash and the sparkle of the newest encryption and decryption technologies luring corps and runners away from basic efficiencies? Are basic efficiencies too blunt to counter their opponents’ increasingly nuanced strategies?
The time has come to explore New Angeles, inventive new uses for programs, and the importance of public perception. It’s time for runners to become more creative and less obvious with their program design. It’s time for the corps to run a two-pronged assault on the whole runner culture, employing lethal new ice and Black Ops teams, even as they bolster their public images with new PR campaigns. It’s time for Second Thoughts .
Perception Is Reality
In Android: Netrunner , the game’s corporations are colossal, ubiquitous entities and household names. They produce everything from your home to your threedees, from your workplace to your coworkers. They’re constantly advancing humanity’s influence on Earth and in the solar system, and their corporate headquarters are shining and glossy towers, bastions of the latest technologies and forward thinking. You see their names splashed across cities on flashboards, vidscreens, and vehicles. It’s not uncommon in the slightest to see individuals on the street wearing their brand logos tattooed across their arms or necks.
Accordingly, each of the game’s corporations wants to control its reputation. These corporations are in business not only to offer the newest, hottest technologies, but to collect credits, and they don’t want bad publicity to slow them down.
Bad publicity has existed as a game mechanic in Android: Netrunner since the release of the Core Set . Each point of bad publicity results in a free, renewable credit that the Runner can spend during runs. It represents the resources that become available to the game’s subversive hackers as other individuals band against corporations that they begin to view as “evil overlords.”
Sometimes, a corporation will risk a little bad publicity to claim some greater reward, but the more a corporation loses control of its image, the easier it becomes for runners to work against it. Ultimately, no corporation can afford to allow its image to be derailed by multiple points of bad publicity. Thus, it comes as good news for two of the game’s corporations that Second Thoughts presents them with the game’s first means of removing bad publicity.
The Weyland Consortium has recently been targeted by a vicious, negative PR campaign. A small number of embittered individuals have forwarded slanderous, undocumented allegations that Weyland has been involved in some sort of supposed “scorched earth” policy. The truth is that the Weyland Consortium has long been a proponent for and active advocate of green technology and processes. One of the company’s key values is the “harmonious integration of design and environment.” Even as Weyland continues to advance humanity with the construction of cutting edge facilities on Earth, the Moon, and Mars, it actively supports those lawmakers who are working on zoning laws that better regulate the renovation of existing urban neighborhoods. Such zoning laws are important both to maintain a sense of local community and to establish clear standards for the quality of all architecture and construction involved in the process.
Ever since scientists and policy makers first truly began to consider the eventuality of human cloning, the techniques involved have drawn close scrutiny and heavy criticism. Led by various non-governmental institutions and organizations, cloning’s opponents have lobbied against every incremental advancement. Therefore, cloning is one of the most rigorously regulated of all industries. Accordingly, Jinteki is proud not only of the fantastic services its clones provide the world on a daily basis; the company is proud of its full compliance with all local, state, national, and international standards for the development of its processes. When others think of clones, they tend to think only of those individuals who helped explode the former limitations of space travel and who have greatly reduced the mortality rates associated with a range of careers. However, when Jinteki thinks of clones, it remembers companions and friends. The company is proud to seek constant improvements in the treatment of its active clones and the facilities it maintains for those who retire.
Rethink the Possible
Control the message. Control the game. If you can’t shatter your opponent’s economy, perhaps you can change the nature of the contest.
The time is coming to take a look at all-new strategies. The time is coming to invent something amazing. The time is coming to take a second look.