Why RuneScape Ended Up As The Only Online Game I Got Into Playing

Yes, I admit it. I’ve (for the most part) not played online games aside from RuneScape. This isn’t to say I’ve never played games that most people play almost exclusively online — such as Call of Duty — but I’ve always strictly stuck with the campaign mode. Why? Well, certainly part of it is because of the community. Though I haven’t experienced the toxic community myself, I’ve both heard and read about all the horror stories that go along with playing online — especially if you’re newer to the game or your skills aren’t above and beyond casual play. But another reason I’ve avoided playing online games is because most of the ones that are popular just don’t have the same feel to them as RuneScape did back in the day. Even playing modern RuneScape doesn’t feel the same anymore, and I miss it.

I’ve been in love with video games since I can remember, but the attachment I had to RuneScape was something separate. The gameplay, in all honesty, is not something I would write home about. It was okay — the combat was simple, the process for leveling up skills was time-consuming, but relaxing. Some of the quests were also entertaining and enjoyable. But at the end of the day, none of those qualities are really what drew me to the game.

The sense of community, ironically, is the main reason why I spent so much time on RuneScape. While like in every gaming community there were still people giving each other shit on the outskirts of the wilderness (the area in which PvP combat took place), there were also plenty of people simply grinding away who just wanted to chat it up.

As a 13-year-old, I spent countless hours sitting there cutting wood, mining ore, mining rune essence, building campfires, fishing, and cooking — and so did everyone else. Much of the game was spent clicking on trees, for example, and then waiting for your entire inventory to fill up slowly with wood to get your woodcutting level up. Considering everyone else had the same idea, you were often hanging out in an area full of random people who needed to entertain themselves to kill time while they waited. This resulted in some of the most entertaining conversations with strangers that I’ve ever had, and I’ll never forget it.

RuneScape has the option to do both private chat and public chat. So, if you were stuck in the same place with someone who you hadn’t added as a friend, you could still give a “hey, what’s up?” and have a conversation. Blasting music while chatting it up with a bunch of people that I knew at least had similar interests as me (since we were playing the same game) blossomed into multiple life-long friendships with people I would have otherwise never gotten to know (looking at you, Inuyasha2oo5 and Archer707). Sure, I had to deal with some creeps every now and then who wanted to be my “RuneScape boyfriend,” but overall, the experience was positive, and I haven’t experienced something like it since. I doubt that I will again.

RuneScape seemed to be a social place where people could talk and chill while playing a game on the side. I’m sure that’s not how it was intended to be, but I’m thankful that’s what it turned into for so many. Overall, serious online gaming probably just isn’t for me. But damn am I happy that I dabbled in it for this one, quirky gem among the midst of most online games.

Next: How Banjo-Kazooie Kick-Started My Love For Video Games

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Stephanie is an Editor at TheGamer, solidly aligned chaotic neutral. Though her favorite game is Fire Emblem: Three Houses, she vows to do everything in her power to one day see a Legend of Dragoon remake. Absolutely nothing can top her immense love for The Lord of the Rings.

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