I have been playing video games since my first Game Boy advance. To some now, that may seem like a long time, but to others, I might just seem like a few years ago when Game Boy was a household name. I have played many games since and moved one generation to the next of consoles. One game that sticks out the most. That I put the most time into, and had the most fun with was RuneScape. But what made this one game stand out over all the others? I plan to answer that at least for myself and I hope that everyone else will find it both interesting and thought provoking.
The first time I saw RuneScape was when I was in California hanging out with my cousin. The game at the time was what RuneScape looked like back in 2003. I wouldn’t hear of it or even make the connection that the game I saw was RuneScape until January 2005 when I started my account with a few friends at a birthday party.
The couple of years that followed was all about getting better at the game and sitting at the school lunch tables in elementary school talking about how we would all get rich and get a 99. These years and up through middle school may be distant now, but are the most memorable moments of playing this game I have ever had. The simplicity was enough to learn and understand. Everything was new and dangerous. The goals were clear cut and to the point. “I want to get into the mining guild. I need to chop better trees for more money. And finally I want to get a 99. I remember rushing home to be the first at the desktop computer to log in and mine coal and iron day after day.
The first day I got membership happened the month subscription cards became available in stores. I haven’t skipped a day of membership since. Skipping school every now and them to train the new more in depth skills as a member and get the new items, explore the whole world I had only heard about from others and seen as other members log into the non-member worlds.
Fast forward a few years to the release of Dungeoneering. This was the first year the game became more than a game to me. I took part in whatever out of game things I could do. I ran a small podcast, started a YouTube channel and played for many hours a day. The game became about maxing my account as I had now obtained several 99’s. The idea didn’t even seem possible when I achieved my first 99.
Through high school, IRL RuneScape friends dwindled and it became much more about clan and online friend experiences. It was not the same and I could feel it. Even still the game was addictive and my goals more ambitious than ever.
Most of us remember RuneScape 3 releasing now and it was an interesting time because the game was becoming something different and new. It rejuvenated my love for the game when it was at its lowest. And for years this worked. I had never played more hours out of the day then I did the year I was the owner of a mid-sized clan, going for my max cape and eventually obtaining it.
So where does that leave me? For the first time in the decade of my life I spent in this game I felt like there wasn’t a point anymore. And I feel that is how most people are when the ultimate goal in any game is met.
Runescape is a game of adventure, achievement and for people to achieve something that they themselves didn’t even think could happen. I feel that it is the main reason this game is separate from the others that I have played in those 10 years. It is massive, there is something in this game for everyone and at the end of the day, I choose what I want to do. I can envelop myself in the refined story that has grown up with me. This isn’t a World of Warcraft, a Rift, Envy, This isn’t a Diablo or a Minecraft. No rails but a perfect balance of potential paths that can suit anyone. That is what makes RuneScape so different.
RuneScape is different from all the others to me because the goals even though they may draw thin at the end are always changing and updating just as I am always getting older and changing what I enjoy to play. Every play style that the game has to offer is there for me. I could be tired from a day’s work and still log on and just sit at a bank for fish at a fishing location. But it’s still fun. This was a game that I picked up at just the right time in my life and even now, people that pick this game up enjoy it and have the same goals that I went for even if they may be easier today than in the past with the hundreds and hundreds of updates that have passed since I have started. They game is still different for everyone and that is the most important piece that separates this game from others.
So what does everyone else think about the game since they started? I am dying to know and hear about others experiences because they will be so different and unique from my own. Thank you for taking this journey with me.