You rarely see them, but they’re still out there. They are among the most expensive, most valuable, and yet the most worthless of items.
Why? Why are they epic hundreds of millions? Why are they one of the most craved, prestigious, and respect-giving items Runescape has to offer? Why are there players forking over a full trade’s limit just to wear them for an hour? What gives?
Only one reason. Because there’s a limited supply that will never replenish.
Hold on, though, you say. That’s not necessarily true! Coal is a non-renewable resource, and it’s not incredibly expensive! … well, no, it’s not, but there’s still a considerably large supply of it on the planet.
Yes, I’m talking about the real-life supply. Not the insta-spawning “non-renewable” stuff that pops out of rocks when you give them pickaxe massages.
Eventually, though, it will become limited, and the price will go up. That’s how gas is. That’s how oil is. You notice their prices are constantly rising? That’s because we’re running low on supply!
Consider the work of Van Gogh. Mondo expensive. Why? Van Gogh’s dead, and therefore cannot make any more pieces of art. Why are they so expensive? Because they are so rare and there are so few of them. Just like party hats.
One word. Status. You own one of these million dollar portraitures. What do you do with it? Aside from using it as a toboggan.
SHOW IT OFF! Invite all your friends over and say “Hey, guys! Look what I got!”. And they will say ‘Aw, no way!”. And then they will talk to their other friends and say, “Dude, this guy’s got this super-rare expensive portraiture! You gotta see it!” Why do they have to see it? Well, through some biological miracle, we “enjoy” the thing known as “art” because of the appealing colors, symbolism, representation, relation, and any other 10+ letter word you can think of that is relative to the human mind (not counting “malnourishment” [… well, on second thought …]). These paintings came from an artistic genius, and those are rare as well. This guy has this sort of item, which is worth a huge amount, and yet is non-benefitial means that he must either be rich, have great taste in art, or has incredibly good friends. Or all three of the above. Therefore, because he owns this item …
He must be an incredible person!
And that’s status! That’s how you gain the most incredible and beneficial kind of respect in the world! Not just that, but he’s financially secure. Should he enter a state of financial screwed, he could sell the painting for an incredible amount.
Same thing with party hats. Of course, they’re not as visually appealing as Van Gogh’s art, but again, they came from a rare source. Straight from a one-day event in the times of Runescape Classic. Wearing one could show just how rich you are to afford to buy one. Or it shows that you’ve been playing since the event, and that because you’ve been playing for so long, your wisdom of the game is unparalleled. Or, before the trade limit kicked in, you had a really good friend who gave you a party hat out of kindness, showing just how respected, sociable, and charismatic you are.
Again. Status. You having a party hat (through fair means, anyways) means that you are an incredible person, and therefore, should be well-respected.
We are social beings, and we strive for respect. With the right contacts and respect, you can have other people do things for you for perhaps the cheapest price possible (free).
Here’s another example of respect. Suppose you’re smelting gold bars, and some random newbie approached you and asks you for free gold. you’ll probably think, “Why should you earn my hard-worked stuff when you’re too lazy to get the level yourself? Buzz off!”
Then soon after, in comes somebody with a party hat and tells you that he needs some gold bars to finish a quest. You think, “This guy’s rich. It’s not as though he can’t get them himself. But he would probably hold me in good regards if I helped him.” Of course, you don’t immediately say it aloud, because of a subliminal fear of rejection. Instead, you say “Sure, I can spare some gold bars.”, and then you “HOPE” that he’ll give you recognition.
Am I right? Look me in the eye and tell me you’ve never gone through something like this. I dare you.
But I’m looking at the long-term effect. You’re wearing a party hat, and you just netted yourself a couple thousand coins of gold bars from somebody just by wearing the darn thing. Do this a thousand times with one of the two thousand people in a world, and you’re a millionaire, and you did nothing but politely ask.
Scary, isn’t it? Suddenly holiday items aren’t useless after all. They buy you the one thing that only a few other items can.
And that’s why they’re so expensive and worthwhile to save up for.