critical reading for the rude

runescape and education?

Over at TwitchGuru there’s an interesting article abt Runescape and kids…


Like most online games, RuneScape has its own economy, with players exchanging goods and sometimes services for gold. Having a certain amount of money is very beneficial in RuneScape, but just as in the real world, many RuneScape players get obsessed with wealth, viewing it as an end unto itself. They spend countless hours earning millions and millions of gold pieces, for the sole purpose of bragging to others about being rich.

This situation is exacerbated by a historical problem that Jagex has not properly resolved. In the early days of RuneScape, Jagex would give out special holiday items, like Christmas party hats, for fun. Since this occurred when there were few players, there are very few party hats in the game, and Jagex discontinued giving them out once they realized people were trading them for money. But they never took them out of the game, so these coveted “rares” have skyrocketed in price. They are now symbols of wealth, and a blue party hat is indeed worth about half a billion gold pieces.

All this in context of Runescape is not the “right kind of education” for children. MMPORGs are “massively” multi-player, meaning “mostly adults”. Duh.

Just because it’s a cartoon doesn’t mean it’s safe.

If grownups can make money, dominate others, cheat, lie, steal, some naturally will. So will kids.

It’s like going out in public. People spit and cuss and cut in line just about anywhere you go.

But hey, the only new thing here is the social dimension.  I played videogames as a kid…  I think I’m alright…  The danger is in the fact that grownups in online videogames can talk to and manipulate kids.

April 7, 2007 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. I run a Runescape Forums – – I think for the large part the kids are just your average kids playing a game. I don’t think it ingrains any unbecoming behaviors that they take into the real world – or at least it isn’t the only source of such poor behaviors as I’m sure they have amply number of those influences without Runescape’s help.

    Comment by Chris | April 8, 2007 | Reply

  2. Hey Chris — thanks for the comment. I’m not so much worried about in-game bad behaviour (cussing, spitting, cutting-in-line, so to speak… or even PKing, really). But what about the idea that adults are in Runescape alongside kids? Do you think Jagex is really able to watch out for the kids, protect them from creeps?

    Comment by woody3 | April 8, 2007 | Reply

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