An integral part of gaming, perhaps even the most important aspect in some, remains the community of the game. This culture that builds around the game is so essential to the success that video gaming has even been considered art to a certain extent. From the hardcore fans of the Xbox games Halo and Call of Duty community to the virtual societies of MMORPGs, all great games have an established culture around them. Many gamers can relate to at least one such community. To me, this community is the biggest MMORPG in the world, RuneScape.
I began my RuneScape account nearly three years ago, and ever since then, its culture has been growing on me. It’s often interesting to observe the community of a MMORPG, as it virtually mirrors an actual society in real-life. RuneScape is no exception. From the Grand Exchange, where players can trade and barter for goods with commodities, clans that meet to fight and play together, and other such interactions, the culture is no doubt a thriving one in RuneScape. In fact, the culture surprises me to an extent as it shows human nature through the habits that develop in the players. Almost everyone knows about the infamous begging that low-leveled players are known for-standing in popular spots begging for money to get them started on their account. Exploitations are not uncommon in RuneScape, and the developers work very hard to subdue the possible number of glitches that players exploit instantaneously. When I first started playing RuneScape, I was shocked over the extent to how some players exploited others for personal benefits, be it scamming, killing, or so. Instinctively, I have learned to be very careful with my account when playing. What is even more interesting is that Jagex, the developer, recognizes this as well, and takes great measures to prevent any harm from the scams of their own community.
As I explored the world of RuneScape, I was intrigued by yet another common culture-“weddings!” Players are able to interact with so much liberty that they can even do so in a romantic perspective. Though I have never been to one personally, everyone knows that when two players decide to “marry” on RuneScape, they conduct their wedding in one of its many chapels, with close friends, all with white gowns, gold rings, and flowers. It seems to be childish and uncommon for an MMORPG, but the fact that players integrate such humanly aspects found only in the real world in a medieval society goes to show the flexibility of the RuneScape community.
And that’s exactly why I continue playing RuneScape to this day. Sure, the combat, quests, and skill-training are appealing to the average player, but at the end of the day, it’s really the culture Jagex has built that attracts the appeal to millions of players every day.