ou all remember selecting your age as above 13 years old when you started your first RuneScape account. Were you actually above the age limit? Jagex didn’t make a good attempt to try and stop players who were under-age. Is Jagex actually trying to prevent these players from playing? Does Jagex actually want these players to be a part of their community, or do they just want the $5 a month the player might give them? Whatever the age group Jagex is looking for, it definitely affects the style of game play.
Recently, anywhere I look I have seen rants complaining about “dumb kids who play RuneScape”, ages ranging from 8-13. Some people have high resentment towards these players. Why? Examples range from begging, scams, typing habits. Many players judge other players by their age. Most players would rather want a friend who is older than younger. This is somewhat related to combat levels. The baseline rant given is: People think younger players do more harm to the community than good. But what’s wrong with a good, but younger player?
You all know when you are walking around and some low level player comes up to you and says, “fr33 stuf plz. I got h4ck3d n I n33d 2 get m0n3y.” This is an example that would many people would infer the person is young and immature. These would sometimes be followed by some insult. These phrases are easy to translate. These leetspeaking players are sometimes thought as young players, but sometimes aren’t.
On a different note, children playing the game usually get blamed for something they didn’t do or cause. People feel they can blame children for their getting scammed or hacked. Furthermore, I heard them being blamed for the economy dropping or their bad success. Mostly, I have heard of the blame on new “childish” updates. Hypocrisy related to these younger players is based on rumor and immature behavior.
It is evident that RuneScape is trying to draw attention to some people in the younger age groups. These children drawn into the game are close or below the age limit. For example, when RuneScape signed the deal with Miniclip, did they think they would be getting older players to start playing RuneScape? By far, the majority of people that visit sites like Miniclip are below 13 years of age. Another example is what a friend in real like informed me about. His relative, who is in 4th grade, found a RuneScape help book in a book catalogue. This was a catalogue he was given in his school. This is attracting younger players to play the game. According to the recent RuneScape poll, most people start playing RuneScape because of their friends. They must know that if they spread the word around in the younger ages, they might join. This is because it wouldn’t be as embarrassing for an elementary school kid to talk about RuneScape. The alternative being myself, a junior in college, spreading the word around to my friends would be an embarrassment. Therefore, it would be a waste of their time to advertise to the older players.
Not only is Jagex attracting younger players, who can sometimes ruin the fun of the game, but they help them in game. Recently, over the past year or so I have noticed this increasing in amount. One is all of the tutorials and in-game guides that are there to help new players. Is this to keep the interest of a very active child, who can only do something for a short period of time? An example is a true one from a long time ago. I was in the public library and I saw a young player trying to do the puzzle from Monkey Madness. These puzzles are meant for a more intellectual mind and would be tough for a younger player. He obviously gave up after 5 minutes and paid Glough 200k gold pieces for the answer.
I know several people that are below the age limit required to play RuneScape. Some of these are obviously not meant to be playing RuneScape as they beg for money, spam, and not follow other rules. There are a few, who are very young, yet they still play the game correctly and follow the rules. This group is however not allowed to play. Now for the group of players who are above the age limit, but they act below. They are like the younger group and don’t play the game how it is supposed to be played. I know these groups of people will continue to play and won’t be stopped.
Jagex knows that some of the game content is not suitable for preteens or younger. A close to exact reference about players who want to play below the limit follows: “…While we appreciate that many preteens would want to use our websites, we urge parents/guardians to instruct their children not to lie about their age so as to be able to use our websites before they are old enough. Instead, we recommend that parents set up an account and play together with their preteens who are otherwise too young to play the game…” Seriously, I would love to hear a story about a case like this happening.
Summing it all up, the game has seemed more childish related and are because of the new younger-friendly updates. Therefore, just as Renegade put it last week, the game gets a notorious reputation for being a kid game. Jagex is apparently looking to attract the younger culture to play their game. It all depends on what the audience wants.