I played Runescape to try and find my childhood again
And it is only for n00bs
When I think back to my happy childhood, I don’t picture gaily skipping through sun-drenched meadows or flying a kite in Hyde Park.
Instead, most likely to my parents annoyance, playing games such as Runescape and Club Penguin dominates a large part of my memory.
Whilst I could have been skipping rope or feeding bread to the ducks, regrettably, I seemed to have spent many of my waking hours cooped up in my North West London bedroom calling people n00bs and fighting goblins.
And on a very cold wintery day cooped up in my bedroom in Edinburgh, I decided that it might be a decent idea to return to my goblin-slaying, n00b-shaming days. For old time’s sake.
After all, the constant napping, snacking and lack of responsibilities of university life do bare a worrying similarity to childhood – so why not regress even further?
I would, I thought, see if my childhood recreation had withstood the test of time and if it could still mesmerise and entertain me. I set up a new account.
My greatest feat of procrastination since I built Big Ben out of Blue Tac, or the most important social experiment of my lifetime was about to take place. I was about to see if immersing myself in a world of magical MMORPG possibilities would still be as enjoyable as it was before.
Instantly, I recognised that the graphics had marginally improved from back in my day. I felt as though I was off to a very good start.
With this sense of optimism I, excitedly, began the feat of creating my character and got ready to get stuck in.
There were a myriad of possibilities in the creation of my character- hair colour, skin colour, hair type, clothing colour… I could go on.
The game makers even seem to have tried to keep up with modern fashion. One of the hair options was a ‘man bun’. Naturally, I contemplated selecting this style so as to mark myself out as an Edinburgh student.
After selecting suitable wavey garmz to match my haircut, I entered into the world of Runescape.
As part of the tutorial stage, a little Scottish man kept on calling me ‘laddie’ and showing me how to wield a sword and set fire to things. Oddly enough, I’ve experienced almost the exact same scenario after Hive on a Thursday night. So, Runescape, 10/10 for realism.
All was peaceful and somewhat realistic until, as if from nowhere, I was attacked by a Zombie Cow.
A ‘zombie cow’? Really?
Not only is the prospect of a zombie cow attack one of the least terrifying things I could ever imagine, it also reeks of unoriginality. It’s almost as if a child (with a low IQ, at that) was asked to create a monster.
I was left disappointed and bemused. Had I outgrown MMORPG? Was the mystical world of beasts and magic I so used to admire little more than puerile violence?
After defeating the cow, I decided to continue, despite my doubts, and let Gudrik the Scot teach me more about this new world I had entered. I hoped that he would show me a more exciting side to the game.
Gudrik, at once, told me to prepare myself for a fight. Once again, a small Scottish man preparing for violent conflict was something I’d witnessed on the streets of Edinburgh many a time.
Unsurprisingly, the fight was once again with some more zombie cows.
And later on, with zombie chickens.
Throw in a few goblins and ducks to attack and this was my dull first 40 minutes online.
Ultimately, I spent most of my time wondering around the map killing unoriginally named creatures with little else to do. The magic and mystique of the good old Runescape appeared to be escaping me. I was left bored and uninspired.
Then, in a flash of inspiration, I recalled that the other major fun aspect of the game was abusing users through the chat bar. In a particularly fond memory, I remember being banned temporarily for calling another player a ‘dick’ incessantly.
I would, in a final attempt to enjoy the game, make the most of this function.
I started off simply, trying to chat and befriend those around me. It was far easier than expected.
THE REAL Jollie, not the fake Jollie, almost instantly invited me to be the founder of their clan.
Honoured but, ultimately, unimpressed with the unexpected air of amiability I decided to take to swearing. The only way to liven this up for me was to tell a bunch of n00bs what dickheads they were or, in an ideal world, get banned for inappropriate language.
To my dismay, swearwords were starred out automatically. Despite some more creative attempt at swearing involving numbers and variants of common swearwords, I saw little more than ‘****face’ and ‘****flap’ show up on my screen, time and time again.
So there I was, uninspired by the characters, unimpressed with the civility and disappointed in the fact that I seem to have outgrown something which was so special to me in the past.
In reality, if you want to see angry Scottish men, ugly creatures and be prevented from saying offensive things, you’d be better off standing outside P-Row than wasting your time roaming around Gielinor.