"Perhaps the thought behind this particular update is that parents might allow their even younger children to try Runescape... Maybe lower the suggested age demographic by creating such "safe" worlds. That isn't very reassuring to me, much as it really doesn't bother me if younger children want to play." - Anonymous Two
Thanks, Anonymous Two, for reminding me of a GOOD reason for the otherwise too-cumbersome quick chat. No more immature adolescents circumventing the censor is a DARN good reason to have these worlds, frankly.
Most of the people I know (even adults!) won't fish on Catherby beach any more due to the disgusting nature of most talk there. And most kids don't need more than 4 hours of game play to learn 50 ways to say something grotesque without violating the censor.
When my son was a kid, many grocery stores started having a "candy free" checkout lane, as a helpful service to parents who didn't want their kids to beg for junk food. That didn't discriminate against anyone wanting a candy bar ... there were still 8 other lanes and plenty of chocolate around.
I doubt that Jagex would lower the age requirement - but I think parents might feel safer about their kid playing online when they don't have to worry about R-rated chat (or as they say on most MMORPGs age ratings, "Game experience may change during online play".) Jagex's evident concern for all players is the reason I bought my son's membership. Despite the painful changes this last year, I have no doubt that Mr. Gower and Jagex really DO care.
Finally, in the time since Quick Chat has been released, I've seen people using it on non-chat worlds, *including* people who are not muted! So evidently there are people who find this more useful than typing.
I wish that people wouldn't instantly assume that any new thing that Jagex offers is a negative - just because what they are offering is a service to some doesn't mean everyone else will suffer. The fact that these worlds are populated means some people WANT to be there. Why is it hurting anyone on the other worlds? It mystifies me. If it BECOMES a problem, such as getting too crowded on other servers, they will do something to solve it, such as add more servers. It's happened before! Why rush to judgement, why not sit back and see what happens?
That's my two cents.
After reading Article #148-Quickchat Only Worlds, it got me thinking of the possible uses for the worlds that most players would consider outrageous uselessness.
Firstly, the most-benefiting group-the muted players. Having a second chance at being able to perform basic communication is a godsend to players with their main muted at total 1900+ and combat levels in the 115+. It may not be as useful for cracking a joke, but being able to blend into a group of players limited to the same strikingly small palette of options is useful in itself.
Honestly, though, why would Jagex give such grace to rule-breaking players that have polluted the airwaves with foul language, and in most cases of permanent mutes, multiple times? The answer-potential in the form of newcomers.
Newcomers, but not just any newcomers, no, if Jagex can strictly regulate the words a group of players, they can obviously control a player from speaking personal details. Why is this such a big deal? Consider the fact that laws over the internet prevent persons under the age of 13 from disclosing personal info. Strictly regulate the airwaves, and there's no chance of letting the info go.
I'm speaking of Jagex reaching to potential players under 13 to be able to play RuneScape by means of strict limitation to Quickchat-only worlds. I remember several years ago, I played Neopets. Any person under 13 could not send messages, use the forums, and while battling pets, had a limited amount of lines to say, sich as "Take that!" and so forth. Port the chat to Quickchat only, choke forum acsess, and disallow any non-quickchat PMs, and viola, no possible way to divulge personal information.
Lets be real, players will lie about their age to play RuneScape. They try once to register an account at age "Under 13," they're denied, come back in a couple hours, and claim to be over 13. A new system may be implemented- Instead of choosing an age group, new accounts will input their date of birth. If under 13, the system will warn that your account will be strictly limited in chat. Will this stop all cases? No. Will it limit a good bit? Yes. When a player would reach 13 years of age, a message from Jagex (Much like our membership-related letters) would come entitled along the lines of "Happy Birthday!" with a message describing they are free to use any world their membership status can, and may use the forums, provided they're a member.
This may be the break Jagex has been looking for to get complaining players of "All teh 11-year 0lds are teh nubiest players ever!!!" and get a number of laws off of their back to let the children play Runescape.
Honestly, RuneScape is not exactly the run-of-the-mill teenage game. In the USA, a typical "T" rated game is much worse than RuneScape. Take World of Warcraft, for example. A bit of blood, minor swearing put in by the system, the use of alcohol to actually impair a character as if they were actually drunk, an adjustable filter, which allows for the full onslaught of player's swearing. RuneScape, honestly, has extremely little swearing allowed by either the system, or put into the game, virtually no blood (such as the tidbits on letters in quests such as Contact!), and, although alcohol and temporary drunkenness from an entire keg of beer exists, a much lesser focus on alcohol.
For younger children, the goblins, giants, imps, and various wretches across RuneScape are evil little creatures that need to be killed. Sure, you can take out the guards guarding Varrock, but there is no requirement to ever slay one. RuneScape, does, in fact, appeal to children. The limit on speech would be little to them-the quests to complete and skills to train would be enough to keep them happy.
From a business standpoint, Being open to a wider audience is a good thing. If Jagex can chip off even several hundred memberships from children's parents, or even money from the ads from the free version of the game, opening up completely optional worlds to the younger audience, and keeping the older audience completely entertained without any use for quickchat at all means only extra players to feed Jagex's wallet.
However, there is another use for this Quickchat outbreak. International communication. Even though the German worlds will use English if PMed to an English-speaking world and vice-versa, think if an option was available-to change languages in any world. I'm not saying this will erase the German worlds- but it will allow German-speaking players to speak some phrases to English players.
I have an idea how the system would work. Under options, there would be languages. Choose "English" or "German". A warning appears- Note: This will only affect NPC's and Quickchat messages only. Why include NPCs? Why not? Allowing German-speaking players to see a little population while using the previously-encoded NPC dialogue is useful! And although it takes months to encode all of that dialogue in another language, it can continue to appeal to a wiser audience, which still leaves the current audience unaffected at all. Bottom line, more money for Jagex.
This wouldn't eradicate the needs for German servers. No, German-speaking players would still like to tell jokes and stories in their native tongue, but it also opens up more English-speakers to German servers. I remember my friend training at Hill Giants in the virtually empty German world, but had to log and come back to an English server because he couldn't understand what the Freaky Forester said to him. Less useful, but would probably be a nice side-effect.
I see Quickchat as a business opportunity for Jagex. Opening up a wider range of an audience without severely affecting the current audience. The system may not be perfect, as getting into those upper 80s to 90s of a skill definitely needs a hot cup of tea and a few friends or clan to chat it out with at times, imagine the patience level of a preteen. It's not going to help much there. And Quickchat will, and does, to a minor extent in the form of PMs, only bridge the gap between German-speaking and English-speaking players. Nope, it's all the building blocks for a few thousand dollars for Jagex.
Did You Know...
...that the General Store once had the symbol of a pot of flour? Due to those not being sold there, they changed it to an Empty pot. Empty pots also used to be called Pots. (Thanks to the Tal Shiar Alliance!)
Do you have any thoughts or comments about what you've just read? Want to discuss this article with your fellow RuneScapers? We invite you to discuss the article in this forum topic.
Letters to the Editor are now being accepted. If you have some thoughts to share with the Editor about this or any other Tip.It Times article, please refer to this forum topic for more information on writing a letter to the Editor. Selected letters will be published in the Times' usual space on the main website during those weeks that no Tip.It Times article is being published.