I honestly think Jagex has split personalities. The thought of censor removal was something I’ve always wanted. I've always wanted "damn" to be uncensored. I've had an affection for it ever since Clark Gable used it in “Gone with the Wind”. I look over the unofficial list gathered by Tip.It users and see logical words like phone unblocked as well as address and school. To my surprise they even unblocked the word ass.
Frankly, I’ve always wanted to call people an ass, it’s in the same category as “jerk” to me. I never saw ass as a big deal really. Before this I never did understand the kid approach Jagex takes with RuneScape. Nor do I comprehend the rhyme or reason to this filter update. It seems illogical for them to unblock curse words. Why not start with giving us adult words like phone, address and email to test the waves(We did not get email). What should have been changed with the censor fix? How about removing the filter for "DLQ" , a common fairy ring code. I don’t think people are rushing to say “Suck my DLQ” any quicker than “Suck my Rune 2 hander,” and the sad thing is, I’ve seen that. That sadly ranks in the same group as “I like your item: Long Bone”.
When the filter was removed to the extent it was, many people reacted as if something catastrophic had happened. The riots in the forums had me in awe. You would think they added sex to RuneScape or trade was turned off by the riots on the forums. Oddly enough it’s a different user base this time, a user base with money, parents of the children who play, the people with the power to stop payment and actually impact players by stopping them from playing. This is the first time I have ever seen parents truly outraged. It’s fascinating. Some are livid over “Suck and Crap.” Combined those might make a laughable schoolyard insult, but these parents who are tired of hearing “Lick me , Hoe” or “Nice ass” Or “Suck my ass," are the same ones who don't seem to mind if their little darlings fight religious wars, kill guards, combat or even cast magic and partake in "paganism", be able to drink beer and other alcoholic drinks, use potions drugs) to improve their skills, ect. These are the folks who are going nuts because they might see "suck my ass?"
I partially blame the children. They are reacting like someone let them into Willy Wonka's factory and have just tasted the best chocolate; it’s absurd. Parents are not entirely blameless in this, either. It has become apparent that lots of parents use the game as a babysitter, and are now angry that they may see something equivalent in the game to something to a TV13/14 program on TV. In fact, recent forum posts seem to indicate Jagex is gunning for a "PG 13 Game."
While I understand 2009 seems to be the year of “pleasing” players, it is ironic that I originally planned to write “Dear Jagex, Please Remove the Kid Gloves” for my article. When they removed the censor they obviously wanted us to think they were doing just that. However, do they really expect me to believe that? Of course not. Sure, I can now say ass and damn in a game in which spinach rolls are untradeable, not because they are a quest item but because they were a “common” scam item. If people don't have the common sense to go to the Knowledge Base to see if they have a “boost” or whatever other bonus that people assured them was there, or check the GE current value instead of overpaying for the roll, don’t they deserve to be scammed? After all these are big kids who can say ass and damn. Right? Wrong, this is the game that has removed burnt items from the GE to limit “Real World Trading," although kudos to Jagex for letting them remain tradeable.
So, we've got a cursing epidemic. Damn, it’s pandemonium. Sadly this curmudgeon has no answers. I first thought maybe Jagex could stick the kids under 13 on quick chat only worlds until they hit 13, but hey, they couldn’t get any Pm's from a parent either. Of course, that means all of the children saying these things are over 13… I don’t honestly know to what purpose, mute them and let them quit one by one? It's a fine line. I've felt for years Jagex was aiming at a 8-13 crowd and now they suddenly seem to want to shift gears and aim it to 13+? They have a lot of freedoms to give back. At this point, I am not convinced they even know what direction the game is headed in other than perhaps crowd control for a dwindling user base still upset over trade and wilderness? Who knows, but I know I feel Jagex should take an hour or two and write us up a detailed mission statement of who the game is meant for and how they plan to aim it for that demographic among others, give us a mission statement to understand where you want to take the game - Then we can suggest suitable improvements.
With Love and Spite,
The Catherby Curmudgeon