Ask yourself a question: do you play this game because you enjoy it, or because you’re compelled to reach your next goal?
For quite a while, I was stumped. The answer was so heavily weighed to the latter portion – that continued hunt for goal fulfillment – that it dawned on me that at least half the time I’m playing, I’m doing things I don’t even remotely enjoy. How many times have you heard things like this, or said them yourself:
”Yeah, I can’t stand firemaking. Only 6 more hours!”
“Yeah, Pyramid Plunder is really tedious, but you ‘have to’ do it for the exp.”
“Camping at bandits is so boring… I think my eyes are bleeding!”
”I love stealing creation, but I need to get back to work (referring to something else in Runescape)”
Have we lost our minds?
Let’s face it: most of the stuff we do in this game is insanely boring. Consider for a moment the pleasure of fishing, firemaking, or herblore. How long would you work on this if there wasn’t a community surrounding you, one that you could stack your achievements against?
Ten minutes? Five?
Now, them are some true purists who manage to resist the temptation to “grind” out skills and money, but what of the rest of us cursed fools? There must be a reason that we choose to play this – one of the slowest leveling games in the history of mankind – as the place to toil away the hours playing. Three million Runescape fans can’t all be wrong, can we?
After much deliberation, the answer is a decided no. We all have our reasons, although many of them are shared. There are many elements which keep us going, keep us working, compel us to fletch forty-freaking-thousand yew longs for a cape that some would describe as “nooby” (Stop and think about that one!). A few of the key shared commodities:
- Competitiveness - You want to be better than the next person, simple as that. It’s why people strive to “max” statistics, or strive for 200M experience in a skill. Implicitly, these people can never be “topped”. It’s also why people PK, and risk huge wealth to fight and defeat their peers.
- The Search for Fame – Very few will admit to this, but some level of vanity in all of us cries out to be recognized for achievements. Why else do we create blogs, progress threads, or enter into the “rate this” forum? If you’re guilty of this (as I surely am at times), know at least that you’re not alone.
- Community – The biggest, the best, the most important. The reason we show up here, the reason we browse forums. The friend list you have, the clan chats you join. The smile you get when you see that friend’s name pop up, eager to see what’s new or fill them in on your deeds. The people you fish with, you chat with, you hunt with, and kill with.
With a smile, it’s good to realize you haven’t been playing due to some hypnotic trance. I still do things in game I don’t enjoy, but having fun people around certainly makes the entire experience more enjoyable. This human element connects the dots in logic; a valuable reminder the next time I stare down countless hours of “work” with a savagely boring skill. Since we all write our own character’s story relative to those we play alongside, there are plenty of reasons to “Keep up with the Joneses”.
I don’t know where the hell I’m going, but I’m getting there fast! Come along for the ride…