What if I were to tell you that the player who scammed you when you were a noob did you a huge favor? You may not have realized it at the time, but that scammer taught you a practical life lesson. "Wow, this high level is offering to trim my armor… for free? How nice of him," you may have thought. Only after it was too late, you realized what just happened. Because of this scammer, you learned that if it's too good to be true, it is. Would you rather learn this lesson here with your steel armor or on Wall Street 30 years later with your life savings?
Often, we hear almost everyone complain about the negative aspects of RuneScape. Grinding would come to mind almost immediately for many, but what if some of the ugly ducklings of RuneScape were actually beautiful swans?
Think back on your glory days of RuneScape when you elected to stay in on those Friday and Saturday nights, avoiding your real life friends for weeks at a time, to obtain that level you really wanted. Chances are, you think back to that time with regret that you didn't spend more time with your real friends. Perhaps you've forgotten whom you actually spent those Friday and Saturday nights with – close friends you made on RuneScape. My older brother often criticizes me for having friends who "aren't even real" and I always feel the need to correct him. I would be willing to bet that you also miss those friends as if you had known them personally and wish they had maintained contact with you after they quit.
Relationships are temporal. By this, I mean that friendships come and go, and those who do stay, change. I lost some close friends back in December of 2007 (whom I haven't spoken to since), and it kind of felt like someone had died (that feeling that you'll never speak to them ever again). Luckily, I have also made two friends whom I keep in contact with even outside of the game. I would consider them on par with close friends from my real life in terms of being trustworthy and being comfortable around them. It's almost funny to see that the most beloved aspect of the game (friends) comes from playing a lot.
There are less tangible blessings in disguise that RuneScape has as well. Grinding, for instance, is probably the most hated aspect of the game other than the bots these days. Perhaps grinding isn't all bad. For all the hours you've spent grinding, you've most likely been setting realistic goals and meeting them in a reasonable amount of time. Those are invaluable skills you've acquired that you'll need when pursuing a career. You could even argue that grinding teaches patience and persistence in your goals. Stemming from that could also be time management skills and doing things as efficiently and as reasonably as possible.
Another thing that many of us also take for granted is the vast diversity that exists around us in RuneScape. For all the time that many of us spend immersed in the game, we often forget how different everyone is in real life. When we enter RuneScape, everyone is on equal footing. There is no black or white, gay or straight, or Christian or Atheist that may set you apart in the real world. I also think it's a great thing to live in the United States and have friends from the U.K., Australia, Holland, Brazil, South Africa, Canada, Finland, New Zealand, Germany, and South Korea. Interaction with individuals from different cultures certainly broadens one's perspective of the world.
Most of us entered the game as immature "tweens" (9-13) and couldn't say a thing without being criticized by older players. Because of that, I became self-conscious about what adults from my life (parents, teachers, employees at stores/restaurants, etc.) thought of me in terms of maturity. When in the presence of any adults, I felt obligated to behave as they. I wouldn't go so far to say that I'm more mature than everyone at my high school now, but I have never received a detention, earned a grade lower than a B, or missed a single homework assignment. One could argue that that stems from responsibility or discipline, but those come from maturity.
More specifically to me, Christmas of 2005 was approaching and the only thing I wanted more than Yu-Gi-Oh cards from Santa was RuneScape membership from my parents. Well, they gave me what I wanted in a clever way. After that point, my personal hygiene habits improved, I always did my homework/studying, I practiced soccer every day, and I only received one C ever again. As a result, the coupon is still valid to this day (granted, I don't play organized soccer anymore). I'm sure that may have helped a bit.
Bruce Lee once wrote that, "We all have time to spend or waste, and it is our decision what to do with it. But once passed, it is gone forever." I may have some regrets, but my time on RuneScape has been well-spent.