Yes, I too throw up a little in my mouth every time I hear Mariah Carey do her high note again. Frankly, by now any and all red, green and white Christmas junk that people punch each other in the face for at the shops could end up in a bonfire for all I care. I'd probably be the one dancing around it too.
Should you wonder; No, I'm not the person that handed out those poison beverages at the Berlin Christmas-fair. I don't hate all the fuss around these holidays enough for that. But I do hate that me-me-me instinct that has completely taken over the original supposed thought behind Christmas, and it's the same with RuneScape.
See, I miss the old ways of celebrating Christmas. A loved one and a meaningful gift in a room where a log roars on the fire while a special but not exorbitant or excessive meal sits on the table is how I like it best. I also miss the old RuneScape as a lot has changed this past year. But the big changes, when viewed in the grand scheme of things, were necessary ones. One of the things that changed is Jagex handing out little bonuses attached to membership cards, some bonus XP if you sign on a friend, or just passive benefits to existing subscribers.
So, since it's almost Christmas, let's look at these gifts we've gotten this year. There are the tiny extras such as the Ornate Katana that makes you stand like you REALLY need to pee, the silly Turkey Hat (turkeys are for eating), or the ability to make your skin green all came with buying a membership card. There also was the Refer a Friend and Loyalty Programme that were designed to keep the subscriber numbers up but gave a little bonus (one passively and one requiring you to take action) to those who are already a member.
Recently we saw a few more items added to the game; a pair of Goggles if you downloaded and installed Google Chrome, a bunch of hoods and (for the lucky few) a polished Scythe if you went to RuneFest, and finally the reversible Ice Mask and a 33% discount if you decide to buy six months worth of membership. None of these are the last little push, let alone considered to be the main incentive to actually get Chrome, go to RuneFest, or buy membership.
And yet, with each of these updates and additions, riots sparked all over the place and the whole community was losing its collective "stuff", just as if a new register had opened in a crowded McDonalds.
Call it RWT or a marketing ploy as much as you like, none of these items or benefits can be called definitive game-changers. If you can tell me with a straight face that you feel left out and have the right to all of these things just because you're a paying subscriber, you've missed the point.
It cannot possibly be RWT because you don't actually buy that Katana or Mask, you buy the membership card and happen to get a little something extra with it. It's exactly like buying a bottle of fine Scotch as a gift for someone, and the retailer hands you a pair of matching whisky glasses to go with the bottle.
Also, why complain about some of these things being cheap marketing tricks? After the bot-nuking it became painfully obvious how small the actual player-base of RuneScape has become, and this directly means that the long term survival of the game is at stake. So you'd think you'd be happy when Jagex tries to up their subscriber number.
But no. Some of you want it all. Not content with the massive amounts of extra features that you get when you subscribe, you also want to look green, googly-eyed, gobble-gobble hatted and as if you're going to gush your guts out. There's a word for this; Envy.
Envy is when you convinced yourself of you not getting your fair share of the pie, of you missing out on something important. Not surprising, this is seen all too often on Christmas morning in children (providing that there's more than one child present) when it is time to tear the wrapper off of whatever gift they are getting.
One observation stands out, though. It is never the gift these children react to. Should envy strike, it is often a reaction to how happy the other child reacts to their gift.
So how does this relate to RuneScape? You just got yourself an amazing gift, i.e. the rest of RuneScape as opposed to what has now been reduced to the demo-version, and you're whining that you can't turn your skin green. Maybe, just maybe, you should leave the green skin-liness to the Grinch.