I don't have any stats on hand, but I know in my years of lurking these forums I haven't created an abundance of threads. I've always been a lurker first, contributor to ongoing discussion second, and a creator of new ideas last. Something about my personality type I suppose. The purpose of this thread is to share my nostalgic experience of RuneScape, the reason I hang on even if I don't have the time to make myself fit in or be relevant anymore, and also to read your stories.
Name changing was released some time ago and since that point, the idea of recognizing an old name has become less and less tangible through the years. I imagine the possibility of two people that once knew each other in RuneScape 10 years ago could be talking today and not realize they're the same two people. This would be happening to me if not for the fact that only a few users on my friend list seem to be online whenever I am. Considering that I have not made recent notable modification to my friends list, I can recognize within me that I once knew all of these players either through regular conversation or casual association even though I have no idea who they are now. The names I do recognize likely don't play anymore either - or simply as infrequently as I do and the timing is not right where I catch them.
I recently popped in an old backup CD I found in my personal archives which contained files from late 2006 to early 2008. These files took me back to when RuneScape was a major part of my life. Aside from school, RuneScape inspired me to seek new personal adventures and acquire skills I didn't have before. I exercised my social skills by creating a small, yet extremely loyal community of players with whom RuneScape was also significant. I read articles and taught myself how to write a basic static website using CSS and HTML all while dreaming of the opportunity to create something that could impact others the same way the community impacted me.
That dream has gotten away from me, abandoned more out of necessity to move on than desire. My desire, fueled by social addiction to the sense of community was overwhelming at times - I mean, it wasn't then but when I look back, perhaps I was obsessed. I was excited to wake up early and log into the forums, just to see what was going on even if I didn't have anything in particular to say or contribute. I would go to school and if I didn't find an excuse to log in there, I'd rush right home and log in until long after I should have been in bed. I was completely blown away by the idea that browser-based, Java game could bring people together from all over the world. While RuneScape isn't necessarily a browser-based, Java game essentially anymore, I continue to be amazed that a worldwide community continues to exist for something that was in my life over 10 years ago.
While I continue to age, I understand that RuneScape must evolve to meet the needs of the next generation RuneScape players. I'm sure there are plenty of active players older than me and still active players who started around the same time I did, I am always excited to see how the next generation receives RuneScape and its community. Will it be as impact-ful to them as it was for me? Am I blowing it all out of proportion being impacted so heavily by an online game? I care more about the answer to the first question than I do the second. I hope RuneScape is bringing someone a level of enjoyment to their life that was very much prevalent for me. I chose to make RuneScape a way of life at one point and I'd certainly do it all over again.
I look forward to continuing to watch RuneScape and its community evolve, even if I only have time to watch from the shadows. Thank you for taking the time to read through and best of luck!