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(beta) ScapeVScape: progress

beta video.

Beta Video

On the 15th of October at 7:45pm, there were 158,074 people playing RuneScape, with 113,371 of those being on Old School RuneScape. That means that 71.72% of the player base was on Osrs, a game made to emulate RuneScape in 2007. Why are these players gravitating to this version of the game?

Video games can form a sentimental bond with the players, which can even by heightened by the feeling of nostalgia. Despite decades of increasingly powerful graphics and complex storylines, interested has not diminished for the simpler games from the early times of video game industry, even among those who weren’t even alive at the time (Gaughen 2014.).

My digital artefact, ScapeVScape, aims to analyse why players are reaching for Osrs over Rs3 by using the analytical framework of Aesthetics, Modality and Nostalgia. All of the factors influence each other, with improved modality and clearer graphics – is the nostalgia still there?


My post about Aesthetics is already up, with my influence being from the MDA Framework (Mechanics, Dynamics, and Aesthetics) proposed by Hunicke, Leblanc and Zubek in 2004, and had inspiration from the modernised version, the A.G.E model (Actions, Gameplay, Experience), developed by Roberto Dillion in 2010. More about this can be detailed in my DA post!


Modality is the way or mode in which something exists or is done. RuneScape is an MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role-playing game), this has great impact on how this particular game is played. There can be limitations with the software, the need for internet connections, graphical processing, required updates, differences for the device it is played on and really any other determining factors of gameplay (Mitew & Moore 2017). The other side of this is that the players can also choose how they wish to engage with the game. Are they playing the most compatible version of RuneScape for their needs?


Nostalgia is the overarching theme of this analysis, having a large influence on the prevalent success of Old School RuneScape. Osrs is a version of the game that existed in 2007, and can be a source of comfort or familiarity for players – alike to any childhood favourite. Osrs actually came to life due to the playing community participating in a poll to bring it back, with 449,351 voters. This in itself is really important factor to note – everyone wanted it back, why would they not play it while it’s here?

Digital Artefact Links

Portfolio Website

ScapeVScape Section

First Post – ScapeVScape: aesthetics. blobs or weird elves?


9 thoughts on “(beta) ScapeVScape: progress

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  1. Hi Paige! As someone who definitely played a LOT of RuneScape as a kid (I remember playing before The Grand Exchange was added to the game in November 2007) and then played it again for a couple months last year, I’m super interested in what you’ve posted so far. I think your findings about nostalgia being a big part of OSRS’s popularity is absolutely correct. OSRS reminds me of the times I connected with my brothers through the game, so it’s definitely very nostalgic for me. If you’re interested, I’d be happy to help answer any specific question you might have or provide some anecdotes of my experiences with the game. I’ve found an article (which I’ll link below) about a psychology study on retro video game nostalgia, and it mentions that memories associated with a sense of belonging with others is a powerful part of that nostalgia. Considering my own experiences, I’d have to agree.

    Being a multiplayer game makes OSRS especially equipped to facilitate that social interaction, it’s free to access so there’s no financial barrier (as children we didn’t have a way to pay for a subscription to something like World Of Warcraft), the technical requirements aren’t very high so you don’t need a particularly strong computer, and the gameplay being very slow means that you’re not going to be drastically affected if your internet connection wasn’t too great. I think all these elements of OSRS made it very accessible for younger audiences, contributing to its strong nostalgic fanbase today. Perhaps you’ll find some of what I’ve mentioned helpful for your upcoming posts?

    I quite like the aesthetics post you wrote. It’s well formatted and easy to read and your critical analysis is well integrated. Looking forward to seeing your upcoming posts!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Paige! I think this new focus on RunScape is perfect to combine your original pitch with a game example that can be used for the analytical framework, so great job on iterating your original idea. I did some research on OSRS and RS3 and came across a blog post (
    ) that compared them, something interesting that was noted was how OSRS still receives new updates yet it maintains its “nostalgic form”. So the modality of the game and the nostalgic aspect are able to go hand in hand. As you explore why players are gravitating towards OSRS this source may be useful ( ). “Level Up’: Leveraging Skill and Engagement to Maximize Player Game-Play in Online Video Games” comments that “Player engagement and continuous game-play are strongly correlated with a video game’s financial success” this sort of engagement was contributed to factors such as “content, mechanism and interface”. I think this would help to back up an argument that the constant content updates provided in OSRS in combination with the nostalgic interface helped to increase player engagement. Also your ScapeVScape blog post discusses how OSRS takes more time to play due to the nature of the content, this would also support how OSRS used continuous game-play to be successful.
    I really enjoy the visuals you have used in your Aesthetics blog post as you have really nice comparisons of the two games, whilst demonstrating your graphic design talent as well as embedding many useful resources from Reddit.
    This beta shows your attention to detail to parts of the games paratext and is filled with really interesting content, I am excited to see more!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Paige! The progress of your digital artifact is fantastic, I really like the direction you’ve taken it.

    The analytical framework you’ve used is very strong and helped me better understand my own framework. The extensive game analysis in the 2018 article, ‘Leveling Up Your Game: The Use of Video Games as a Therapeutic Modality’ by Latifey et. al would be really useful to you. Latifey et. al suggest that even in fantasy games, “the therapeutic nature of games is found in their ability to replicate real-world experiences.” (Latifey et. al, 2018, pp. 66). I feel as though nostalgia and therapeutic activities are interconnected A more specific resource for you to explore is ‘Hanging Out In Runescape’: Identity, work and leisure in a virtual playground’ which is an article based on a study of virtual worlds that considers how young people build identities within virtual social systems

    You’ve made really clear connections between the beginnings of your project and the consequent ideations based on feedback which is great. I think your beta blog post would benefit from an image or embedded Reddit post to increase its effectiveness in providing evidence of your progress.

    Well done! I look forward to seeing the further progressions of your project.


  4. The use of analytical framework of Aesthetics, Modality and Nostalgia in the post has contributed by finding the reason behind gamers switching to Osrs from Rs3. This post highlighting the different gaming frameworks such as MDA Framework and MMORGP along with using experience about Digital Artefacts, it clearly shows the extent of material usage including lectures. Furthermore, the research about Osrs and use of Aesthetics, Modality and Nostalgia has helped to understand the likings and preference of gamers. I believe that the suggestions about why gamers prefer to be more comfortable (through evaluating Nostalgia) in playing games that are based on Osrs framework despite of being a backdated system. The suggestions were quite useful and the post can provide better feedback on the topic by highlighting the success or preference of Osrs by taking examples of other games apart from RuneScape. Additionally, the post highlights that Osrs and the game RuneScape are still popular among gamers. Out of the experience, it is believed that Osrs platform will continue to be the preferred gaming platform and MMORGP will evaluate the impact on how the game is played. Considering the previous comments, improvements are pending as it is yet to be interacted with peoples who have commented on the post.


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