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