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The presentation on Runescape made me recall┬ámy own experiences playing the game, and it is difficult for me to believe that Runescape’s design is racist, or problematic to any degree. No one starts the game with more privilege than anyone else, and as everyone starts the game at level 1, this is as fair as a start can be. As with any MMORPG, there are varieties of characters that add heterogeneity in the personalities of the NPCs. A snake charmer is exotic caricature, but is it really a particular manifestation of our culture’s fetish for the exotic?

On the other hand, I can understand why someone may┬áraise concerns about the playerbase. When I played the game, I was in 3rd grade, and one of the phrases I had most commonly seen was “buying gf”. The phrase is a bit of a joke, but at the same time, I can assuredly say that many pre-pubescent children were using the phrase in their quest to find a digital girlfriend. At the ripe age of 8, I had bought myself a girlfriend, only for her (in all honesty, the player was probably not actually a girl) to leave as soon as I gave her my stacks of gold coins. Eventually, I learned that if I created a female character, I could sell my digital soul (perhaps that’s the wrong word, but it certainly was not the selling of a body, and I really don’t want to call it love) in exchange for some other 8 year-old’s gold.

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