RuneScape

Website review by
Jean Armour Polly, Common Sense Media
RuneScape Website Poster Image
Medieval multiplayer game isn't for all kids.
Popular with kids

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 101 reviews

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 304 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this website.

Positive messages

Overall, this is a supportive community whose passion for the game can verge on the fanatical. The site makes a real effort to ban abusive behavior and to encourage families to play together.

Violence

The game involves combat between monsters and other players.

Sex
Language

Occasional mild swearing could come up on the forums, but mostly this passionate community is interested in playing and discussing the game, not trash talking. Swearing during gameplay is bleeped out by a filter. Offenders are banned.

Consumerism

There are ads on the site, but its main support comes through subscriptions -- although you can play for free. An online store sells RuneScape T-shirts, but the link is not prominently displayed.

Drinking, drugs & smoking

Ale, stout, wine...but drinking does affect your combat skills.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that RuneScape discussion forums can be read by anyone, but only paying members can post messages. Some of the topics contain barely disguised vulgarities and sexual references, though there are moderators who keep an eye on things and who can ban users who get too out of line. Under the terms and conditions agreed to at sign-up, players must use the chat feature only as an extension of their role-playing activities. The terms and conditions document warns against inappropriate behavior, and extensive instructions are given to help the user block unwanted communications using the built-in game functions. Combat and dueling is an important part of the game; however, according to passionate discussions in the forum, there is a lot of cold-blooded murder going on, too.

User Reviews

Adult Written byshushubaby April 9, 2008

And 5th graders parents let them play Grand Theft...

And complain about Runescape!!! I am a 45 yr mother and have let my daughter play (free) Runescape for 4 years now....she's turning 13 in September. I ha... Continue reading
Adult Written bytrajan38 February 14, 2012

Good game even for most children

I have played Runescape for a while, so I've seen the game develop alot. In fact, one of the biggest pluses i give this game is the constant updates. Ratin... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byLucan1010 October 20, 2015

Mild MMORPG provides great entertainment for most children.

Violence: Your character has the opportunity to fight both in game enemies such as monsters and thieves and eventually other people in friendly competitions. H... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byThecoffeeowl224 February 6, 2015

What's it about?

Before you enter RuneScape's virtual world, you'll have to be trained on Tutorial Island, where you learn a few essential skills such as fire making, fishing, cooking, mining, slaying monsters, and throwing spells. Once you've completed the tutorial phase, you're free to wander anywhere you like. You may be sent on a quest to find ingredients for a cake, or you may be asked to go on a spy mission. Successful completion of a quest brings a reward. Two versions of RuneScape are offered: one is free, while the other requires a paid subscription of a few dollars per month. Paid members get access to additional lands, skills, and quests. In the game, avatars represent players. You choose your avatar's appearance from a limited selection. As you watch the movements of other players' avatars, you'll notice many have rich clothing or heavy armor. Items can be won, bought, or traded with other players.

Is it any good?

Teens and tweens, especially boys, will be fascinated by this role-playing game. But parents should look over their shoulders and see what's really going on. Is the player slaying dragons or other humans? It is possible to play this fascinating game without the murder and mayhem, so RuneScape gets a cautionary yellow for "know your kid."

Online interaction: There's lots of online interaction in this immensely popular, global massively multiplayer online role-playing game. Swearing is discouraged, if not outright forbidden. The interactions can be impassioned -- borne of a love of the game -- but aren't mean-spirited.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the pros and cons of this game. What do you learn that may be valuable in the real world? How do you feel about the violent aspects of the game?

  • Families can also talk about online chat. Should parents give kids under age 13 permission to use the site's full chat features? Why or why not?

Website details

  • Genre: Gaming
  • Pricing structure: Free

For kids who love gaming

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