Controversy of Runescape in 2017

  • Date: 2017-06-11
  • Views: 2019


In June of 2017, the MMORPG Old School RuneScape (OSRS) announced an LGBT Pride celebration event, which was to be temporarily added in-game to promote LGBT acceptance and awareness. Upon announcement, the event was met with backlash and strongly polarised reactions from players, most notably on Reddit. Many felt that it should not be added as it was irrelevant to the game and because some use it as an escape from real world issues, whilst others praised it for promoting LGBT acceptance. Despite the backlash, Jagex confirmed that the event would still take place and remain in game for approximately two weeks. Additionally, they confirmed that it would be minimal and take up no more than seven tiles across the whole map.


On June 5th 2017, Jagex employee Mod Wolf [1] tweeted about the upcoming Pride event which was designed with the intention of promoting LGBT acceptance within the community. The event was backed with support from the rest of the Old School development team.


Following the announcement, many players took to the OSRS subreddit [2] and game forums to voice their concerns about the event. Others created an in-game protest (as per RuneScape tradition for all controversial events), with protesters and counter-protesters gathered in the city of Falador. While many praised Jagex and the event for promoting the LGBT community, others argued that it was out of place in the game and too politically controversial to be added. Many clarified that they were not anti-LGBT, but simply against the addition of the event. Further to this, it was argued that the event should not be spontaneously added, as one of the core values of the Old School game was not upheld; that all new content is voted on before being added, rejected or modified. The event was not officially polled to players in game, which led to further controversy that the developers were ignoring players’ wishes, to push their own agendas. A subsequent strawpoll conducted by those on the subreddit showed a majority did not want it added; the outcome of which was refuted by OSRS Project Manager, Mod Mat K.

Online Relevance

News of the controversy quickly spread and was subsequently picked up by multiple online new sites. An article containing an interview with Wolf and Mat K was published by Motherboard[3] in which they discuss the event, their intentions and the controversy surrounding it. The event was also discussed on multiple 4chan boards including the /pol/ and /lgbt/ boards, the latter of which held mixed opinions. In addition to this, various YouTubers uploaded videos in which they give their opinions on the situation.

The controversy was quickly picked up by the /pol/ board on  4chan where threads were created discussing the situation. In response to the proposed update, a number of /pol/ users attended an in-game protest dressed in equipment to make themselves appear as groups such as KKK Clansmen, Nazis or terrorists, whilst criticising the event. In response to this, Jagex Moderators took action against many accounts they believed to be causing offence, and muted or banned those responsible. However, some players were upset or furious that they had been falsely punished, claiming that they had not said nor done anything wrong and were penalised simply for attending the protest or unintentionally wearing similar equipment.

Thank you for reading and good luck in your next adventure and you can buy Runescape gold on our site that will help you get a more pleasant game journey!

All content copyright © 2017