All this week, Eurogamer is marking Pride with a series of features celebrating the intersection of queer culture and gaming. Today, Lottie Lynn explores her long relationship with Runescape, and charts the MMO’s journey toward welcoming queer inclusion.
I find it funny how realising I was queer took less time than completing the Temple of Light puzzle in RuneScape. You’d think I’d solve the puzzle long before having a personal revelation, but I wanted to brag about completing it without a guide and, well, let’s just say the amount of time it took falls into the territory of embarrassing. Thankfully, Mourner’s End Part II, as the quest was known, didn’t destroy my love of RuneScape, but while the game satisfied my longing for adventure (and lava capes), what teenage Lottie was truly looking for was LGBTQIA+ characters and narratives. The advantage of playing the same MMORPG for 16 years, though, is you experience how the game grows not just in mechanics and features, but in the stories it wishes to tell.
RuneScape 3 is one of these games, having gradually introduced LGBTQIA+ characters – such as Angof, one of the game’s first transgender characters – as it has evolved. While some of these narratives were sadly cut for time, such as the reveal in Normad’s Elegy that Korasi and Jessika from the Voids Knight quest trilogy were in a relationship, others, such as Caelyn and Annette Kaadan – married lesbian couple by day, philantropic thieves by night – have taken the spotlight in their own quests. There’s even Ed and Grey, a gay werewolf couple. You can now find queer characters across Gielinor and the worlds beyond, but RuneScape 3’s new Tales of Pride is the first mini-event celebrating both Pride month and its LGBTQIA+ narratives.