I work frequently, pay my bills, and have plenty of friends...and I play Runescape. To me, the game is quite relaxing...I might just log on to kill a round of blue dragons, netting me 14 dragon bones and 14 dragonhides. Net total of around 4k gold each kill. Then I might just do something else. I have had countless people over to play on my computer network (two computers, two laptops)...and I feel it is extremely rewarding to help them with their characters. Maybe it is something as simple as providing them with 'full iron' equipment to start with. While the simple cows were killing them before, now they are not.
Even my little niece loves the game, and it has certainly made her more computer savvy...is that a bad thing? How about the cultural exposure? I have met and talked with people from Australia, England, and Canada...all with different dialects. I'm college educated...I started playing MUDS, it didn't ruin my life...in fact it enhanced my typing speed so much that I easily landed jobs doing data entry. This made me actual money.
And think of runescape like 'Economics' 101...it forces you to budget, for if you don't you won't be able to buy that nice shiny whip. You could later apply to be a used car salesperson, because people had attempted to scam you in every possible way, so you became insanely street smart.
Do NOT stay on the same skill, or you will burnout fast. Choose a skill like slayer, and stick with that.
I invent large chess variants, and I play piano for weddings, and I enjoy runescape...it certainly doesn't make you a loser. My other friend would have webcam chats with girls he met on Runescape...what's wrong with that? I'd say that he's meeting MORE people because of the game.
To all you who denigrate this game, please just think more carefully. It is what you make of it.
I'm not playing right now because grinding dragon bones gives me carpal tunnel, rofl!
Newbie: Plz plz, I need gold
Me: Work on your smithing
Newbie: I can't be bothered (australian phrase), mining is boring too.
Runescape, the other white meat.