Unless you’ve been living in the Karamjan Jungle away from civilization, you’ve probably heard that Jagex has recently recruited three famous RuneScape video makers to manage the RuneScape YouTube channel, the RuneScape Twitch channel, and other video-based community outlets that Jagex utilizes. You may know these gentlemen as Regicidal, So Wr3cked, and Silentc0re, or soon to be Mod Lee, Mod Wr3cked, and Mod Silent respectively. I would first like to extend a big CONGRATULATIONS to these guys for achieving their dream jobs and point out that I’m extremely jealous. I know you guys will be a great addition to the Jagex team. In the words of @TheKlickity from Twitter, “If you are paid to do what you love, then it wouldn’t even feel like a job, would it? J”.
Jagex’s decision to hire these men has been a source of much controversy on sites like Reddit, Twitter, and the RuneScape Official Forums.
For as long as I can remember, Jagex has said that they would not hire anybody if they were unable to live and work in Cambridge, the city where Jagex is located. According to Regicidal, this is no longer the case. He stated on his Twitter page that he will be working full-time from home in the United States while attending college. Silentc0re has stated on his Twitter account that he is currently looking for a place to stay in Cambridge to work from the Jagex Headquarters. It’s unclear what Sowr3cked is planning on doing, but there is speculation that he will be working from the United States as well.
This raises many questions. It’s well known that Jagex Moderator accounts can only be accessed from Jagex HQ unless you’re connected via a Virtual Private Network (VPN) directly to the headquarters. This is how Jagex Moderators access their mod accounts in an emergency or to stream video from home like Mod Mat K often does with Old School RuneScape. This will most likely be the case with Mod Lee and Mod Wr3cked, but there are still many more security flaws that need to be taken into consideration when employees work from home.
When you visit Jagex Headquarters, you are required to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement because of currently confidential information you can find out just from glancing at someone’s monitor. You may also be able to test new features which have not been announced yet. It’s likely that Mod Lee and Mod Wr3cked will keep work-related files on their computer hard drives that are accessible to other people in their house. Let’s make a scenario. Mod Lee is hard at work making changes on the RuneScape Youtube Channel while also logged into the game on his Jagex Moderator account taking care of an issue with his friends chat. He soon feels a rumble in his stomach and gets up to make himself a grilled cheese sandwich.
At the same time, his 9 year old nephew sees the vacant computer and decides to check his Club Penguin account. He moves the mouse and the screen comes alive with a better looking game with knights, dragons, and good graphics. The 9 year old soon spies an item in his inventory called a ‘Rotten Potato’.
“I wonder what this does” He questioned before right clicking it. A menu appears with different options like ‘Heal’ and ‘Mute’ and begins spam-clicking the different options.
Before too long, he grows bored and decides to type random gibberish in the chat-box mixed with strong and vulgar words that shouldn’t be typed by any player, let alone a Jagex staff member.
This is obviously an extreme scenario, but it definitely could happen. There are numerous risks that Lee and Wr3cked are taking by working from home. It is unlikely that something could go horribly wrong, but the possibility is still there and if something ends up happening, the results can be damaging.
This brings up another issue that is always present in the RuneScape community. We see it every day in populated areas like the Grand Exchange. In any given time, there are multiple people asking for money because they’ve been hacked. The possibility that your account can be compromised is very prevalent, especially today. The J.A.G. update really helped protect accounts, but damage can still be done even if the account is protected by the Jagex Account Guardian. A few years ago, a fan site’s database was hacked and a Jagex Moderator account had been compromised. Luckily, the JMod account was quickly locked before any real damage could be done but it was still a definite breach of security. It’s very easy to accidentally click on a link that somebody sends you which then downloads some naughty software onto your computer. Before anything can be done, somebody has the passwords to the Jagex Moderators Twitter account, RuneScape account, and to the other official Jagex community outlets. This is a very real possibility, but also unlikely.
There is a very good probability that Lee, Wr3cked, and Silent have some real world friends that also enjoy playing RuneScape. I’m not saying that they are going to do this, but there is always the possibility of power abuse. We see it all the time. It’s a human instinct. We love power; there is no question about it. With a gold crown, there are great powers that include muting and banning a player. Let’s say that Bill, a friend of Mod Silent, contacts him saying that there is this player that absolutely will not leave him alone. This player is doing nothing rule-breaking and the issue can easily be solved by adding the annoying player to his ignore list. However, Bill wants Silent to ban him. Silent, afraid to sacrifice his friendship with Bill, complies and unfairly bans the player. I highly doubt that Silent, or any other JMod will do this, but he undoubtedly has the power to do so. There is a good chance that doing so isn’t allowed and is grounds for termination of employment, but things like that can easily slip under the radar.
Jagex has obviously done their homework before offering to employ these gentlemen, but there is always the possibility that things can go wrong. With the addition of Mod Silent, Mod Lee, and Mod Wr3cked, I’m sure that they will have a positive effect on the community and I hope you all will join me in welcoming them to the Jagex team. No matter the risks, I’m sure that Jagex has made a great move hiring Mod Silent, Mod Wr3cked, and Mod Lee. We would love to hear your opinion in the forum thread for this week’s Tip.It Times!