Grimy Ranarr - the OSRS meme maestro

Billy Carney
November 22, 2020

Grimy Ranarr - the OSRS meme maestro

Billy Carney

August 31, 2020

Grimy Ranarr (@grimy.ranarr) is an OSRS (Old School RuneScape) meme account. Ryan has been running the page for just under two years and has been able to quickly grow the account to nearly 24K followers at the time of this article.

So I used to know you as Grimy Ranarr, now Ryan. Can you tell me a little more about yourself?

Sure thing, I am a data analysis manager and I’ve been playing RuneScape since 2005. I’m still using the same account and everything, which is pretty funny. When RuneScape mobile came out in October of 2018 my buddies were like “Hey man, we’re all jumping back on RuneScape, you’ve gotta join us.” I thought “You know what? This is going to be a pitfall, but I’ll absolutely hop in.”  

Fast forward a little bit, I think to November of 2018, I had saved so many RuneScape memes on my phone at that point. I didn’t want to delete them all. I figured I would just start a meme page. I just basically dumped everything I had on to there, not expecting anything of it. I figured I would really just be sharing it with my friends to keep in touch but from there it started to gain traction.

Got it, started in 2005 and in 2018 got into mobile – do you still play now?

Yeah! I still play. I will say back up until a few months ago I was still playing around four or five hours a day on average. As funny as it sounds, as quarantine hit and everyone started to pick the game back up, my real life job picked up as well. I kind of lost interest in sitting at my computer all day. I still manage to log in on weekends and things like that but I definitely don’t put in as much time as I did a few months ago.

RuneScape is amazing in that it’s one of those games that you can go back to 10+ years later and go right back to five hours a day.

Oh 100%, we joke all the time – you never quit. You always drop back into RuneScape.

Ryan and I reminisced about old times on RS before coming back to the topic of his page and his friends.

Up until recently - for the first year of running the page – most of my friends didn’t even know about it, or that I got back into RuneScape. Not that I was closely guarding it but got to the point where I was hanging out with buddies, back when we could, and I’d break out my phone and start playing RuneScape mobile and people would ask me what I’m playing. I ended up dragging a bunch of people back in.

So do you mostly play mobile still or more often on the computer?

The mobile phase was great – but nothing beats RuneLite on the PC. It’s a third-party client that helps with a lot of things. For instance, if a monster drops an item you can see its grand exchange value before you pick it up and so forth. It’s really just a quality of life thing that makes the game more enjoyable.

On that note, what kind of player are you – do you prefer PvP, PvM, skilling?  

These are three of the many things you can do in RuneScape. PvM refers to player vs. monster (fighting monsters), PvP refers to player vs. player (fighting other players), and skilling (the process of getting your in-game skills up like Smithing or Fishing).

No PvP experience at all, I’m terrible. My buddies and I will do PvM but weirdly enough I find RuneScape skilling therapeutic. I’d classify myself as more of a skiller. I’d say I’m base 70 [at least level 70 in every skill, a feat that takes the average player years to achieve], but that’s because no one trains Runecrafting. My total level is around 1960.

Are you max combat?

No, weirdly enough, no. I actually don’t enjoy Slayer. It’s an unpopular opinion but I’ll got out and say it. I have 99 Attack right now. I’ve been sitting at 98 Hitpoints for about three months. I’ve been hoping into the Nightmare Zone minigame to try and finish off 99 Hitpoints and Strength. I should finish those off soon, but nothing else is close. The others are in the 90s but I only have one maxed combat stat.

Got it, how’s your bank looking nowadays?

I am very middle of the road. I’m not a staker, I’m not maxed combat so I can’t even stake. My bank probably sits around 300 million GP. Basically enough to buy PvM gear. My friends and I recently got into chambers of Xeric. It’s enough money to get some gear and not feel like you’re at a disadvantage.  

It feels like RuneScape is a lot bigger on YouTube than Instagram. There are a lot of big YouTubers and you’re kind of leading the way when it comes to Instagram memes. What do you make of that?

Yes, YouTube has been fantastic. There are some really great content creators who have come out in the past few years. Settled has been doing a Swampletics series since 2017 or 2018. You’ve got J1mmy doing By Release, things like that. You’ve got YouTubers like Rendi who push the limits on what can be accomplished in PvM at low levels.  

In terms of Instagram itself its based more on progress-based accounts. That’s what I really like about the RuneScape community and that’s why I like staying in this niche part of Instagram. There are probably only five or six big RuneScape meme pages, but there are hundreds upon hundreds of accounts of people sharing their daily progress, drops, pets, things like that. Everyone is very close-knit too, which I really like. You can easily reach out to somebody and talk to them about how long the grind was, what they thought of it, and things like that. It’s nice to check in with everyone and I try to stay as actively involved in the community as I can be.

Have you ever met someone in-game through your comment section?

Yeah. So I have a small RuneScape clan; I don’t typically post about it. If someone DMs me and is looking for people to play with I absolutely send my clan name their way. We probably have 10-15 people active in the group at any given time but these are people I’ve known for 1-2 years just from them finding my Instagram page, reaching out, and bringing in their friends. We’ve created a little family. When I first came back on in 2018 it was my ten or so friends and I. Now I’ve got hundred of friends on the game which is fantastic.

That’s awesome. Back to your page, would you say your content is more through submissions or things you create yourself?

So, the meme community on Instagram isn’t that big. A lot of people get most of their content from Reddit. I try not to be that guy. Of course though, if it’s good content, you want to share it. I credit anybody that I can, which, weirdly enough you don’t see too much of on Instagram. I do make my own memes from time to time and sometimes share those to Reddit. Facebook groups are also incredibly active. The content comes from all over.

An interesting example is the RuneScape rap album I posted today. Those guys reached out about a month ago and asked me to check it out. When I saw it on Reddit I shared it of course. We do get a lot of submissions but it’s also a lot of vetting content that’s out there.

We spoke a bit about the evolution of combat and fork in the road of RuneScape history and the existence of Old School RuneScape and the 2011 trade ban.

Real-world trading [the exchange of real life money for RuneScape gold] - can it be stopped, and if so how to you propose Jagex cracks down?

It sounds like a stretch but I think there are parallels – it’s almost like drug dealing in real life. It’s not to the same extent but RWT will always exist as long as there’s a clientele willing to purchase it. RWT isn’t necessarily just bots. A meme in the community is that Venezuela’s whole economy is based on RuneScape gold. It’s not just bots though. There are a few pages on Instagram that I’ve seen that are legitimately just people from Venezuela trying to sell gold on RuneScape to support their families. They can make more farming gold, without bots, that they would working a 9-5 job.

Ryan and I touched on his expansion into Twitch, and he informed me that he plans to launch a YouTube channel in the near future.

Do you play any other games?

The pinned story on my Instagram page is actually a collection of progress clips of a project I’ve been working on. I am creating a 1x1 RuneScape replica in Minecraft. I’ve been working on this project on and off for over a year at this point. I’ve built from the barbarian village all the way over to Falador. I’ve built the castle and all that. Right now I’ve got Lumbridge, Draynor, Al Kharid, Varrock, Barbarian Village, and now Falador that I’ve been chipping away at.

I’ve also been playing games from recent Steam sales. I was into Sea of Thieves for a bit. Recently all I’ve been playing is Fall Guys.

Ryan, thanks so much for the time. Very much appreciate it.

You can check out Ryan's page here.

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