The Things That Shape Us: Mapping Out Our Formators

Posted on July 30, 2021 by Jek San Juan | Estimated Read Time: 5 Minutes

"You are what you eat." A phrase a lot of us grew up with. As funny as it may sound, this is also true for other things we consume. The shows that we watched in our childhood, the toys we asked for on birthdays and holidays, books and comic books, along with so many other things that formed our thinking. I'm sure you already knew that. We'd like to delve more into the things that helped form you, but before we can ask for that, I think it's only fair that we share ours first.

It would be impossible to exhaust the full list in such a short article, but the great thing is that we only need one. (for now)

Something that thoroughly convinced me about the joys of discovering and understanding an economy is a rough, web-browser based game called Runescape. I remember the exact moment I saw what was, at the time, the epitome of games. I had just finished badminton practice with a friend and we were at my dad's office. He mentioned something about 2D games being a thing of the past and that this was the best thing I would ever see. Lo and behold, it was. It had everything I was looking for in a game. It had combat, but also necessary life skills like crafting, smithing, and fishing. It was as if I was free to live any life I wished to.

What got me really hooked on the game, was a living, breathing economy. It was an eye-opening experience to be able to see high level players recruiting low level players to kill cows and get their meat so they can have food for their next adventure. It didn't stop there though. People were bartering, using their higher level mining skills to trade ores for more advanced wood. It wouldn't take 5 minutes though, to see that one thing was always in demand. Money. Money made things move, and it could make things stop. I needed to get my hands on more (without being too greedy of course) and the only way how is to spend time studying what people want.

What did people want? It seemed like all people want everything, all at the same time. It was time to refine my questioning. What can I sell that takes the least amount of time and effort for a decent amount? So I started with what I had at such a relatively low level. Wood. It was a straightforward activity and I could listen to the music I liked at the time (which I'll talk more about in a different "Things That Shaped Us" article) or read some school notes. I kept going at it until I looked into something called fletching, which was, at the time, part of member's only content. I don't remember if it was a birthday gift or something for good grades, but nevertheless I got the minimum membership pass. I think it was 1 or 2 months.


The wood I accumulated, which I originally wanted to sell bare, could now be processed into something more valuable at almost no cost. (Except the 5 USD that my parents paid for. Thanks Mom and Dad) The wood logs turned into arrow shafts, and the projected income I was looking at suddenly doubled. I couldn't believe it. I was staring at a Supply Chain Management class without even knowing it. I moved on to bigger and better things of course but building arrow shafts was the Eureka Moment.

It felt like making 20K GP(the in game currency) was me swimming in money. This is also how I learned that no matter how rich you are, some people will always be richer, and that in life there will always be a Jeff Bezos, and in Runescape, there's always going to be a Zezima. I'll let you google that one.

I could go on for days using Runescape as a Management or Business class but for now I think it's good to enumerate some key takeaways from that story.

a.) You've probably learned something from games that can be applied to whatever you do now, you just have to find out how to say it.

b.) You discover some of the things that make you YOU through in-game experience too. Just make sure it translates to the real you.

c.) There's no rule that says you can't learn while having fun and vice versa. Dive deep and Soar High.

See you in the next Things That Shape Us Article!