Old School Runescape player catches 1 million of the same sub-par fish over at least 2,500 hours to achieve inner peace, or something

A pirate from Old School Runescape looks despondently out the window.
(Image credit: Jagex / ScreteMonge on YouTube)

Human beings are so freaking weird, in the best possible way—particularly when it comes to games like Old School Runescape. We're capable of finding tasks that seem both impossible and pointless, then seeing them through because, as monkfish maniac AvengedKalas says, "it wasn't a matter of if but a matter of when."

Done with the hard part of my goal. Cooking starts now. from r/2007scape

As spotted by GamesRadar, AvengedKalas has collected 1 million monkfish, a task they began at the start of the Coronavirus pandemic circa 2020. They estimate this took somewhere between 2,500 and 4,500 hours—which is proof that time has absolutely zero bearing on their behaviour, considering the discrepancy. 2,000 hours is a mere drop in the ocean to them, lost as easily as you or I might lose our phone charger.

AvengedKalas filled their time attending Zoom classes, watching stuff on streaming services, playing on their main character, or gaming on their Switch. "I'd estimate between two and three hours a day." When asked what gave them the idea, they cryptically remark: "An inside joke that got out of control."

Not only is the sense of scale absurd, but the choice of fish is baffling too. As TheDubuGuy points out, monkfish are not only slower to collect than karambwans, they heal less when you eat them as well. The humble monkfish heals 16 hit points while the karambwan heals 18, and the karambwan can be 'combo eaten' with other food or potions. The only actual reason they give is "personal preference and stubbornness," which is a response I both respect and fear in equal measure.

I'm still trying to wrap my brain around this. For context, I've played just over 3,500 hours of Final Fantasy 14 over the years—crying at the main scenario quest, doing dungeons, levelling up my jobs, delving into dungeons, roleplaying, getting my butt kicked by that Fall Guys event—AvengedKalas spent a similar amount of time catching fish. A million of them. And now they're gonna cook them.

"I get that everyone needs an escape and some downtime doing things they enjoy but fuck me what a complete waste of your life," writes one player, to which they simply reply: "Meh. I'm content with everything." Have they reached some kind of forbidden inner peace? Have I been the one wasting my time?

You might be familiar with the myth of Sisyphus, who tried to cheat death. He was punished to eternally roll the same boulder up the same hill, and when it got near the top it would roll back down and things began again. Albert Camus would later write: "The struggle itself to the heights is enough to fill a man's heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy."

I don't have to imagine. AvengedKalas did the most pointless, Sisyphean task I could think of in Old School Runescape. Nearly every day, for years, they dedicated at least some portion of their brain to keeping that AFK farm going. And they're happy. Who are we to pass judgement?

Harvey Randall
Staff Writer

Harvey's history with games started when he first begged his parents for a World of Warcraft subscription aged 12, though he's since been cursed with Final Fantasy 14-brain and a huge crush on G'raha Tia. He made his start as a freelancer, writing for websites like Techradar, The Escapist, Dicebreaker, The Gamer, Into the Spine—and of course, PC Gamer. He'll sink his teeth into anything that looks interesting, though he has a soft spot for RPGs, soulslikes, roguelikes, deckbuilders, MMOs, and weird indie titles. He also plays a shelf load of TTRPGs in his offline time. Don't ask him what his favourite system is, he has too many.