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Report article RSS Feed Thoughts on modding as a phenomenon of popular culture

Participation on part of the recipient / user of video games in terms of adding content (e.g. mapping) to or changing content (e.g. modding) of an original game is an interesting phenomenon of today's popular culture. The developers in the meantime reacted to fan-made material that made their games live and sell for a longer time by making it more comfortable to edit games e.g. by providing user-friendly level editors, tutorials and SDKs. Now what makes modding so special?

Posted by projektariel on Aug 1st, 2008

Participation on part of the recipient / user of video games in terms of adding content (e.g. mapping) to or changing content (e.g. modding) of an original game is an interesting phenomenon of today's popular culture. The developers in the meantime reacted to fan-made material that made their games live and sell for a longer time by making it more comfortable to edit games e.g. by providing user-friendly level editors, tutorials and SDKs. Now what makes modding so special?
From my own experience I would argue that modding most often is a community effort - not only as mod teams split the different fields of work (e.g. graphics, coding, script) among their members, but also because there is a modding community in the www that helps beginners by providing tutorials and feedback. The net further facilitates the distribution of mods to a worldwide audience.
Is modding (partly) a vanguard movement in the field of video game art? I would argue that the advantage of modding on the one hand lies in the (nearly) infinite possibilities of being able to change the whole mood and handling of a game to enable one's own visions without having to program an own game and on the other hand (maybe more important!) in making sure that many people will be interested in one's own creation because the modded games most of the time are the popular ones. One therefore in an idealistic view could say that modding fosters creativity and in some cases may make it easier to explore new ways of gameplay (as for example in the "Dystopia" - mod), because it can take such risks due to it's non-commercial nature while on the other side having an wide audience guaranteed as even experimental mods (most often) are tied to popular video games. Can video game companies not only find new talent among modders but also new ways of gaming (tested and approved by an audience that played the experimental mods)?!
Looking forward to read what you make of my soapy thoughts ;)! (hope the spelling errors aren't that bad, but English isn't my native tongue >_<...)

projektariel

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Malvado_Zombie[X]
Malvado_Zombie[X] Aug 1 2008, 8:24pm says:

Well in my opinion...

1st: The english languaje isn't my native tongue but is the universal tongue.

And...

2nd: The "modding phenomenon" has too many goals, but the most usual (I think) is... build another game style in one "X" game. I.E: Half life 2.
Like I always say and I'll again: The mod is important because create another version of the game and make it more playable... some people don't want play 3 or 4 times the same "boring game" (the classic style). They want something new for the game and, maybe, don't want spend more money in a new game

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yafn
yafn Aug 2 2008, 2:43am says:

The modding phenomenon isn't really new. People have been changing the rules of games to make games more fun to them, since the beginning of game playing. The difference is the level of expertise required to mod modern (ie computer) games.

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jacksonj04
jacksonj04 Aug 7 2008, 3:51pm says:

The big appeal for modding as opposed to creating a whole new game is that most of the work is already done for you - you can find the right type of engine and alter only what you need with very little commercial risk. It thrives because commercial games can't generally consider huge new gameplay styles in case they flop, but mods can and they can distribute them freely.

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Malvado_Zombie[X]
Malvado_Zombie[X] Aug 7 2008, 8:36pm replied:

True... and modding is or can be a hobby for the people and you don't need spend a great cuantity of money or maybe nothing

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