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Will mods one day be seen as an art form in the same way as paint or music? Something for you to get your debating teeth into.

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If I say "art" what do you think of? Paintings? Music? Sculpture? All classic art, traditionally presented. Sometimes in quiet museums, sometimes in vibrant galleries.

How about graffiti? Fashion, light shows, landscaping, even games design. All of these have moved from the world of 'something you do' to 'something that's an artistic expression', but have yet to break into what we think of when we say "art". I believe that one day they will, even though you can't hang them on a wall or listen to them on your iPod.

Mods, however, are an interesting one. A mod, unlike a game, can be a constantly moving target. As soon as a game hits the 1.0 release then that's it. Changing too much will alienate people and ruin the original, much as the ET Anniversary Edition mucked about with the classic. With a mod sweeping changes can be made if the community want it, and can be made quickly. You can't pin a download URL for the CurrentVersion.exe in a gallery and expect people to go "ooooh".

Do you think mods are a form of artistic expression? Will they ever be seen as such by a mainstream audience? Will you one day see a demo loop from Dystopia playing at the Tate Modern?



well there is an awful lot more art in mods than some of the things that are called modern art, I mean an unmade bed?! I make one every morning, its not art it is life

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I respect the opinion described in this article but before seeing mods called "art" , I think the games have to be called "art" before, definitely.
Mods aren't popular enough to attract people's attention as much as games(this is my opinion), but of course the only exception to this is Counter-Strike but it became commercial.

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Henley Staff

art i my opinion is how well a game can use mis en scene. To be called art, one needs to complete re-haul a game, use of effective camera angles and games that create villains and heroes effectively is art. Voice acting to make a game seam real is art. Creating emotions in games is art. Its not just about oooo look perdy water! Its about the whole thing!

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I agree 100%

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I think I have the near perfect example of how a computer game can be considered art. One of my lecturers, Tom Betts, created a mod for quake 3 some years ago called QQQ. It is a hard one to describe. There is a rather good description of it on page 10 and 11 in this link.

There is some pictures here of it to be found here, as well as a few other game mods that could be considered art.

I am still trying to find a video, it would be much more helpful as an example.

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If games can be called art, I don't see why mods can't, at least total conversions anyway. Many mods introduce great new settings and stories, while others seem more like common mediocre games. Really it depends on if you consider games as art or not.

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