This year I am prepping to participate in the Student Research Competition at SIGDOC 2018. My project aims to understand the context, motivations, and implications of video game modifications.
Mods are ways of extending and altering officially released game content.
Below, my poster walks through some of the bullet points of this examination. After surveying the top 50 mods for the video game Skyrim I found 3 popular mods which boasted over 500 dependent mod each.
Dependent mods are mods which require at least one other mod to be installed in order to function.
The biggest common thread between these three mods, which are responsible for hundreds of secondary mods, are that they all affect UI and character creation options.
SkyUI – “Elegant, PC-friendly interface mod with many advanced features.” Nexusmods.com.
ApachiiSkyHair,“New Female and Male Hairstyles for Humans, Elves and Orcs. Converted hair from Sims2 and Sims3.” Nexusmods.com.
RaceMenu. “Complete overhaul to the character creation menu including new customization features such as multiple RGBA warpaints, body paints, hand paint, and foot paints.” Nexusmods.com
Based within a foundation of participatory and fan culture studies, I argue that the network of interdependent mods is worthy of future research which may in turn advocate for participatory design within the game development process.
The extended abstract, final poster, and power point presentation of this project will be available in Mid-August for those interested in learning more.