During SIGDOC 2018 I participated in the Student Research Competition sponsored by Microsoft and ACM. My project aimed 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 my key takeaways. After surveying the top 50 mods for the video game Skyrim I found 3 popular mods which boasted over 500 “dependent mods” each.
Dependent mods are mods which require at least one other mod to be installed in order to function.
The most remarkable thread between these three mods, which are each responsible for hundreds of secondary mods, was that they all affect the UI and character creation options of the game.
Here are the Nexusmods.com descriptions:
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. Especially considering the emergence of participatory design within the game development process. The poster is included below as well as a link to the extended abstract which was included in the conference proceedings.
Lastly, I want to thank the many scholars who gave me meaningful, constructive feedback during the poster session!