Modding as Part of Game Culture

  • Alexander UngerEmail author


It is a common misunderstanding that the culture of digital games is identical with the proprietary digital game software and the game industry. The richness of a media culture comes up with the development of specific ways of appropriation and interpretation of the “consumed” media that can also be subversive. This chapter tries to point out that modding as a specific media (sub)culture goes even beyond the notions of appropriation and interpretation. To understand digital game culture as a whole, we also have to take into account creative practices that manipulate the media consumed. Modding seems to be the prototype for such an engagement with digital media since there are mods available on the WWW for nearly every commercial game. Although it is hard to find another community that manipulates and redistributes its media in such a deep way, modding has been somehow overlooked by academic discourse and thus lacks systematic examination. On that account, this chapter tries to measure the field of modding by giving an outline of some definitions, displaying different (research) layers, and by developing an analytical model for formal mod analysis. Besides the richness of mods in cross-media references, it is argued that modding even has a political dimension because it can also be understood as a way of reclaiming modern folk stories and story worlds.


Academic Engagement Modding Culture Cultural Artifact Digital Game Original Game 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Education, Psychology and Human MovementUniversity of HamburgHamburgGermany

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