Prior to and while in its development, I conducted an extensive amount of research to inform my discussion in my digital artefact. It involves a series of video essays focused on modding in the context of Nintendogs, primarily focused on the Vinesauce Corruption Mod (popularized by streamer Vinesauce in 2012). I navigate the basic carer duties and document changes in structural elements, like sound and visual, affected by the mod. In conjunction to this, how, as a form of participatory media, it affects the modality, spatiality, and strata of the game or paratext.
The research I conducted was primarily academic or scholarly, while the media sources I utilized were solely to read up on other popular mods, such as those from Skyrim or GTA, in which I was not familiar with and I believed could be useful to my discussion. To form a cohesive background on mods for other consoles, I used Kotaku. This article was particularly useful, as it assisted me in becoming more familiar with Skyrim, one of the most highly modified games of all time, which I mentioned in my essay. I also used this article from Digital Trends, which served the same purpose.
Although I did not explicitly mention many sources other than Sotamaa, Postigo, and Scacci, I had a wide variety of academic resources that I used to inform my discussion on game modifications up until this point.
Scacci’s ‘Computer Game Mods, Modders, Modding, and the Mod Scene’ informed my knowledge on the mod scene, or the surrounding social world that frames the study. It discusses the career contingencies and organization practices of modders, as well as how social worlds intersect the mod scene, which I discuss with reference to the motivations of modders. Scacci mentions the ‘customizing, tailoring, remixing’ motivation, as well game conversion mods, which seek to overrun the game itself and make it virtually indistinguishable from its prior counterpart. I thought this was incredibly relevant, as the Corruption Mod allows you to choose how unrecognizable you want them to be. Want them to still look like a dog? Just make some small changes. Want them to look like a demonic blob of pixels? You can do that too.
While I did not discuss much of Moody , their paper was useful in talking about modding motivations, immaterial labour, and complemented Sotamaa’s ‘Computer Game Modding, Intermediality and Participatory Culture’ beautifully. Sotamaa allowed me to discuss the institutionalization of fan cultural production, as well as definitions of participatory. This led on to the partial agency and power negotiation between participators I mentioned in my video essay. Similiarly, Postigo’s ‘Modding to the big leagues: Exploring the space between modders and the game industry’ also informed the discussion on participatory relationships.
Raessons and Jenkins gave me an excellent background and widened my interpretation of participatory media. Raessons focused on the multimediality, virtuality, interactivity and connectivity of participatory media culture, while Jenkins informed my understanding of how trends and the new media environment change the way media consumers relate to each other, media producers, and media texts.
Mitew & Moore formed a backbone for the majority of my discussion, mainly centering around the triad of space/spatiality, modality, and strata/technique to discuss how the mod changes structural elements, and how they coexist in the context of the modded game.
View the first instalment of the video essay series here:
Jenkins, H. (2009). Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture. Cambridge: The MIT Press.
Mitew, T. and Moore, C. (2017). ‘Histories of Internet Games and Play: Space, Technique and Modality’. Global Internet Histories. Goggin, G. & McLelland, M. J., Eds. Routledge: London.
Moody, K. (2014). Modders : changing the game through user-generated content and online communities. University of Iowa: Iowa Research Online.
Postigo, H. (2010). Modding to the big leagues: Exploring the space between modders and the game industry. First Monday, 15(5).
Raessens, J. (2005). Computer games as participatory media culture. In J. Raessens & J. Goldstein (Eds.), Handbook of computer game studies (pp. 373-388). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Scacci, W. (2010). Computer Game Mods, Modders, Modding, and the Mod Scene. Institute for Software Research and Center for Computer Games and Virtual Worlds, University of California.
Sotamaa, O. (2003). Computer Game Modding, Intermediality and Participatory Culture. Computer Game Modding, Intermediality and Participatory Culture, University of Tampere, Finland.