What Are Mods? Modding Games: A Hidden Backbone That Keeps Games Alive

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Bethesda)

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Bethesda)

Human ingenuity and creativity ignite when given the tools needed, as evident by today’s plethora of gaming mods.

Plenty of videos showcase this creativity at work: turning the dragons of Skyrim into flying trains, adding a zombie apocalypse mode to Arma 2 and even adding roleplay servers to GTA 5.

The Elder Scroll V: Skyrim by Bethesda Games wowed the world with its debut in 2011. Despite its release over a decade ago, the game still enjoys a wide playbase to this day, in part thanks to its modding scene.

What Are Mods?

Modifications, or ‘mods’ as they are commonly referred to, change and alter the game to the whims of the fans. They’re typically introduced in order to expand the game with new content or to streamline the gameplay by removing bugs and errors that exist within the game.

Mods can range from small additions to the game, such as adding a new character to interact with, to game-wide changes, specifically mods that overhaul the game into a completely new story and setting. Mods lead to the creation of entirely new genres and games, such as Defense of the Ancients, a Warcraft IIIReign of Chaos mod that helped create the Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) genre of games.

Mods Are A Lifeline, Not A Burden

While there are plenty of legal complications that can arise with modding a game, there’s also a lot of heart and potential within the modding community of a game. Like the case for Skyrim, the modding community can often expand a game’s shelf life, with the addition of new mods to try and enhance the experience. Some developers take this opportunity to bolster their modding community by giving access to developing tools used to create mods. Some even integrate the mods made by the fanbase, though, this can lead to backlash if the developer tries to put a paywall on mods.


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