Just recently I again was invited to submit an abstract for a chapter in an upcoming learned volume. Here is what I cooked up, the chapter simply will be called “Game modding”—it is straight out of my laboratory and pretty well summarizes what I am up to with this whole project. At least it hits its core:
On a global scale media relying on computer technology and the Internet infrastructure play a decisive role in contemporary culture and society. This chapter deals with computergames, what is done with them, and what happens around them, in particular with the set of practices of creatively reworking preexisting games subsumed under the term game modding. The chapter starts with a review and discussion of the available literature on game modding stemming from a range of disciplines. Drawing on the resulting conclusions and my own according fieldwork, game modding is characterized as constituting processes of sociocultural appropriation. This processes lead to transformations on different levels, as not only the games themselves are transformed, but also the structure of production and consumption, and the interrelationships between human individuals and all of the involved artefacts. The practices in question are by no means eclectic or singular, but collectively shared by the members of identifiable and lasting communities. The emergence and consolidation of this social bodies encompass a wealth of culturally informed social action and the bequeathal of values through generations. Backed by ethnographical and historical data game modding is rendered as a phenomenon of continuity and transformation at the end of the chapter.