postigo on mods and modders

After his brilliant “From Pong to Planet Quake: Post-industrial transitions from leisure to work” (2003) Hector Postigo
has published an already promised piece plus has yet another one on the topic in the pipeline:

POSTIGO, HECTOR. 2007. Of mods and modders: Chasing down the value of fan-based digital game modifications. Games and Culture 2(4): 300-313.

This article is concerned with the role that fan-programmers (generally known as “modders”) play in the success of the PC digital game industry. The fan culture for digital games is deeply embedded in shared practices and experiences among fan communities, and their active consumption contributes economically and culturally to broader society. Using a survey of the most commercially successful PC games in the first-person shooter category from 2002 until 2004, this article answers a series of questions concerning fan-programmer produced content: (a) What is the value of the fan produced game add-ons in terms of labor costs? (b) What motivates fans to make add-ons for their favorite games? and (c) How does the fan-programmer phenomenon in PC gaming fit into broader trends in the high-tech economy?

POSTIGO, HECTOR. [Forthcoming]. Video game appropriation through modifications: Attitudes concerning intellectual property among fans and modders. Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies.

This article investigates an instance in convergence culture: the conflicts and compromises between modders and their supporters, and the owners of the copyrighted works they appropriate. I suggest that current copyright ownership in cultural products interfere with the way creative industries can benefit from convergence; that modders (and fans generally) develop a specific rationale and set of norms rooted in Jenkins’ concept of a “moral economy” (Jenkins 2006b) to justify their appropriations; and that mutually beneficial relationships can be teased out of the apparently contradictory positions of modders and copyright owners. This article focuses on case two studies that illustrate the ways modders re-use cultural products and incorporate them into their video game modifications to achieve a sense of creative ownership and meaning over their entertainment experience.

initially via e-mail from KB—tnx