Friday, July 08, 2005

modding is good

most Halo players are aware that, before the latest patch, Halo 2 cheating was rampant on Xbox Live. recently, modding has been used more frequently by these pathetic individuals. I feel that it's vital to stress that modding is one thing and cheating is another.

it wasn't that long ago that most people who used the word 'hack' were using it in a positive connotation. nowadays, the media has altered the common connotation and most people who use the term are using it in relation to some sort of nefarious activity.

although some have tried to curb this trend (e.g. O'Reilly publishing's 'hacks' series), it seems that most are happy to go on grouping together the innovative with the illegal. the same thing is now happening with the term 'mod.'

it is wrong-headed for anyone to stigmatize modders. for example, many modders from the Doom days are now employed at game development companies. id Software openly encouraged users to create their own 'WADs' for the Doom games and this open atttitude continued through to the Quake series. as a more recent example, the game Counterstrike began it's existence as a Half-Life mod. Counterstrike became a wildly popular game and I heard that Valve Software hired at least one of the modders who created the game. modding is definately a great way to acquire game design skills. I seriously doubt that any game development program would not include some modding.

if you talk to people in the Halo modding community, you will find that most just love the game and are trying to be creative. this sort of creativity is good for the modders, and good for the game.

games that offer the player a creative outlet will offer longevity far beyond those that are static (check out the presentation by Will Wright, about his new game Spore). Spore has the modding aspect built into the game and because of this, it provides the player with a well-rounded game play experience.

so don't allow people to refer to modders in a negative way. if people are breaking the rules, use the right word: cheaters.

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