Game Mods: Design Theory and Criticism

Between a Mod and a Hard Place

in Game Mods:  Design Theory and Criticism
Edited by Eric Champion

This chapter explores the history of videogame modding and how the social and legal struggles that modders faced has shaped the current modding scene.  Modders today find themselves in precarious situations in relationship to intellectual property laws, licensing agreements and game development studios.  They often find themselves in one-sided arrangements, with large studios and publishers benefiting at their expense.  Yet modders continue to mod, and hopefully they can keep on modding.  For a long time to come.

Those interested in modding can purchase this book from or download a digital copy from ETC Press for free!

Players, Modders, and Hackers

in Understanding Minecraft: Essays on Play, Community and Possibilities
Edited by Nate Garrelts

This chapter examines the nature of the Minecraft modding community and how the creative aspects of the game itself help to transform players into modders by encouraging them to investigate its world, tinker with it, and ultimately take that world apart to see how it works.  It looks at a number of specific Minecraft mods including Skyblock, Minecraft Hunger Games, and Tekkit, while also giving a broad overview of the technical aspects involved in creating a mod and the broader cultural significance of Minecraft modding within the context of videogame history.

100 Greatest Video Game Franchises

Captain Blood
Cave Story
Chex Quest

in 100 Greatest Video Game Franchises
Edited by Robert Mejia, Jamie Banks, and Aubrie Adams

These three chapters look at three important, but often overlooked games that highlight the diversity that exists within videogame development.  L’Arche du Captain Blood, released in North America as Captain Blood, is an innovative game about communicating with aliens that typified the unique games created by French Developers in the 1980s.  Cave Story was one of the first and most successful independent games of the early 2000s, making use of digital distribution to succeed as freeware.  Finally, Chex Quest, an advergame distributed in cereal boxes and created by a professional team of Doom modders, reached more players than many triple-A games while never technically selling a single copy.

The ASPIRE Program:  Using Game-Based Learning to Reach Massive Audiences

in Cases on the Societal Effects of Persuasive Games
Edited by Dana Ruggiero

This chapter describes the approach used by the ASPIRE program to create educational games to teach children about math and physics.  It also discusses the history of the ASPIRE program and how its approach to game-based learning has changed over 15 years in order to accommodate shifts in organizational structure, the spread of new digital technologies,  and the changing role of the Internet in society.