Video games and mods have gone hand and hand since conception. Players have always wanted to find backdoors and spread their own creativity into the games they love so much. Too a large group of gamers, mods are synonymous with cheating. A division has formed within the community splitting it into two parts. The purists believe that video games should be enjoyed in their purest form only, bugs glitches and all. Mod users believe that mods not only fix bugs that would hinder enjoyment, but also add endless amounts of replayability by giving fans the ability to add their own content. Though I definitely don’t fall under the purist category, I do think they have a point. Mods can sometimes cause more harm than good especially when used in multiplayer games. I want to give both sides a fair shake so In this article I want to talk about the pros and cons of modding and why I ultimately believe that the tremendous increase in interest for modding is a good thing for the gaming community.
I stumbled across a story recently about a couple of large YouTubers and an impending lawsuit was just too interesting to ignore. These YouTubers were selling Fortnite mods that allowed players to cheat and Epic Games was not happy about it in the slightest. Whether the devs were upset because of the mods or because these YouTubers were raking in money off of game exploitation remains unclear. Regardless, In this particular instance, the culprit is crystal clear. Mods should never be used to give players the upper hand in Multiplayer games. They provided an unfair advantage that is heavily frowned upon in the gaming community. There is a seedy underbelly to this particular example centering around the selling of video game content which we will touch on later when addressing a different kind of mod but ultimately I think the consensus on cheating in Multiplayer games as a unanimous no. Modding gives players the ability to embed their creativity into the game directly but as we’ve seen above this power can be abused. The real reason that this kind of modding is frowned upon is that although it may encourage some to play, it ultimately creates an unfair experience for others which threatens the entire player base. Epic Games might have been completely fine with the inclusion of player made accessories or skins in Fortnite which don’t affect gameplay but once the game’s balance is in jeopardy, developers have to step in.
The reason I’m making this distinction is that mods for single player games should never be grouped together as cheats that are detrimental to the gaming community. Skyrim and Fallout have been breeding grounds for modding since their inception and because Bethesda has given their community such free reign, some of the most amazing things have been created. Plenty have voiced their concerns with the creation club which essentially does exactly what Epic Games sued those YouTubers for, monetizing cheats, but it’s acceptable because it doesn’t jeopardize the entire player base. Even developers as big as Bethesda see the potential in modding which validates modding to a status that should be acceptable for those purist gamers scowling in the corner. This point doesn’t even scratch the surface of why modding has been such a boon to the gaming community because we still haven’t touched the actual content made. Some of the most memorable hours I’ve had while playing video games has been because of a mod. The Forgotten City, a mod made by an Australian named Nick Peirce, even won a screenwriting award for its amazing storytelling. Yes, there are a lot of mods that are shit. Yes, there are a lot of mods that make games laughable easy. Do not let this deter you from experiencing some of the most creative and astounding new content imaginable rivaling even the vanilla game.