For this week I wanted to look at modding and it’s relation to a game. In this particular instance I want to refer to Anne-Marie Schleiner’s concept which is “ The modder takes advantage of this digital game product at his or her fingertips, modifying the game with tools provided by the game developer or developed by other modders.” (Anne-Marie Schleiner 36) With that definition in mind I want to look at Bethesda and their game engine/modding community found within Skyrim.
Skyrim is a game that has been heavily modded. If you can think of it, it’s probably been done. Thomas the tank engine has a foe? Done. Ui systems that replicate the other elder scroll games? Easy. People have even taken the engine to new heights by allowing it to function with 4k textures and more modern lighting systems. The example that I want to look at is perhaps the biggest Skyrim mod ever. Beyond Skyrim. It’s a new land (Bruma), recreated in the Skyrim engine that players can interact with. Bruma is basically a NEW game, within the game. This mod is massive and certainly creates many new ways to play the game. It adds on to the original exploration of Skyrim but incorporates other elements/characters that can’t be found in the original. The creators of this mod have quite literally recreated their own version of “Skyrim” within Skyrim, doing exactly what Anne-Marie Schleiner defined as modding.
(a quick overview of Bruma https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=snEdFRMPKuQ the first version of Beyond Skyrim.)
Schleiner, Anne-Marie. The Player’s Power to Change the Game: Ludic Mutation. Amsterdam University Press, 2018.