The practice of modding, or adding game modifications, involves adding or altering an aspect not originally conceived or intended by the designer, such as how it looks or behaves, to extend its replay value. These can include quests, items, or altering scripts, textures, or meshes. Mods are usually implemented by downloadable content or archives, or by programs likeEvolve, a paid GTA Online mod, which grants users access to new items (like weapons) and abilities (like character cloning, weather control, and hijacking cars as a pigeon).
Mods are a paratext, as defined by Gerard Genette as ‘those in a published work that accompany the text’. Paratexts are texts based on another text, like cosplays, fan ficition, and merchandise. Mods allow for users to engage with the primary text, whether it be GTA, Minecraft, or Skyrim, but also engage with the paratext, the chosen modification.
Mods not only extend…
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