Gameplay Journal Entry #4

A game modification I found is Kara Gut’s Intimacy mod for Skyrim. The mod does not change the way the game looks or anything but the mechanics are where it gets weird. The mechanic of the mod is a lovers mod but when a player tries to get intimate with an NPC they both launch away. This artist subverted the formal structures of the original game because they were aiming to break the game through the mod to show what modding can do intentionally or unintentionally. This mod shows what a intimacy lover mod or any mod can accidentally do to the game.

As stated by Alexander R. Galloway “Artist-made video game mods are an unusual thing, for they seem to contradict their very existence: when the mod rises to the level of art, rather than a gesture of fandom — as Counter-Strike was to HalfLife — then, more often than not, the game loses its rule set completely and ceases to be a game after all.”(107). This explanation shows what this artist was after and how the mod loses the rule set of the original game and why the characters are launched away. This mod wants to show countergaming where the mod wants to show how mods can break a game and stops being a game. This mod is not like counterstrike was to half life where the mod ended up being its own game but rather a mod that breaks the game. This mod contradicts its very existence because its an intimacy mod that is meant to break.

Galloway, Alexander R. Gaming Essays on Algorithmic Culture. University of Minnesota Press, 2006.