Dear Media: Please Learn What a "Mod" Is

by Darius Kazemi on July 19, 2005

in Uncategorized

I found the following on Boing Boing:

Fleshbot points its gnome-booty-craving readership to a hidden nude mod in World of Warcraft which is much tamer than the GTA: San Andreas sex scene that has Hilary Clinton’s britches in a bunch. This one’s no big deal, says Fleshbot, but will still be exciting to those “curious and/or desperate [enough] to sit through a twenty minute download just to catch a glimpse of a few naked female characters doing the Macarena and some simulated oral sex.” [emphasis mine]

Okay, will somebody please explain to me what “a hidden nude mod in World of Warcraft” actually means? To the best of my understanding (I’m being condescending here), a mod is a modification of an existing game, typically executed by fans of the game, i.e. not the developers of the game itself. A “mod in World of Warcraft” does not make sense. It doesn’t even parse. There are a few ways I can imagine finding hidden naked characters in a game.

If there is a series of special actions you can take in-game to enable you to see naked characters, that is an Easter egg, and was put there by at least one developer. Usually an Easter egg is endorsed by the developer, like the Star Wars or Sam & Max references you used to see hidden in every LucasArts game from the early ’90s. But occassionally the Easter egg is unauthorized, as in the case of the homosexual Easter egg in SimCopter. Authorized Easter eggs absolutely should meet the standards of the ESRB rating that the game merited.

If there is a file you can download off of a third-party server which changes the game code and enables you to see naked characters, that is a mod, and the developers are not responsible for that content, because somebody else did it! To blame developers for a mod would be like blaming J.K. Rowling because someone wrote the word “fuck” in a library copy of the latest Harry Potter book.

From what I can tell, the content of the GTA sex mod is actually present in the game, and the third-party mod just unlocks it. This is a fuzzy in-between case. On the other hand, this World of Warcraft thing looks like it’s just some extra content created by someone else. No news items I’ve read have explained it completely to my satisfaction.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: