Women and Video Game Modding: Essays on Gender and the Digital Community
Edited by Bridget Whelan
The world of video games has long revolved around a subset of its player base: straight, white males aged 18–25. Highly gendered marketing in the late 1990s and early 2000s widened the gap between this perceived base and the actual diverse group who buy video games. Despite reports from the Entertainment Software Association that nearly half of gamers identify as female, many developers continue to produce content reflecting this imaginary audience.
Many female gamers are in turn modifying the games. “Modders” alter the appearance of characters, rewrite scenes and epilogues, enhance or add love scenes and create fairy tale happy endings.
This is a collection of new essays on the phenomenon of women and modding, focusing on such titles as Skyrim, Dragon Age, Mass Effect and The Sims. Topics include the relationship between modders and developers, the history of modding, and the relationship between modding and disability, race, sexuality and gender identity.