Modding, Customisation and other Personal Touches

frypanfrypan wrote on 23 Nov 2012 03:24

Thought we should have a topic for modding and other conversations related to customising the game experience. If the topic was just modding, I think Seijin8 and I would just compare Skyrim all day.

So to start off, an interesting situation arose recently when I was asked if Skyrim was suitable for a twelve year old. Opinion online seems divided on the subject, with extremes that vary from one writer who plays with a four year old, through
varying opinions right up to the official MA classification here in Australia.1

To get to the point, I said it was fine, but there were some areas that might need explanation when he reaches them, as they involve adult content. What was more interesting was deciding if there are mods that are suitable for kids, and why a game like Skyrim does not allow greater customisation for younger players. The game starts with a beheading, but most of the adult content is fairly compartmentalised and easily removed, mainly consisting of a few nasty questlines, a drug called Skooma and the odd sexual reference. This content could easily be removed by a parental lock or the like, similar to the manner gore and such are often removable in games.

The idea of customising a game for a younger player changes the whole concept of modding, as at present the emphasis is on disclaimers by developers, regarding the addition of adult or online content. The idea of modding for younger players is the other side to such a situation. I am surprised that more mods for younger players don’t appear in order to open the game experience to a larger audience. That is something a developer could also market the game on, although I suspect it would cause brain freezes as classification boards came to terms at the implementation stage.

This is just a thought, but really, other games could have such simple locks on content, such as the sex scenes in mature RPGs, and swearing. Fallout 3 opened the door on such an idea when drug use in the game was removed for the Aussie release. I'm surprised we don’t see more of such things, seeing as how the devs want as broad an audience as possible.

So far I have not found mods that remove many of the adult features, but it is possible to customise the game for a younger player, by adding the things he would be interested in. That means extra monsters, some of the anime mods (non adult) and a couple of Minecraft Easter eggs - as he is a fan of both of these. I think I can make a game that he will really enjoy – customising little gifts throughout the game that he will know I put in there. It’s a fun idea.

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