The mod industries? The industrial logic of non-market game production

David B. Nieborg, Shenja van der Graaf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

51 Citations (Scopus)


This article seeks to make the relationship between non-market game developers (modders) and the game developer company explicit through game technology. It investigates a particular type of modding, i.e. total conversion mod teams, whose organization can be said to conform to the high-risk, technologically-advanced, capital-intensive, proprietary practice of the developer company. The notion 'proprietary experience' is applied to indicate an industrial logic underlying many mod projects. In addition to a particular user-driven mode of cultural production, mods as proprietary extensions build upon proprietary technology and are not simple redesigned games, because modders tend to follow a particular marketing and industrial discourse with corresponding industrial-like practices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-195
Number of pages19
JournalEuropean Journal of Cultural Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • First-person shooter
  • Game engine
  • Proprietary experience
  • Proprietary extension
  • Total conversion modification
  • n/a OA procedure


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