52 – ModDB, you’ll never buy an expansion pack again.
You know, I’m yet to find an on-line community with as much creativity, support and integrity as ModDB. They Don’t make a lot of money when you compare them to Facebook or YouTube, and in terms of widespread popularity they are absolutely dwarfed. But they aren’t a mass media entity that serves the mindless, they aren’t a simplistic platform of redundant communication and pointless internet videos. They provide for the subculture of gamers who are committed to a truer experience of entertainment and immersion. ModDB has amassed a legion of faithful members, consumers and producers who serve one purpose – eliminating the middle man between the imagination and the game, breaking the conventional shackles of genre that are so heavily enforced by the dime a dozen mainstream game studios. By doing this the people get what they deserve; the games they always dreamed of, and the enriching community they never imagined all for free.
Yes, it’s all free. The 17,377 files that are up for grabs are free, and they will essentially turn one game into something totally new. Modding is not a new phenomenon, people have done it as long as there have been games to play, but never has there been such an extensive gathering of tools, encouragement and shear possibilities. For the games you shelved years ago, or the blockbusters you wish weren’t so monotonous, or even the quirky indie games your friends have never heard off.
Sounds good doesn’t it? Well there’s more. ModDB isn’t just a reservoir for resurrected shooter or classic role player. The 166,000 strong core membership have a lot to offer but it doesn’t stop there. These guys aren’t amateurs, there’s over 4000 studios, companies and production entities that embark on breathtaking projects, and you can have it all for free. There is a congregation of professional score composers, graphic designers, scripters and writers who all offer their skills to the community. There are 340 game engines and programs available to everyone, and a library of nearly 500 tutorials and educational videos on how to get the best out of them. There is over a thousand developing teams and fan clubs that lend their ideas and abilities to others, and a ‘job board’ where anyone can call out for just about any skill set to aid them as they make their ideas a reality. They give you everything and everyone you need, and once you’re finished they give you a place to upload it, for others to try it and review it. If you played your cards right you can become something of a celebrity modder amongst the community, and may even find yourself in the hall of fame awards, or being approached by one of the thousands of studios that make the professional backbone of ModDB.
ModDB is a fledgling community, but they have definitely got the right idea, community sustainability and opportunity. Everyone benefits, no one loses out. It may be a quiet village in the outback compared to the internet giants, but sometimes it’s better that way. They haven’t had any major legal cases with the exception of Bethesda’s naming row (a lawsuit based on the community ‘stealing’ Bethesda names) and they are even allowed in China. Hell, Google, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Tumblr etc are blocked (the list is massive) but ModDB even succeeds there. It makes you think; these websites have clearly strayed from the original idea of the international village, where everyone is welcome (and not because they plan on selling your personal details). I take my hat off to ModDB, they really are keeping the romanticized fires of the internet community alive!