bit-tech.net

Mesa Mod Means Mainstream Mod Mecca

I thought I'd take some time out in my column this week to talk to you a little bit about bit-tech and what we've been working on, where we're heading and how you guys can help.

This week on bit-tech, we've slowed up on the content a little bit. For the past 2 or 3 months, we've been producing 4 or 5 pieces of original content each week to keep you all entertained with the latest tech happenings. We've tried to maintain a good mix of guides, tutorials a reviews on both the hardware and the modding fronts.

"Are gaming-inspired mod projects things you like to see?"

This week, we slowed up a little and had a breather, at least in front of camera. With the two-part Blackmesa 2 article, we knew that we would be doing mod-god PilouX a disservice if we left his creation as the top news item for just one day, so we moved the rest of our content along our busy schedule to keep Blackmesa the focus of the readership.

By all accounts, it seems to have pleased the general populous. We got linked on Slashdot, several large gaming sites picked up the story and its been very popular by our own, high, standards.

Of course, very few modding projects ever generate this amount of interest, but it seems that the games industry is really waking up to this kind of enthusiast exposure.

Recently, we've worked with Take 2 Interactive, publishers of Vietcong, on some funky ammo boxes, and we have just finished up a couple of incredibly cool projects for them that you will see on the site soon. Blackmesa, of course, is the official PC for Valve Software, and we've had other games companies approach us for custom cases to promote their wares.

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Wil Harris

"... a custom case-mod is simply another marketing tool."

To them, a custom case-mod is simply another marketing tool that they can use to generate interest in their title. To the case-mod community, however, it strikes me as a useful route to mainstream exposure. For a long, long time, modders have been branded as geeks, the computing equivalent of car-ricers. Now, however, with projects like Blackmesa, CinemediaPC and Orac3 pushing the boundaries between case modification and art, it seems that modding is becoming an accepted form of gaming art, much like concept work, 3D renders or box art.

Whilst gaming is itself pushing for mainstream acceptance - and the early financial results for Halo 2 and San Andreas suggest that it is pretty close to getting there - for a wider computing audience, seeing modding effectively 'endorsed' by gaming is a big pull.

So where now? Well, we want to know what you think about this kind of thing. Are gaming-inspired mod projects things you like to see? Or do you prefer modding for moddings sake? The same thing can apply to hardware reviews: do you like to see components used in a gaming context, or is it all about the technology? We're intrigued to see your thoughts on the matter, so hit the forums link below and let us know what you think. Similarly, does 5 pieces of content a week keep you interested (given that most tech sites rarely do more than 2, with some notable exceptions)? Does our news hit the spot? As Frasier Crane would say, I'm listening.