Last week, modder Girafarig added a jerk-off schedule to Stardew Valley. Specifically, it’s for the "horny bachelors." According to him, people really seem to enjoy it. Who knew that the inclusion of such a schedule would make so many people happy? Apparently a lot of people, since adult mods are rather in demand. Many creators put together adult content for games, because people want the option of having it there.
Usually, with such news, I smile, chuckle, and then move on. However, shortly after I read another story on Kotaku about modding The Sims 4. In this article, Gita Jackson explained how she had been struggling to create a character that looks like her with just the default options. Thanks to the content released by modder XMiraMira, Gita was finally able to create a character that looked just like her. Such a modification might appear to be a small thing, one that that doesn’t fundamentally change the gameplay, but it certainly made her happier to play The Sims 4.
Both stories have helped me change my perspective on modding again. Having grown up with consoles, I tend to think of modding as a means of adding funny content to a game - my favorite being the Macho Man Randy Savage dragons in Skyrim - that I wouldn’t miss out on as long as someone uploads a video of it on YouTube. It wasn’t until much later, when I finally took the plunge into PC gaming, that I realized modding can fundamentally improve the graphics and gameplay. I was a naive fool. While I’m at it, I’m not sure I can ever go back to playing Goldeneye with an Nintendo 64 controller again, knowing that there’s a version that supports keyboard and mouse controls.
But Girafarig’s and XMiraMira’s contributions have me thinking of another purpose for modding: they can add the little things that genuinely make people feel happy. The running theme in these stories, to me, seems to be inclusiveness. As I said earlier, these are features that are small, but clearly enhance the experience for some players. Such customization can lead to the personalization that can really make someone’s day. A nude mod in Skyrim, for example, can lend a little realism to the world. Even though the environments might be cold, there are moments when people are going to be exposed. It brings a little reality to a fantasy world.
Similar mods might go against a developer’s vision, but they could also to delve deeper into the themes of the game. For instance, I don’t know how the developer of Stardew Valley feels about the inclusion of the jerk-off schedule. Perhaps they thought of it and similar adult features, but then scrapped it so the game could retain an E for Everyone vibe. In a way, a jerk-off schedule seems to fit in with the mundane life presented in Stardew Valley. It’s something to which adults should be able to relate.
Anyway, after some time passes, I’ll file these stories somewhere deep inside my file cabinet of memories, and continue playing games on the vanilla, default settings. But I’ll always keep in mind that modders are the unsung heroes of the PC gaming community, and these recent mods prove it. They're providing the optional adult content and realism some people might want in their games.