Bruns’ Four Key Characteristics of Produsage… with Zombies.

As modding became more popular and the internet more accessible, web based communities sprung up to support the production of mods and to distribute content. Each site and community became a ‘hive’ and a hub for production, consumption and prosumption of mod-based content.  Video Game modding perfectly correlates to Bruns’ “4 key characteristics of produsage” and, in my humble opinion, is one of the ultimate examples of such. On top of that, I get to talk about one of my favourite mods which perfectly serves as case study; DayZ.

In his 2007 paper, Produsage: Towards a Broader Framework for User-Led Content Creation, Bruns the four key characteristics of produsage, which are as follows.

“Organisational Shift”

This term is used to describe the “shift from dedicated individuals and teams as  producers to a broader-based, distributed  generation of content by a wide community of participants” (Bruns, 2007). Essentially, the transition from production/consumption to  prosuming on a wide scale. DayZ demonstrates this by being a mod, produced by a group of independent developers but based off the original ARMA 2 game. Going one step further, the “Organisational Shift’ shifts even further with modding communities creating mods of DayZ (mods of the mod). Check this list out for more info.

Fluid Movement”

This is used to describe the ease of individuals to switch between production and consumption, leading and following, as well as the ease with which data, skills and knowledge are exchanged by prosumers. Modding supports this by the diversification of user/producer roles and the constant play that produced by and necessary to mod. DayZ, is particular, facilitates this by being completely moddable and openly encouraging communities of modders.

“Unfinished”

For content to be unfinished implies it means that it is constantly being tweaked and edited by prosumers, by the ‘hive’. In regard to the DayZ case, scores of sub-mods have been produced from the vanilla (original) mod. From slight tweaks to the UI, hud or inventory systems to the the complete revamp of Dayz Origins”; an almost complete game that was built of ARMA II, DayZ and a DayZ modded map. Confused? Me too. It’s a sub-sub-mod, of sorts, and comes to exemplify the state of flux that mods are always in.

“Permissive”

In regard to modding original games, most developers are encouraging. The developers of ARMA II especially so (see previous posts) and the modder/developers of DayZ just as much. For developers that are pro-modding,  ss long as everything is kept non-commercial and credit is delivered where credit is due, modders are given almost free reign over content. This, more than anything, is what makes these networks as successful as they are.

References

– Bruns, A, 2007, “Produsage: Towards a Broader Framework for User-Led Content
Creation”. Proceedings Creativity & Cognition 6, Accessed frm http://eprints.qut.edu.au/6623/1/6623.pdf on 22/4/14

– Moore, C 2014, From Citizen Journalism to Collective Intelligence, ‘Prezi’ slides, BCM112, University of Wollongong, presented 8/4/2014, accessed 22/4/2014

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