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Mixed Messages: The The Ambiguity of the MOD Chip and Pirate Cultural Production for the Nintendo DS

New Media & Society Journal

New Media & Society Journal

Abstract:
This essay examines the ambiguous character of videogame console modification chips (MOD chips) in the space of videogame piracy. While it is possible for these chips to be used to “pirate” versions of games for these devices, they also expand the utility of the devices by adding capabilities. Perhaps more significantly, MOD chips also enable users to create software and videogames that run on these consoles outside the typical rules and regulations of the videogame industry. Ethnographic work amongst Nintendo DS (“dual screen”) MOD communities is examined to illuminate this understudied space of cultural production.

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Citation:
O’Donnell, C. (2013). Mixed Messages: The Ambiguity of the MOD Chip and Pirate Cultural Production for the Nintendo DS. New Media & Society, TBD, TBD.

About Casey O'Donnell

Casey O'Donnell is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Telecommunication, Information Studies and Media at Michigan State University. His research examines the creative collaborative work of videogame design and development. This research examines the cultural and collaborative dynamics that occur in both professional "AAA" organizations and formal and informal "independent" game development communities. His research has spanned game development companies from the United States to India. His research examines issues of work, production, copyright, as well as third world and postcolonial aspects of the videogame development workplace. Casey is also an active game developer, releasing his first independent game, "Osy," in February of 2011.

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