Serious Games Modding

An interesting new concept: Serious Games Modding. Coming straight from a Serious Games Summit talk: Healthcare and Forestry - Half-Life 2: Meet Serious Games Modding. Modding is "a slang expression for the act of modifying a piece of hardware or software to perform a function not intended or authorized by the original manufacturer" (source: wikipedia).

As game engines get ever more powerful the rolling of modding (taking existing games and changing their content to suit another purpose) will continue to grow. Past efforts have explored the use of modding and demonstrated its process. This session is designed to move from a broad talk about modding by giving a behind the scenes look at two serious game projects utilizing mods of the Half-Life 2 Source Engine. (...) The GNN Visualization (GNNVis) system is being developed at Oregon State University College of Forestry under a US Forest Service grant. The project has taken the Valve Source game engine, and turned it into a multi-user forest data visualization and collaboration tool for forest researchers.

The Pulse!! Project, funded by Congress via the Office of Naval Research, is using an early mod of Half-Life II to showcase how its larger-scale development effort will work and to explore in-advance of its larger development system the issues needed to successfully move nurse training into a full scale 3D game-like environment.

Why do I blog this? I like this trend: re-using game stuff to support new functionalities, liike forest visualizations.