Thought I Want To Explore Later In More Depth
I think the reason I love video games that have active thriving modding communities, is because for me, modding a game (both creation and utilization) feels like fanfiction. I get the same sense of taking the source and personalizing, making it your own, creating personal canon, fixing things or updating things or enhancing things. And there's so much involved, from accessibility in interface design, and increased font sizes in text, to adding colour (as in PoC) to an environment, or changing up the seasons, adding different bodyshapes for women, switching walking stance for men and women and more.
On one hand, it can feel like it says a lot about the community nad the fans; explaining my utter gutted emotions when confronted by mod after mod after mod of DA/DA2 Isabela, as a fair skinned blonde. What that was saying was awful. And at the same time, going through the modding situations, there were giving her pants, there was recognizing the out of character and extremly gendered non action gestures of Female!Hawke. There was mod that put PoC in Ferleldan. There's making certain costumes less belly baring as much as those who dude nude models and want extended sex scenes.
It was a shock for me to realize that the love scene I took for granted in DA; pillow talk, didn't happen in the original, and was instead done fully clothed, talking upright beside the campfire. I tend to mod from the start - and the first time I saw an unmodifed version of that scene, I suddenly realized how MUCH was brought in by the mod I'd downloaded (originally out of concern of wanting something to match up with my dwarf).
I think I look askance at games that don't feature engines that can offer modding (or easier modding and adaption). Thinking about the worlk arounds needed to play a same gender loving Commander Hawke, trips me out and seem infuriating.
Also sometimes I look at the mods and things seem so basic - like they should have automatically been included. But they weren't. And, unknowlegeable as I am about the gaming industry, as a consumer, I end up wondering if it was some kind of unthinking, inconsiderate, laziness, rush job that things didn't get included.
But yeah, modding - as personalization of the gaming experience and a chance to better tell/express the story in your head.