What is Modding?
Derived from the verb “modify”, Modding is the process of modifying computer software, or hardware, to perform tasks according to your needs rather than what they were originally designed for. An example would be to increase the frequency of the CPU by applying the over clocking option of computers. In respect to automobiles, modding implies the 'tuning of the engine'. Modding also refers to graphical modification of photographs.
Modding may, at times, violate copyright, thus some countries have made laws prohibiting the process. A good example of modding is the mod chip of the video game console. It gives the user accessibility to play games purchased in some other region, enjoy home-made games or have backup copies - legally or illegally.
There are two basic types of modding. The first, “soft modding”, involves modifying the data in the hard drive while in the second type, "hard modding", the BIOS is exploited so as to run games or unsigned codes. This type of modding is also known as "Hacking". With the help of hard modding you are able to run various software whereas soft modding is more popular due to its ease of installation and cost-effectiveness.
Partial conversions are those mods that add new content to an existing game whereas total conversions are those that create totally new games. There are various mod making tools available in the market, like Bard's Tale construction set which gives the user access to design games in a particular series. The modders provide free content delivery tools, which helps the user to play the mods easily. They have also made the download and update process, for mods, simpler and easier for the non-technical people. To increase the accessibility and entertainment value, modders have introduced new levels, maps, weapons etc. which are accessible by all players.
There are various companies that support modding like Google and TiVo. According to the agreement between these companies and modders, the modders agree not to harm or destroy the business model of the company and on the other hand, the companies promise to provide technical information and specifications.
So if you have a keen interest in technology and have always wanted to go beyond normal barriers, then modding could be your true calling. Be sure to check copyright laws in your country before attempting to change any software.