Modding games is usually meant to make a completely different game with new goals. Generally, the outcome of modding a game is meant to be fun. However, there are groups of people out there actively trying to make games unplayable. This may be for fun, or just for the laughs it can bring. These people are actively trying to corrupt different games to make them do erratic and hilarious things that make no sense.
Generally, a corruption of a game is something that isn’t wanted. According to makeuseof.com a corruption “occurs because of improperly written or executed code, data corruption happens when code is intentionally or unintentionally changed from its original, correct form. Corruption can be systematic or random, and even a small change can fundamentally break a program or render a file useless.” But with these people who are actively trying to corrupt games, it’s exactly what they want to happen when they’re playing the games.
Intentional corruption of games is mostly done to ROMs of games on older systems such as the Gameboy, SNES and Genesis. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly when the idea of corrupting ROMs because something “popular” but there is a prominent figure in this corruption scene, the Youtube user and Twitch streamer “Vinesauce”. He has series of videos where he corrupts ROMs and streams the results. They’re often bizarre colors, heavily altered music, or just a broken game completely. This act of corrupting ROMs became so popular that he released the program he used to corrupt ROMs, the “Vinesauce ROM corruptor.”
Although this idea of corrupting ROMs may not be modding in the traditional sense, it’s certainly a modification of the game itself. It’s a user-created act that takes what the player is doing with the game and putting it into their own hands. The interesting thing about this form of modification is the fact that you don’t need something like a development kit with the source engine to do this modification. All you need to do is download a program such as the ROM corruptor or mess around with some files and voila, you have modified a game and made it something new without having to know things like programming or building textures.
Corrupting games is not a very popular form of modding but it’s still very interesting. The main reason why people seem to be corrupting games as modification to produce humorous results. The idea of gaming and modification as a form of humor is something that is worth looking at, and with the advent of gaming being on more forms of social media and being a shared experience with streaming service, humor and gaming will be something we see much more of.