Recently, I have been tinkering around with Atari 2600 emulation and I noticed an interesting array of topics regarding Homebrew and Hacked games.
It seems that the Homebrew authors were pretty upset whenever a cartridge hacker posted about their hack in the Homebrew forums.
Things came to a flare-up when one author posted a hack "of a homebrew" game which he called a "hackbrew".
Now the Homebrew purists considered the idea to be an abomination. (Hacking carts is a dirty business and hacking Homebrew carts being
even dirtier because you aren't modding the work of a nameless game company employee but instead an amateur game design artist.)
I didn't really buy this ideology.
While it's true that game companies restrict the creative output of their employees, it's perfectly likely that some game designer is
just as offended by 3rd party hacks of their games as a creative amateur would be.
But should either party be?
If I post an image of something I painted and someone over at Deviant Art takes my image and draws a mustache on all the people
and posts it as a parody of my work isn't that just how things are in a fair use world?
So gaming hacks are in that realm of sin but they are a sin that most folks are willing to forgive or even partake in.
Recently, there have been a few cases where missions in development have taken too much design work from existing missions or
authors have gone outside the permitted boundaries of collaborative agreements to radically alter existing missions (etc).
Rather than restrict or punish this work, what if we do what they do at Atariage?
Create a forum about modded missions.
Create a wiki (or reuse this one: http://wiki.thedarkm...d_Modifications ) and clearly mark whether the mission "mod" was permitted by the author.
Then any work like this would be preserved but it would have an "unofficial" designation that lets users know they are goofing around with
work that was not from the original author and may be completely wrong (etc).
I know this is a tough topic but I'd like some FM authors to chime in on this idea.