Agricultural Spaces and Places
Studying User-Created Maps for "Farming Simulator 15" at Scale
Abstract This chapter investigates the relationship between virtual spaces in the computer game Farming Simulator 15 (GIANTS Software 2014) and the actual cultural landscapes and places that user-created maps refer to and represent. It argues that scholars can make meaningful statements about trends and tendencies in user-created modifications, or mods, by using techniques of ‘distant reading’ borrowed from the Digital Humanities. The chapter demonstrates how collecting and analysing metadata about mods from mod-hosting websites can help us better understand the politics of cultural representations of games for which mods constitute an important part of the play experience, and argues that the proposed method can supplement and benefit other scholarly approaches to studying user-generated content.
Keywords User-generated content, mods, game studies, digital humanities, distant reading, cultural representation, Farming Simulator