Origins of the term “God Modder”
If you’re a member of a text-based roleplaying game, or have ever been involved with one, you might have heard of the term God Modder. There’s an article explaining what this means here, but have you ever wondered where the term originated and why we use it in roleplaying games?
It all started with computer games
God Modding began with computer games, it was the use of “God Mode” to make your character invulnerable to all damage. Lots of original games had a God Mode – mostly to enable the developers to test certain things.
By having a God Mode, they were able to test that their damage functions were working, as they could turn them off at will. Leaving them in was never expected to be a problem, as the ignorant masses would never learn of the codes to enable it.
Later games had one put in for the player, but with the side effect that they wouldn’t be able to achieve certain things. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, for example, had the words “Cheat Used” appear over the screenshot of your save.
God Modes were added
Games that didn’t have a God Mode were modified to have one by hackers. This became the God Mod (Mod being short for Modification). Since PBEM games don’t have a god mode, the players become God Modders.
Making the player invulnerable
A God Mod does what it says on the tin. It makes the player invulnerable. A writer playing a PBEM game would have their character shrug off attacks that would kill a “lesser man” and repel invasions that would normally take an entire team of security personnel to beat back.