Game system or console modding is known as changing the specification of the system from what it was designed to do in order to gain an unfair advantage over your opponent. This will include changing the software or hardware to accommodate whatever the modder is wanting to experience that is not already in the design. It has been around ever since gaming systems were developed but the Japanese Government has decided that this type of activity should be illegal and now participants can be punished by fines or even jail time.
First reported on Gamespot, the newly enacted Japanese law does not stop at a person modding their system in order to have the advantage. It also includes modding in order to add new games to old systems like Nintendo or Sonys original gaming systems. These systems came with preloaded games and unless modified you had to purchase these new games which sometimes now are unavailable.
The law does not stop at just the console itself. It also encompasses the ever-popular reselling of codes or keys that takes place within the community itself. These codes and or keys sometimes enable the gamer to be able to download the game from a friend free of charge or again us the code to gain an advantage over their opponent.
Breaking this new law has a pretty stiff punishment. Fines that come with these infractions equate to $46,000 American Dollars and/or up to five years in prison. When reading the law it becomes very clear that the Japanese Government is attempting to protect the manufacturers of the gaming systems as well as the creators of the games much like the American Government did when they cracked down on music sharing companies in the 1990’s.
Although a power move by the Japanese Government, the question is how easily and strictly this type of crime is going to be monitored as the gaming community is tight knit and tends to protect each other.