Mod Culture | From Gatekeepers to Gatemakers

Emma-Jane MacKinnon-Lee
3 min readMay 8, 2021

TLDR; Everything is a mod. Mod the Metaverse. This matters, now.

What is modding?

DIGITALAX has been throwing this term around a lot. In fact it’s intrinsic to our broader mission. So what does it actually mean? And why do we keep on emphasising it so much. Well, ultimately, a mod is about breaking down a whole into all of its parts, tweaking and messing around with the insides of those parts and then reassembling them into a novel, way cooler whole.

Modding is the fundamental practice that drives growth and change in fashion, gaming, mechanics… everything. Really though, everything is a mod. There are 118 confirmed elements in the Periodic Table and everything is built out of remixes of these. I mean, that’s not exactly accurate because we can go even further and consider quarks and gluons, but, this isn’t really the right place for a femtotech discussion. If you are interested in discussing that, hit me up. 😆

What does modding have to do with the metaverse?

Everything. It’s what underwrites it. The methodology behind modding and the byproducts that come from it are what actually build the metaverse. And, not just build the metaverse but also ensure that it will be kept open, vital and continuously unique to each personal experience.

Why does this matter to you, now?

Today, most people have begun to notice how quickly key elements of our lives that we have come to expect will be there for us and at a certain quality of experience are degrading at a shocking rate. From laughably bad autocorrect fails to disastrously automated customer support calls that increasingly prey on the most precarious and vulnerable parts of our lives.The status quo cannot hold, something has got to give. And, in the old ways, that something is going to be us.

Instead, there is this fancy new meta-internet that promises too deliver on all of the great things that the first internet was supposed to. It is way too technical, vague, and future facing for most people to understand yet. But we need to. Because it is the only way out of this massive global mess that we are in. Imagine that instead of being told by the people that control your money, data, and the things that you think you own… [fill in the blank] of what those are. Whatever you imagine in that blank they probably have done something worse to you.

Unless you are one of the incredibly lucky few, you know that what I am saying is exactly true. If you take one thing from what I am saying, please make it this, we can mod our way out of it.


Have you ever tried looking up antonyms for the word “Gatekeeper”? There aren’t any. Convenient, huh. And that seems pretty intentional if you ask me.
Mod culture provides the map, and room to play, so that we have hope of learning how to make gates instead of closing them. We become gatemakers.

What exactly is a gatemaker?

It’s the first antonym of a gatekeeper. And we are championing it.

It’s those that pave the way for ensuring that open access is at the heart of any ecosystem, community, economy or platform essential for the creation and exchange of value. In places where people connect and communicate there is no longer any justification for maintaining a clumsy overly burdensome walled garden approach.

Just like every facet of society has steadily changed through decades of progressive miniaturisation from mainframes to cellphone parts. The same process is finally playing out in how we attain and maintain authorisation for literally anything. But we are not quite there yet. We are at a critical stage where the nascent tools that hold the key to a more human centered life can easily be wrecked or stolen right from under us if we don’t act now.

At DIGITALAX we certainly won’t miss our shot. Everything we are building is architected to expand opportunities and pathways for more of humanity to become gatemakers. And, we’re modding our way there.

Hey! I’m Emma-Jane! I’m a 23 year old fashionaut amongst other things

I am the founder of DIGITALAX and a bunch of other stuff in web3. 😆

Follow me on Twitter and check out my website