'Big Head Mode' is a hidden extra in some games, normally discovered through inputting a cheat code. Due to the increase in popularity of awards systems, such as Achievements on the Xbox 360, Trophies on the Playstation 3, and Steam Achievements however, cheat code-based extras such as Big Head Mode are becoming less frequent. However, this is not to say they no longer exist - they do still exist, but they are not as common as in previous generations of videogames. Sports games, most notably the Tony Hawk franchise, occasionally include these codes in a manner where they do not void achievements and other rewards.
Big Head Mode gives a character a massively disproportionate head, whereupon their physical dimensions change vastly. Occasionally, the arms are also increased in size alongside the head. Big Head Mode is occasionally known as 'DK Mode', as this was the name given to it in the Nintendo 64 classic GoldenEye. Big Head Modes in shooter games are generally extremely uncommon, due to the fact it can be viewed as a form of cheating due to the fact that the head of an enemy can be seen poking through walls or other such exploits. However, Rainbow Six: Vegas, and Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 both include a Big Head Mode in Single Player only. In Vegas, it makes the game more difficult, but potentially also more easy due to the fact the full head can be used for headshots. Some 'DK Modes' in games do not have this feature, making headshots and other more precision targetting harder to perform.
Both Microsoft and Nintendo used the concept of larger-than-life heads for their interactive characters (the Mii and Xbox Avatar). The large heads were selected due to the fact that they seemed more family-friendly, which is the method of advertising that both Nintendo and Microsoft were aiming for with the addition of the two characters. While the avatar heads cannot be increased in size, they were likely selected as their current size due to the fact that Big Head Modes in games generally make things feel less serious.
Decline in Popularity
It is extremely uncommon for a 'DK Mode' or 'Big Head Mode' in a game to be available in online multiplayer. This is due to the fact that it normally receives negative comments from players who feel it constitutes as an unfair advantage. Big Head Mode in games can allow part of the head to appear through walls and other supposedly solid textures - this is due to the fact the game was never designed to display a larger head than normal, and the larger head can therefore 'clip' through the wall, displaying someone's position in a situation where it would otherwise have been impossible to know their location. In some more serious shooters, such as leagues in Counter-Strike and Counter-Strike: Source, players are removed from servers for having mods that may aid them in finding the location of other players. These include the infamous 'Big Head Modes', amongst others. Other complaints relate to the ' hitbox' on player models. The hitbox determines whether or not you hit a target or not, and in some games, the hitbox does not change. This means that the head of a target can be extremely large, but only a small region of it will constitute as a headshot. This makes aiming extremely difficult unless a player is very familiar with the location of a character model's head, and is able to consistently put this knowledge to practice. However, when the hitbox grows larger and the whole head becomes a target, it still draws criticism for making headshots too easy. It is not impossible that the frequent complaints about Big Head Modes in games was part of the reason that they are growing less common.