GTA RP is such a wonderful phenomenon. It didn’t exactly come out of nowhere; it was a natural evolution to Arma RP. For those unfamiliar, Arma is a military simulator that’s been around for about a thousand years. It was repurposed into many different game modes throughout the early 2010s, including but not limited to battle royales, street racing, and roleplaying.

Arma 3 RP was a very niche community on Twitch, and featured almost exactly what you’d expect from up to a hundred random people improv acting in a fully customizable environment. Lirik was the first streamer I watched do it, and it was such a blast. It was like watching a comedy-soap-opera-suspense-drama-flick-thingy, all at once! Like going into a TV show blind, you didn’t know what to expect, but unlike going into a TV show, you didn’t know what to expect. One day, it’ll be a massive faux gang war that sparked over a messed up fast food order. The next day, it’ll be a court case about a kidnapped pillow held hostage, only for the pillow to actually be the prime suspect in an embezzlement scandal. The next, a street race that ended in the same kidnapped pillow suspect winning the race.

The best part about all of this is that the story you experience will drastically vary, depending on the streamer you watched, the time you watched, and even the point of view of the same scene. Watching two different streamers in the same scene will provide you with two entirely different experiences; that, to me, is the beautiful thing about it all. You never know what you’re going to get, and what you’re going to get can have near-infinite perspectives and viewpoints.

The transition from Arma 3 RP to GTA RP was rather smooth. Storylines were ending and characters were made anew. Some players made entirely new characters. Some went with alternate timelines. I’ve even seen some go with a “prequel” setting, with their characters effectively living a life before their time in their respective Arma 3 world.

Watching the RP scene bloom in the GTAV realm was a marvel to behold, because GTAV was already a wildly popular game; one of the best selling games of all time. The world was massive, and the possibilities were endless. We just needed a way to implement the types of mods that Arma 3 enabled. Progress would be very slow on that, but things would slowly come about. TheFamilyRP was one of the prominent servers to be featured on Twitch. The setup was pretty janky; voice communication wasn’t too consistent, NPC cars would do all kinds of random things, and things would often just break or disappear.

But it worked, and it was magical.

TFRP thrived for a long time, but more and more servers popped up and started becoming successful as well. NoPixel was one of the more notable ones, and continues to be the most popular server on Twitch to this day. The sheer variety of stories becoming of the NoPixel server added so much raw content for so many viewers. My personal favorite to watch was streamer Disbearex’s character, simply named “Grandma”. Grandma was the stereotypical loving and caring grandmother, except that she would always “accidentally” find herself in the middle of the most wild criminal situations. Somehow she would live through it (dying isn’t permanent in the game unless the player chooses it to be for their character), and there would be an amazing scene between her and everyone else involved afterwards. It created this very unique perspective of storytelling and lore that the typical crime lords and police characters couldn’t tell.

It isn’t all sunshine and roses, however. Some bigger servers have had major problems with sexism, homophobia, and ableism, even to this day. I’ve had to stop watching a good number of streamers because they’re just okay with the aforementioned. It can be a challenge to find a streamer that doesn’t partake in these behaviors, but it’s very worth it when you do. Two of my favorites are the previously mentioned Disbearex and LordKebun.

Another problem with GTA RP as a whole is the general community. It’s pretty common for things to become insufferable and make you not want to engage. Drama can happen pretty often within the RP community, and things can get blown out of proportion very easily. In fact, there’s an entire reddit dedicated to GTA RP clips, but every now and then, a thread will come up and arguments will happen seemingly out of nowhere. That causes rifts and fanatic-like arguments, with people taking sides and making a big deal out of something that may not have even mattered to the players involved. It’s a headache, which I try to avoid it.

I’ve been wanting to get into GTA RP myself, but I’ve yet to find a server that would fit me. There are so many ideas in my head on a character, and just engaging in such a large world with so many different people basically doing improv acting sounds like a joyous time. It’s been my regular source of entertainment for years, and will continue to be for quite a while for as long as it remains popular.

Don't Miss Out!

Sign up for the Hipsters Newsletter for weekly updates.