We're not living in the Dark Ages of Tipper Gore and "special episodes" of Law and Order anymore—gaming's gone mainstream, and we'll all one day live to see the first gamer president, God have mercy on our souls. Still, you kind of expect high-profile gamers in non-gaming fields to be into more normie, palatable stuff: Madden, CoD, WoW, etc.
According to a recent report by the New York Times (opens in new tab) (readers may encounter a paywall), some star members of the Philadelphia Eagles are getting a little more funky with it, chilling out after work on modded GTA Online roleplay servers.
The players describe a familiar scene—you get done with your nine-to-five and want to occupy yourself with literally anything else. The NYT report singles out safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson (opens in new tab) and running back Kenneth Gainwell (opens in new tab) as the team's most dedicated gamers. Both maintain their own RP servers and stream regularly on Twitch, and Gardner-Johnson's streaming set-up is quoted as costing $10,000.
The report doesn't go into too much detail about what an average Eagles GTA session looks like, but there are some tantalizing tidbits. Gardner-Johnson mains a business owner and a police officer on his server, and apparently running back Miles Sanderson's character got locked up in the clinger on that same server.
It sounds like a good time to be honest, and I'm a big fan of how esoteric and nerdy it all is. It reminds me of PC Gamer favorite Henry Cavill's well-documented love affair with PC and tabletop gaming, just really niche and really genuine. Also, I gotta say I take a bit of pride at seeing cool, successful people who share my hobby. The Eagles are definitely doing something right, too—they're currently 11-1 in the regular season.