Meet the Obsessive Role-Players Who Live Inside the World of Grand Theft Auto
Renegade developers co-opted this controversial video game’s source code to build a complex alternate universe where breaking character is the cardinal sin. Millions tune in to watch.
Before joining the police force, Sergeant Ziggy Buggs was an exotic dancer. He still performs a striptease now and then for the troopers at his precinct, resurrecting the moves that paid his way through law school. But there were no lap dances at the San Andreas courthouse on July 30, 2019. Buggs’ police force walked in, straight-backed and somber, all dressed in suits, to give trial testimonies regarding a shooting that had taken place a few weeks earlier.
A senior deputy named Kurt Leonard had shot an unarmed civilian, Curtis Swoleroid, three times in the back during a foot chase through the San Andreas Valley. Leonard was accused of using excessive force. After being sworn in, Swoleroid’s attorney approached the bench for opening statements. He stood firmly before Judge Dennis Lebarre, who presided donning a sheriff’s hat, and declared that the state’s police officers “are explicitly trained on how to uphold the law, how to conduct themselves professionally…
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