ByNicholas Montegriffo, writer at
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Nicholas Montegriffo

It's been over three and a half years since Grand Theft Auto Online, the multiplayer aspect of GTA V has been around, and over that time it's gotten seriously weird. The latest fad to sweep the community? Hardcore roleplaying as members of the San Andreas State Police.

Yes, in what seems to be contrary to the spirit of and the series in general, players are really getting into laying down the law. One GTA: Online cop in particular has become a breakout star on Twitch thanks to his winning personality and dedication to the role.

Sheriff Eli's Digital Law & Order, The GTA Cop Show You Never Knew You Needed In Your Life

[Credit: Sheriff Eli/Rockstar]
[Credit: Sheriff Eli/Rockstar]

This oddball roleplaying group are led by Eli "Sheriff Eli" Thompson, who just absolutely kills it in the role of a gruff, tough-guy sheriff with a no-nonsense attitude. Thompson plays his character incredibly well, spitting out police jargon with a gritty southern drawl and tough talk like "You try to take that hostage, and it will be scorched-earth shit comin' down on you, son!"

It's an act worthy of any cop/crime show on TV, but of course Sheriff Eli couldn't do it on his own. The other players around him are all in on it, and also roleplaying seriously to the hilt. The law-abiding citizens (both police and civilian) call in to report crimes for the cops to investigate.

Meanwhile, other players instigate the criminal activity that's supposed to be the whole point of GTA games. But they don't engage in random mayhem like most players. The carjackers, gangsters, bank robbers etc. of this world are all established characters — the villains of Sheriff Eli's show.

GTA Online keeps evolving and expanding over 3 years after release. Check out the latest trailer below:

It's hard to overstate just how serious these players are about roleplaying a realistic cop show for Sheriff Eli to star in. The players actually stop at red lights and even at gas stations for refueling. Mods are in place to add realism and sometimes the "show" can be less than riveting as normal everyday things take over.

Nonetheless, Sheriff Eli's personality is worth the watch every time the action kicks in, with over 40,000 viewers tuning in simultaneously to watch the good Sheriff lay down the law. It's like watching a machinima tv show with a live cast acting a consistent story, and the dedication of players to community efforts like this are a definite factor in the long life of GTA Online compared to other MMOs.

If shows like Sheriff Eli's Digital Law & Order really take off, there's a great bunch of possibilities, even if we're just sticking with GTA Online. It'd be amazing for them to act out the gang intrigue and stories shown in the GTA movie, or maybe even a paranormal monster hunting show.

Right now Sheriff Eli's Digital Law & Order is streamed every weekday from 2-10 p.m. ET, and I'd recommend checking out SheriffEli's Twitch channel for that new cop show you never knew was missing in your life.

Have you got any ideas for RP shows that could be streamed using GTA: Online?

(Source: Polygon)


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