A lot of things can get shown on Twitch, Amazon’s mahoosive streaming platform. Horrifying anti-Semitic shootings. TV show marathons. The U.S. President spewing hateful garbage. Monkeys, spewing... well, spew. Sometimes, people play video games. And, within that category, sometimes the person playing those video games is former The Walking Dead star Chandler Riggs.
The world of roleplaying in Grand Theft Auto V’s online multiplayer is one of the hottest trends on Twitch this year, as streamers and players flock to popular, hard-core Roleplay servers like No Pixel not to play GTA as most of us do – gun-wielding anarchists stealing cars, blowing things up, and generally having a senselessly violent time – but instead to use the expansive world of its faux-California setting to live out more humdrum digital lives. People pretend to be farmers, cops and criminals, whether deep in the game’s corrupt underworld or reformed past thieves tempted by the high life. It’s a chance to make up weird and zany characters in a virtual world and treat them as more than just avatars, but, well... like characters you actually inhabit.
Sometimes those characters can be pastiches of other fictional heroes, like GTA Online streamer Vincent Cyr. Cyr’s roleplaying streams typically revolve around his character Uchiha Jones, an orphaned, partly cyborg 'Shinoba' who is an absurd mix of anime tropes and a Kansas accent, but he occasionally moonlights as a Rick Grimes parody, Rick Rhymes, an environmentalist truck driver who may or may not have survived a zombie apocalypse.
Last night, as Polygon reports, Cyr’s stream of a session as Rhymes featured a rather special guest: Chandler Riggs (himself the occasional streamer, from League of Legends to Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds), who of course played Rick’s son Carl Grimes in the first eight-and-a-half seasons of The Walking Dead. So you got the absurd scenario of Rhymes – a facsimile of a character everyone on The Walking Dead now thinks is dead – having a reunion with his kinda-sorta son – who is, as Rhymes himself acknowledges, straight up dead on the show.
And it is hilariously weird. Riggs makes an enthusiastic effort to remain in character over the course of the three-hour stream, stifling laughs as Cyr (as Rhymes) puts on one hell of an Andrew-Lincoln-playing-American impression and guides his returned son around the world of GTA V ’s Los Santos. They discuss everything from Carl being written off under, uh, egregious circumstances, to that time one Carl’s girlfriend got beheaded by the Whisperers and had her undead head shoved on a spike.
You know, long after Carl himself had perished. It’s that kind of baffling absurdity you can expect out of GTA streaming, but together Cyr and Riggs are more than gung-ho to not just embrace The Walking Dead as a source material to play around in, but, more often than not, take the piss out of it a little bit too.
Should you have three hours to spare and think to yourself “why yes, I would like to watch Carl Grimes from The Walking Dead play GTA in character as himself, thank you,” you can watch the archive of Riggs’ stream below (NSFW warnings for language and general video game violence abound, of course).
What a weird world we live in.
Featured image: Chairhandler (Twitch)