NECC Observer

The student news website of Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill and Lawrence, Mass.

A reflection on the GTAV roleplaying community throughout the pandemic

The Grand Theft Auto: V roleplay community, shorthand GTA RPC, felt loss, heartbreak and sorrow in 2020, with the loss of some of its most prevalent, founding members.such as Kenny “Blue622” Tencredi, who took his own life in July of last year, following the death of Byron “Reckful” Bernstein. One of the most well known and active members on the scene, his loss was felt by everyone who knew him, and followed him. He was known in the community as a catalyst for the growing popularity of the server “NoPixel”, and by his friends as “one of the kindest guys around… a genuine guy who wanted the best for everyone,” (RatedEpicz, Twitter).

I’ve been a part of the community since 2018, and while I never interacted much with Blue622, or knew him out of character (OOC), I’ve seen his legacy firsthand in in the interaction I have. I don’t know his name OOC, but Scruffy, an OG member of the server, said, “I’ve been on here a long time, you know? [and] There isn’t a single person on here [that] doesn’t know him, remember him. He was one of the greatest dudes I knew. We all loved the guy, [he] went out of his way to make us feel welcome, comfortable. If he saw someone watching an RP from far off, he’d get them involved. He’s the reason we’re all here. I guess [we] just try to do what he did, you know?” His way of treating his interactions were always geared towards making it a good time for everyone involved, which is still reflected in the roleplaying seen today.

The GTA: RPC hasn’t always been as tight knit as it is now. I remember it being close to lawless, without much regard for genuine RP. Slurs being shouted in genuine, random acts of violence, and unwarranted sexual interactions. However since its spike in popularity, and with more large-audience streamers becoming involved especially in NoPixel, we’ve seen a drastic uptick in quality, sense of community, and general safeness. Especially since the death of Blue622, everyone within the community feels an obligation to continue what he started; a safe place to have all inclusive fun, at any time, with an entire community that has your back OOC. Randy Jackson (in charcter) said that “I probably wouldn’t have met any of my friends that i do now without [this server]. We look out for eachother, make sure we’re good offline, check up [with eachother]. We care about whats goin’ on in [eachother’s] lives off stream. I’m grateful for that. I guess thats what he taught us.”

Since the start of the pandemic, the community has only grown tighter, with an emphasis on mental health. People are encouraged to reach out if they need help and seek help when they need it. The bond felt between members of the community runs much deeper than a customized video game, with genuine care given to everyone within the community. It’s a shared connection that has kept its members grounded and extroverted throughout quarantine and isolation.