A new documentary chronicles the adventures of the Grannies, a group of friends who went looking for the glitchy event horizon of Rockstar’s virtual-western epic
The story of online cowboy posse the Grannies starts, as video games so often do, in a character creation menu. Having played through the single-player story of Rockstar’s Red Dead Redemption 2, Kalonica Quigley and Marigold Bartlett, Melbourne-based friends and game developers, decided to try the online multiplayer portion of the game. On separate PlayStation 4s, and without one another’s knowledge, they each created elderly women as their avatars. It was an opportunity, laughs Bartlett over a Discord call, to cosplay as themselves in the future.
Not long after, friends and fellow game-makers Ian MacLarty and Andy Brophy, rendered as elderly men, joined them. The group hung out in Rockstar’s staggering, almost photorealistic depiction of the US on the brink of the 20th century, taking photos and making their own silly fun beyond the game’s murderous objectives. Then they started seeking out glitches, faults or weirdnesses in its code.