Have You Played… Garry’s Mod?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

I know what you’re looking for. You’re looking for a game that let’s you be a janitor in a school riddled with drug dealers and class clowns. But also a game that will let you be a cop fighting robbers. But also a game where you are a soldier in World War 3. But also a game in which you are a prison guard keeping rowdy inmates in check. But also a game where you can be a footballer. But also–

Garry’s Mod is, by now, a must-own sandbox game. The building tools let you create stupid art installations out of old boots and brickwork textures, sure, but the more enterprising modders have come up with their own invariably wacky game modes. Role play servers are plentiful, with folks more interested in giving and taking orders, or making a scene, than in shooting each other in the head on sight. There’s high-school antics next to post-apocalyptic patrols, and so much more all housed on one big server list.

It might take a while to fiddle about with texture packs and settings, but there are whole communities passing their days in surreal disagreements over the changing laws of each world. And if you haven’t taken a look, even as a role-play tourist, you are missing out on some of the silliest stuff PC gaming has to offer.


  1. TrentTech says:

    It’s been years since I messed with Garry’s mod. I made a few (awful) comics with it back when the PHWComics community was alive and kicking. There was some serious creativity going on there in it’s heyday but it dwindled out and died off as the core members and site runners moved on to other things, not to mention the flame wars and trolling which went on. Good times!

  2. Da5e says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever ‘played’ it – I’ve loaded it up and gone ‘huh’ at it once or twice, but that’s it…

    • ButteringSundays says:

      I have the same experience.

      But then I hear about other people’s experiences and I wonder what I did wrong.

  3. haldolium says:

    A bit when it still was a mod… it was funny for a little while but got boring soon enough. No idea whats behind the fascination that came afterwards and made it so damn popular. But then again, I dont like minecraft either.

    • Premium User Badge

      particlese says:

      Same here, except that I occasionally (once a year-ish) get a kick out of seeing on YouTube some new-to-me activity before getting bored again, much like with Minecraft.

      I’d guess it has something to do with the tightness and nature of the constraints placed upon one’s creativity. But thinking about my own habits, the special cases rapidly pile up, so I’ll just leave that hypothesis up there nice and vague.

  4. Troubletcat says:

    Yeah but like…. when I played it you could only use it in actual half-life 2 levels and like… there wasn’t much more to it than ‘you can anchor one physics object to another’.

    After that it just got into silly nonsense.

  5. klink-mit-panzerslip says:

    Not a game. Random.
    Some people like this.
    I do not.
    And in general, Rust experience ( link to crusaderping.wordpress.com ) taught me to stay away from anything produced by the same studio.

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      Phasma Felis says:

      “Not a game. Random.”

      Can we stop this bullshit already?

      • Premium User Badge

        kfix says:

        ha ha ha NO! The boundaries must be policed! How else will we know who we are?

  6. tehfish says:

    I’ve always found garrys mod was at it’s best when you play with a community rather than just messing around on your own.

    I haven’t been on for years, but i enjoyed Gmod Tower for this, lots of interesting minigames and general silliness.

    May be time for me to load it up again actually :D

  7. Abacus says:

    Man I used to play so much Garry’s Mod back in the day. Making forts, making contraptions, playing on the serious RP servers, playing on the crazy RP servers, playing on the build RP servers, playing Trouble in Terrorist Town, watching youtube videos on the theatre servers (ahhh, the joys of synchtube), playing GMod Tower, playing Deathrun, playing the Climb servers, playing the Garryware servers, playing the Space servers where you could make spaceships with life support. And then remembering all the user-generated content out there, from vehicles to weapons to building blocks. Two of the most in-depth mods I remember were Wire mod which let you tinker with electronics in GMod, and another mod that allowed you to program chips. Going into build servers just to see what people had made was fascinating.

    I doubt the average age of the playerbase has changed much over the years, heck I remember when the default in-game name was ‘Mingebag’. I’d be really interested to see how the gamemodes have changed though, and what new gamemodes are popular.

    I really enjoyed what GMod did for machinima though, a lot of my favourite TF2 videos were made in GMod. Idiots of Garry’s Mod still gets some guilty laughter out of me. And who can forget the brilliant War of the Servers?

  8. Seafoam says:

    Oh Garry’s Mod.
    I have 500 hours clocked on steam, I used it mostly for machinimas and such, after that I switched to Source Filmmaker in which I clocked 10024 hours before deciding to swear off the source engine forever in order to spend my time on something actually useful.

    But as you can see huge amount of the community is the same way as I was, which is why garry’s mod and source in general has the most amazing fan content in my opinion.

    Gmod animators have perfected this strange kind of stop motion animation, which is so evolved you can call the game an art medium with a straight face.

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    Phasma Felis says:

    RPS, I love you guys. I love you guys so much that I’m paying for a subscriber account so I can read articles like this.

    Could you please turn off the thing where it logs me out every week or whatever, so I miss all the subscriber articles I’m paying for until I notice and log in again? I can’t imagine who is served by logging me out all the time. Surely it’s a setting in your backend somewhere. Just go in there and flip the switch. Please.

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      kfix says:

      You’ve also lost your supporter tag :(

      • Premium User Badge

        Phasma Felis says:

        That’s extra weird since I still see it under my name in the upper right, but not in the comments.

        Edit: No, it’s vanished there now. And I can’t read subscriber articles anymore. Did it just expire? I dunno.