The Swamp

"Swamp Cinema is a casual, social game mode where players can hang out in a virtual movie theater and watch videos. At Swamp Cinema, there is a lot of fun things to do outside the theater. You can start a game of chess, checkers, golf, dodgeball, or even a Swamp Cinema version of Helltaker. You can also save up your points, pick up some weapons, and start a war! Swamp Cinema’s popularity comes from both its initial lightweight downloads and its addictive, constantly growing player base who keep coming back for more chaotic fun.”

A friend introduced me to Garry’s Mod in college. It wasn’t actually a game with its own identity at first; instead of objectives or enemies to fight, players were dropped into a big empty field, given access to all the props and character models from the 2004 game Half Life 2, and granted the freedom to assemble anything they wanted out of them. It was a bottomless toybox.

Years later, I came back to Garry’s Mod to see what had changed. I quickly found “Swamp Cinema,” which had just launched and was already one of the most popular game modes, and approached it as a photojournalist. I left some of my shots unedited, but I also cut a lot of them apart and remixed them into new creations, combining them with snippets of player chat to create a more complete picture of my experience.

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