Safe Haven: A Gamer’s Digest

The musings of Cameron Havens: pros, cons and everything in between in the world of video games.

More stories from Cameron Havens

Safe Haven: A Gamer’s Digest

Counter Strike: Global Offensive (CSGO): Competitive but with concerns

All the cool kids are doing it. Playing Counter Strike: Global Offensive, that is. In the video game world, one of the most popular games in the PC market is CSGO. Before a person rushes out and downloads the game, one should heed some important advice.

For those who are not astute to the world of CSGO, the object of the game is relatively basic. Two teams, Counter-Terrorists and Terrorists, fight to win a round. Each round entails separate objectives: the Counter-Terrorists either have to eliminate all of the Terrorists or defuse the planted bomb. The objectives for the Terrorists are to either plant the bomb and let it detonate or extinguish the Counter-Terrorist force. If either one of the teams fulfills any of its objectives that team wins the round and moves on to the next.

A variety of pros make playing this game worthwhile. One is that the player constantly interacts with his or her environment, almost like truly living the experience. One capability that differentiates CSGO from the typical first person shooter game is that all sounds from competitors and opponents can be heard–even footsteps. A unique aspect is that sounds can be suppressed as a strategic move against the enemy. This feature is two-fold; one must also anticipate the moves of any opponents.

Another benefit of the game is its diverse case opening system. A player can obtain cases by either buying them or winning them outright at the end of a match. To open a case, a player must spend $2.49 to buy a key. Although a player has to pay to open the case, its contents could result in a profit. For instance, a person could get a weapon that is worth $20 for the expense of $2.49; however, the result could be negative–a person could win a blue/common skin (decal) worth a mere 50 cents. The price range for each skin could value anywhere between $.01 to $15,000. Each skin has its own value, and each one could either make a positive or negative impact on a person’s actual wallet. That’s real cash-money, kids. 512px-money_cashBy Jericho [CC BY 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

CSGO provides people with the opportunity to play competitively. Sure, everyone loves playing for fun with friends or even with people around the globe. But what about the added advantage of making money? Joining a ranked game provides the chance to advance. After so many victories and rank increases, a player may enter a world league, competing for hundreds of thousands of dollars.mlg_columbus_csgo_major_cupBy SteelSeries (311A6471) [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

No video game is perfect, and CSGO has its own faults. One of the most annoying problems with this game is a cheater’s ease to breach the game’s files. For example, these unethical competitors can manipulate the program to create colored boxes around other players, making the players visible through structures. By these activities, the cheater gains an unfair advantage. Nobody likes a cheater.

Another issue in the game is with the ranking system. Without getting into its specifics, the game’s opportunities for advancement are unfair. After winning a certain number of matches, a player can compete against people of a higher skill caliber. However, if the player loses this match, he or she will have to restart and acquire more wins than before to proceed to the next rank. Having to start over is frustrating enough, but when a player has to win even more matches, it might deter someone from the game for a while. 

While CSGO is unrivaled in realism, financial opportunities and competitiveness, game creator Valve Software must consider revisions to future versions of this game. The game’s code needs to be harder to decrypt. One would think, with all the money being raked in by the company, security would not be an issue. The advancement in the ranking system also needs to be updated,  especially for people who win many games, but who are punished after losing a match. (-From a person who has won hundreds of games, but had to start over after only a few losses. Note: that person isn’t bitter or anything.)    

**Disclaimer: This game is rated M for Mature. This game may not be played by anyone under the age of 18 without parental consent. Before considering this game, one should consult with parents/guardians.