As a first generational Asian immigrant my parents always wished for me to achieve and aspire for opportunities and successes that they never had. Obviously gaming would never be a part of the “success” that they envisioned so at first my gaming was limited. After many, “but his parents let him play games” guilt induced nights of pleading, gaming eventually became a strictly after homework affair. Being honest however, it wasn’t always like that. Part of the appeal of the Counter Strike and it’s style of games were its accessibility and speed. One could start a game, get all the visceral adrenaline inducing headshots in 5 minutes, and quickly alt tab their way to writing a paper once their parent came walking by.
Another main appeal for the younger me was that this was my first exposure to pro-gaming because a close friend of mine at the time was on an amateur team and looking to join a tournament. Here, in video games, I found something that I loved and could make a career out of. At the time, the pro gaming world of First Person Shooters (FPS) was mainly engrossed in Counter Strike. Counter Strike and the various sequels and copy cats that it has spawned is an online FPS game that was first introduced in 1999 as a mod created by Minh le and Jess Cliffe for another FPS game Half-Life. The official game was released in 2000 by Valve. Counter Strike 1.6 (CS 1.6) is arguably one of its most popular iterations and is the game that I played will describe.
It is a team based game with players in either the “Terrorists” or the “Counter-Terrorists’ teams trying to achieve set objectives. There are 3 main types of gameplay.
- Bomb Maps involve Terrorists trying to bomb key points while Counter-Terrorists defend these points
- Hostage Maps involve Counter-Terrorists trying to save hostages by transporting them to a specified point
- VIP maps involve the transfer of a designated play to a specified point, while the Counter-Terrorists protect this player from the Terrorists.
A key feature of the game is that at the beginning of each round players are allotted a certain of amount of cash depending on their performance in the previous round to buy different weapons and gear. If the player can survive the round without dying they can keep using the same gear, otherwise they have to repurchase everything.
The name first person derives from the game’s first person camera perspective which puts players directly in control of the on screen action. Players use a mouse to control their virtual characters gaze and a keyboard to control movements. The term twitch game-play applies to FPS because the fast paced competitive nature natually awards players that are both fast and accurate with their gun’s. Below is an example of some gameplay.