What I Played in 2015: Counterstrike Global Offensive

I felt like I was 16 again.

Recently my friends and I went on a short-lived campaign to get good at CS. Counter-Strike holds a very dear and contentious place in my heart. I played it through my teenage years with my friend Pete. I still remember talking with Pete on a wireless house phone while we played online matches. Skype didn’t exist yet, so we would coordinate our moves while having phones cradled in our shoulders; our hands on mouses and keyboards. And I was constantly losing.

I started thinking about those days recently. I made a small suggestion to my friends that we should play some CS for old times’ sake, and for some reason it launched my friend group into a 2 month long quest to start getting good Counter-Strike again. We all got on Skype, and got pretty serious about it. For a little while this archaic shooter became our passion.

For me it was equal parts fun (for playing games with my friends) and renewed nostalgia. Seeing horrible hentai sprays and listening to teenagers throw around racist slurs was like a warm blanket for me. It brought me back to the “old” internet and the “old” gaming chat of 12 years ago. Like I said, it made me feel 16 years old again.

CS GO accomplished the impossible: trying to blend modern FPS sensibilities into a deeply rooted old shooter that has its fair share of quirks and eccentricities. But CS GO had an inherent advantage. The original Counter-Strike was brilliantly designed. Counter-Strike has a rough exterior and a large learning curve, but the basic rules of player-conflict are so rock solid that CS GO didn’t have to change much. They didn’t fix anything that wasn’t broken; they only gave it some new paint.

For me it’s a comfort game, weirdly enough. I never feel stressed playing it. It just feels like home. So, who wants to run some dust_2 with me?

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