Counter Strike is famous for the culture surrounding it, which includes everything from professional gamers and leagues, to excessive cheating and disruptive behavior. Certain professional teams (such as SK Gaming, alternate aTTaX, Team-Avtomat Kalashnikov, mousesports and fnatic) have come to earn a living out of it, while other clans and community based groups neither lose nor earn money via member donations which are self sustaining in return for administrator rights in servers involved in the community.
Counter-Strike remains extremely popular to this day. There are currently professional online leagues supporting Counter-Strike, such as the Cyberathlete Amateur League (CAL), and CyberEvolution, a pay-to-play league. Various LAN tournaments are held throughout the world, with the largest being the Cyberathlete Professional League (CPL), the Electronic Sports World Cup (ESWC), the World e-Sports Games (WEG), and the World Cyber Games (WCG). Championship matches in these events are televised with commentary and analysis.
Half-Life and other contemporary games took full advantage of hardware graphics acceleration in the late 1990s, replacing earlier software-rendered games such as Quake. The continued popularity of Counter-Strike has meant that older video cards such as the 3dfx Voodoo3, ATI Rage 128, and Nvidia RIVA TNT2 remain useful.
There have been a multitude of games claimed by their developers, reviewers and fans to be "Counter-Strike killers," but none have seriously been able to dent its overall popularity. Server statistics in 2002 showed that Counter-Strike servers outnumbered their Battlefield, Unreal Tournament 2003 or Quake III first-person shooter counterparts at least 3 to 1.[not in citation given]
However, as criticism of Condition Zero showed, the GoldSrc engine has already been surpassed by several generations of newer engines. Even Counter-Strike: Source has been criticized for not progressing the gameplay enough and failing to take full advantage of the Source engine.
Mods and scripts
Though Counter-Strike is itself a mod, it has developed its own community of script writers and mod creators. Some mods add bots, while others remove features of the game, and others create different modes of play. Some of the mods give server administrators more flexible and efficient control over his or her server. "Admin plugins", as they are mostly referred as, have become very popular (see Metamod, AMX Mod and AMX Mod X). There are some mods which affect gameplay heavily, such as Gun Game, where players start with a basic pistol and must score kills to receive better weapons, and Zombie Mod, where one team consists of zombies and must "spread the infection" by killing the other team (using only the knife). There are also the Superhero and Warcraft III mods which mix the first-person gameplay of Counter-Strike with an experience system, allowing a player to become more powerful as they continue to play. There is also a Star Wars mod, where you get a lightsaber instead of a knife, have special abilities according to a starwars character, also receive a rank based on the U.S. military ranks, and the objective is to capture the flags. The game is also highly customizable on the player's end, allowing the user to install or even create their own custom skins, HUDs, sprites, and sound effects, given the proper tools. Also some mods have a feature called rollthedice, where something bad or good happens to you when you type rollthedice.
Counter Strike has been a prime target for exploitation by cheaters since its release. In-game, cheating is often referred to as "hacking" in reference to programs or "hax" executed by the user.
Typical cheats are:
Wallhacks, which allow the player to see through walls. These work by altering the display driver to display objects that are normally obscured, or altering game textures to transparent ones. The only objects seen on the hackers screen are those close by. The server will not send you characters of the whole map, so you can not see across the whole map.
Speedhacks, which give the player increased speed. These work by sending false synchronization data to servers.
No recoil, which keeps the players gun shooting straight on the y axis without a kickback by removing gun physics. No spread is used to make a players gun shoot straight along the x axis.
Aimbots, which helps the player aim at enemies. These work by moving the player's view to anticipate an enemy's position.
ESP, which shows textual information about the enemy, such as, health, name, and distance, and also information about weapons lying around the map, which could be missed without the hack
Barrel hack, which shows a line that depicts where the enemy is looking
Anti-flash and anti-smoke, which remove the flashbang and smoke grenade effect. This branched off the wall hack.
Valve has implemented an anti-cheat system called Valve Anti-Cheat (VAC). Players cheating on a VAC enabled server risk having their account permanently banned from all VAC secured servers.
With the first version of VAC a ban took force almost instantly after being detected, and the cheater had to wait 2 years to have the account unbanned. Since VAC's second version, cheaters are not banned automatically. Rather, they are banned according to a delayed banning system, and bans are permanent. Many cheats are still not detected by VAC, and often the only effective anti-cheat solution is a human administrator watching an online game. (Some servers implement a vote system, in which case players can call for a vote to kick or ban the cheater.) VAC, while being effective in some ways, has also provided a boost in the purchasing of private cheats. These cheats are updated frequently, as to prevent detection, and are available to those who pay to use them or to those in the community or clan.
It has been suggested that some of the information in this article's Criticism or Controversy section(s) be merged into other sections to achieve a more neutral presentation. (Discuss)
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Please help improve this article by adding reliable references. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (February 2008)
See also: Video game controversy – Brazil
The game faced controversy in April 2007 when lawyer Jack Thompson predicted that the perpetrator of the Virginia Tech Massacre had been trained to kill in the game, well before Seung-Hui Cho (the shooter) was identified. Thompson claimed the game "Drills you and gives you scenarios on how to kill them [and] gets you to kill them with your heart rate lower." Riley Donelan rebutted by saying "How can a game teach you how to lower your heart rate in real life, these claims are ridiculous. It is important to note that Seung-Hui Cho is only supposed to have played it in high school, this information has not been confirmed as it was told by only a few acquaintances from school. Thompson's answer to this was "You don't drop it when you go to college, typically." Also the game does not include tutorials or training missions. Also Jack Thompson has not been able to put forth any solid evidence about his claims. Jack Thompson also blamed Counter-Strike for February 14, 2008 for the Northern Illinois University shooting perpetrated by Steven Kazmierczak.. Thompson claimed in an interview that "You can rehearse these type of massacres on simulators which are called video games and you can...therefore made more proficient in doing this.". He explains that "Counter-Strike Half-Life" was the game Seung-Hui Cho, the perpetrator of the Virginia Tech Massacre trained on in High School, suggesting that the behavior of the NIU shooter had the same sort of training. Thompson went on to say that "In real life, Kazmierczak - who had become "erratic" recently after shunning medication for an undisclosed illness - purchased weapons like those used in Counter-Strike, including a Glock handgun and a pump-action Remington shotgun, which he bought legally on Feb. 9."
On January 17, 2008, a Brazilian federal court order prohibiting all sales of Counter-Strike and Everquest and imposing the immediate withdrawal of these from all stores began to be enforced. The federal Brazilian judge Carlos Alberto Simões de Tomaz, of the Minas Gerais judiciary section, ordered the ban in October 2007 because, according to him, the games "bring immanent stimulus to the subversion of the social order, attempting against the democratic and rightful state and against the public safety".
In popular culture
Lists of miscellaneous information should be avoided. Please relocate any relevant information into appropriate sections or articles. (April 2008)
The ever-growing popularity of Counter-Strike has resulted in the game being referenced and parodied extensively in popular culture.
At the 2003 Toy Fair in New York, 12 inch action figures inspired by Counter-Strike were displayed at the In The Past Toys booth. These figures were based on the 1.6 model skins.
Use by the Chinese Government
The Chinese government has used Counter-Strike as a tool for tactical training. .
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^ CSNation.net : Counter-Strike version history.
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^ Steam: Game and Player Statistics
^ Boomtown - cs - Counter-Strike
^ WaPo writer talks VT shooter/Counter-Strike connection, removal - Joystiq
^ school shooting blamed on cs; jack thompson still an idiot - CS-Nation
^ YouTube - Jack Thompson Interview on Fox News
^ Only In Brazil: Brazilian Government Bans Counter-Strike, EverQuest, Fun
^ Brazil bans popular video games seen to incite violence - Yahoo! News
^ Brazil bans popular video games seen to incite violence - Science & Technology - MSN Malaysia News - News
^ Folha Online - Informática - Justiça proíbe Counter Strike em todo Brasil; Procon tenta recolher jogos - 18/01/2008
^ CS-Nation - news - gamespy checks out cs action figures - the future of Counter-Strike - csnation.net
^ People's Daily Online - Counter-Strike, China police's latest tool of anti-terrorism.