Counter-Strike was almost my job and created discord even with my boss – Games – Tecnoblog

How I met Counter-Strike outside the lan houses and experienced the phenomenon (Image: Vitor Pádua/Tecnoblog)

Not everyone has the same experience with famous games. The same game can represent an infinity of variations and mixed feelings with its audience. In my case, the example is Counter-Strike. Yes, the same one, the classic 1.6, with “bad graphics” compared to more modern ones. I lived a story of my own with the title derived from Half-Lifeeven before it exploded internationally with its world tournaments of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, which now earn millions. I wasn’t a “child of lan houses” and I didn’t even have a computer available at the time Valve’s shooter was exploding. I was only engulfed by the phenomenon years later, but with the same intensity as someone who lived through its heyday.

unexpected emergences

First of all, it is worth explaining what it is Counter-Strikebecause not everyone knows.

The game was born in 1999. It wasn’t even a game. It was a modification of Half-Life, by Valve, created by fans. The scene of science fiction and aliens left the scene. Terrorists and law enforcement officers entered the scene, on different urban maps, with the mission of planting or disarming bombs, which led to a victory or defeat in the matches.

With success, “CS”, as it is usually called, became an official game, when Valve decided to buy the rights to its original creators Minh “Gooseman” and Jess “Cliffe”, already seeing the possibility of having a huge success there. The decision was more than the right one, as it became, after a while, one of the most played titles on Steam, including variants.

When it was released, CS was a Half-Life mod (Image: Reproduction/Steam)

Today Counter-Strike it’s a phenomenon. It yielded expansions and small “sequels”, with a focus on content and more gameplay options. we had Counter-Strike: Condition Zero, Counter-Strike: Source, Counter-Strike: Neoand until the definitive continuation, Counter-Strike: Global Offensivewhich today is the protagonist of millionaire tournaments around the world.

In fact, the influence of CS it’s so much that he even spawned several clones in his heyday and even today. Valuingby Riot Games, is a good example of how the Valve title remains relevant and inspiring derivatives, due to its very similar basic mechanics, in general.

“What an ugly game! Is that success?”

It’s true that Counter-Strike 1.6 it has aged badly, but it has its charm, you know? It’s still a game played a lot on Steam and possibly among friends, on their private online servers. It doesn’t require a graphics card of more than 128 MB and an 800 MHz processor. This is a setup from many years ago and runs fine on any PC these days, even Mac or Linux.

Overall it is an accessible game, light and with very good controls. it can be said that Counter-Strike it is one of the few games that have reached the status of “perfection”, as little has been changed since its original release, apart from minor graphical improvements as far as it went and corrections to any bugs that appeared here or there.

Being light also counted a lot for its popularity. Even at its peak it ran on any more modest machine. Today the same logic applies, for example, to Free Fire, which is a Battle Royale title, compatible with any weaker and cheaper cell phone. This allows more people to play and a giant community to form around it.

The famous cs_rio map in Counter-Strike (Image: Reproduction/CSMaps)

The popularity only increased with the participation of the community. Some of the top CS maps were created by users. One of the most famous, of course, is “cs_rio”, which takes place inside a favela in Rio de Janeiro, with Christ the Redeemer in the background, a bar playing samba music by Bezerra da Silva and a beach soccer field. It was a paradise for any Brazilian to feel at home, embraced by a game that had a lot of violence – which, curiously, took Counter-Strike to be temporarily banned here, in 2008, thanks to a decision of the 17th Federal Court of the Judiciary Section of the State of Minas Gerais, as reported here by G1.

It was in this way that Counter-Strike formed his huge empire, adding the game’s popularity to something that today is a treasure of the past: the lan houses.

the player’s house

Very popular in the 2000s and almost non-existent in Brazil today, lan houses have been true temples for PC gamers. Establishments with several computers connected to the Internet and with some popular games pre-installed, for those who want to play and use, usually paying by the hour.

They were useful for many things: sending an email, printing documents, chatting with people on MSN… But it was with games that they made a lot of money – and rightly so. Even those who had a PC at home and managed to run all the games, sometimes preferred to play at the lan house with friends in person, on a local network. AND Counter-Strike was one of the main trends at this time.

Common Counter-Strike scene in Brazil back in the 2000s (Image: Reproduction/YouTube)

It was common, for example, for a group of friends to close the entire lan house to stay overnight, paying for a special package called “Corujão”. It started at midnight and went on until sunrise, with coffee served to the participants in some cases. It was at these times that the real connection between friends took place, as there were no appointments or other interruptions during the night – there were games and more games of their favorite games, without worrying about the time, at least while it was still “night”. .

And that sums up the story of almost every football player. CS of Brazil. Almost. At least mine wasn’t like that.

I came to play CS…

In the early 2000s, it was more or less the time I started working, or intern, actually. I earned very little and didn’t have enough money to have the most advanced video games, just some old ones, and not even a very powerful PC. To make matters worse, my first computer, which I got from my parents there in 2001, broke down after a storm and a lightning strike that burned most of its interior.

There was no money to fix it and I had a good few months, maybe years, without access to a computer. If anything, he managed to get some things done at work and, occasionally, visited some Internet cafes to check more urgent matters or talk to friends. It was around the same time that the rise of Counter-Strike it was happening in Brazil at great strides, but I only observed it from afar.

I don’t have a record of mine in lan houses, but they were more or less like this… (Image: Reproduction/OLX)

As I was a casual goer of lan houses, and my closest friends preferred to play at home, among themselves, I didn’t have the courage to join strangers and risk a few games. I did this once, actually, in a “cyber cafe” inside a big mall. I risked some clashes and possibly was mentally cursed by all the participants, at least those who were part of my team.

My “awakening” to the CS it was in an unusual environment, many years after its heyday, in an office in downtown Rio de Janeiro, around the middle of 2008…

I killed my boss with a knife

I worked in a newsroom between 2008 and 2014. The site no longer exists, but I spent some good times there with friends and a lot of good people I met. As the focus of the work was with games and general cultural entertainment in some cases, it was common for all participants in the work environment to be gamers. This led the site’s management to create a habit: playing CS after hours, to increase the bonds of union – or would it create more discord?

Jokes aside, it was a common idea in some work environments at the time. Again, because it’s a light game, CS it even ran on old computers that offices usually have. We also have the fact that it is relatively easy to set up a private network between interconnected computers and we have the right recipe for success for a few hours of fun.

And there was no other way: it was common for us to stay even longer after working hours to enjoy CS among the entire team, including the company’s bosses. “Matar with a knife” was the highlight of the game. Just put the firearm away to pull out the game’s famous standard melee weapon and catch someone off guard across the map. When it happened, it was a huge vibration throughout the entire office – which even had two floors, and yet you could hear the general vibe from any of them.

The knife was a great terror in Counter-Strike (Image: Playback/Game Modding)

Things got serious at some point, with a trophy and a personal ranking that was reset monthly, but with annual records to give the award, the golden statue, to the winner. Who eliminated the most targets, who successfully defused or planted the most bombs, who won the most matches. The team’s programmers created a website just for that, with internal access, which was able to calculate everything just by pulling from our private server, without the need to enter values ​​manually. Professionalism is that, even in fun.

That’s how I usually say that I didn’t find the CS, he found me. And it must have been more or less like that with almost everyone you know who plays or has played Counter-Strike. A game that became so popular that it ended up entering the reality of Brazilians almost by osmosis, even without wanting to, even without going back, it was just there, installed on a modest computer and within reach of a simple click.

I haven’t worked at this company for quite some time – and, as I said, it doesn’t exist anymore – but the CS it’s still on my Steam account. In fact, I soon bought all the versions available on the platform, as they are on sale, even the most modern editions. For the most recent generations who may be surprised by the very old graphics, I leave a message: don’t miss the chance to enjoy this piece of gaming history in Brazil and in the world, which made many people’s fun on computers and other platforms. It’s a classic that deserves your attention, even if for a few minutes, to understand where recent and more up-to-date hits came from.

CS is still there on Steam, be sure to check it out (Image: Reproduction/Felipe Vinha)

Barely comparing, it’s like enjoying cinema without watching great classics from the past. You don’t have to, but it will enrich your cultural background and improve your experience when it comes to consuming something new. Oh, and when you play, be careful with the knife!

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