What Happens When A Voice Changer Makes You Sound Female In Counter-Strike: GO [NSFW]

With Counter-Strike: Global Offensive refusing to let up on its constant updates, it's reached a stage where weapon balance is the best in any version of Counter-Strike. Ever. That's not Gen-y hyperbole, that's a fact. And along with this newfound playability, and Call of Duty's refusal to release anything new worth playing, the pendulum in swinging back to good ol' CS. It never really had a player population problem, but as the community gets larger, it invariably gets nastier -- and this was on display in one of my matches a few nights ago.

I met Ruby when I started a match on one of Operation Breakout's new maps, Black Gold. Ruby introduced herself over the mic, and with that first fact - herself - the abuse began.

To CS players, this is nothing new. I maintain that CS is the worst game for online banter. MOBA players might disagree, and that's cute. But CS banter is a race to the bottom in which everyone loses. The closest labyrinth of crap-flinging might be 4chan, and neither should be inflicted on the uninitiated. I was reminded of this when I saw my partner's shocked expression as she heard an opponent at halftime claim he would "f*** me in my anus, c***." I laughed, since I was winning and continued to win, but she looked damn near traumatised.

Back to our dear Ruby, who was being very polite and only mildly shocked, considering the open floodgates of filth pointed in her direction from angsty teens shedding all sense of accountability from their online personas. I knew something was up, though, when she said "Guys, my boyfriend just bought me this game, so you'll have to go easy on me, okay?"

It was so obviously a lie, and not just because Ruby could actually play. If Ruby was a girl, she'd clearly been playing for a lot longer than a few days. But it was such an obvious caricature of what these rabid sacks of unchecked testosterone wanted to hear, that I already knew there was more at play.

Probably moreso for his own amusement than for some grand social experiment, Ruby had invested in (or acquired through other means, since apparently it's expensive) voice-changing software, which unbeknownst to me, has become somewhat convincing. For the first few rounds of this match, I was fooled. But even after the obvious comments, the other side really didn't appear to understand they were being trolled.

Sure enough, after a while, Ruby turned off the voice changer in team-only chat. "Hey guys, I'm just messing with these guys, I'm not really a girl", he said. "I just want to see what they say."

We already knew what they'd say. Any Counter-Strike player knows what they'd say. It's not so much a gender thing as an online bullying thing. In the virtual realm, people can try on personalities like clothes, and a line that never goes out of fashion is blind aggression. And it's exactly that: blind. No matter what you are, the abuser will try to find something to get under your skin. Race, gender, beliefs, skill, name, family... Anything. Play CS long enough and you'll have someone sneaking around your Facebook profile mid-match for verbal ammo. They'll throw what they can at the wall, and see what sticks. Whatever you get defensive about is your downfall.

The abuse calmed down a bit as we switched sides and started winning, Black Gold being a CT-sided map. But there was still a slow, steady stream of rancid verbal puke, of which only some is shown here. I record every match I play, and offered to report the enemy team. But I afterwards realised the audio hadn't recorded along with the video, leaving only silent moving images with incriminating text.

The sad point is, it's all too common in CS. Anti-abuse features aren't as robust as they are in other games. While League of Legends and DOTA have acknowledged the problems in their communities, Valve hasn't risen to that challenge. It's as if this is, and has always been, an inseparable part of Counter-Strike. And anger certainly is part of the design in all the games mentioned -- dying, and the subsequent wait afterwards, makes you angry. It's not for the faint-hearted. But would it be nice to play on servers that only allowed those not reported for abuse? Yeah, that'd be a bit nice.

Time for the punchline.

In the post-match banter session, in which voice-com is re-enabled between teams, Ruby switched off his software. In the gruffest, grittiest, manliest voice he could muster, he said "Cheers guys, it was a good game, thanks for the match mateys."

Over the sound of our laughter, you could just barely make out the complete silence from the other team. Seemingly, they hadn't realised until that point who they were requesting blowjobs from.

Stay classy, Counter-Strike.


Comments

    and people still think society doesn't have a masculine problem.

      Just look at all the names tho "Blackest of Niggahs", "Blackest of Anals" etc., masculine problem nah its just teenage fuckwits being twats.

        Spot on. They would not pull this off without the mask of anonymity.

          Ehhh, I'd still say they'd act like that. The thing about "being a man" is doing it to prove it to other people.

            No way... Its been prevalent in FPS since quake ctf days (many moons ago when i was a teenager).

            http://www.cydeweys.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2007/01/internet-theory.jpg

            ^^ tells it as it is.

              Yes, I know of it, I've been around the internet since the 90s.

              That theory still has the audience factor.

          Its concerning though. Sometimes I see comments along these kinds of lines on social media where people are using their real names (linked to fb or twitter or what have you) rather than anonymous avatars. I'm hoping this just being a case of people being stupid and forgetting, rather than them having no trouble as humans with faces saying such things...

          "anonymity" is a lame excuse, especially when you hear dickheads spouting off the same stuff without anonymity.

            Yes it is a lame excuse but people still hide behind it.

            Scroll down and see the post I replied too (not started) and see the logic that twisted individual goes by.

    I have to disagree on cs being worse than mobas when it comes to verbal abuse. I've played cs for many years and the dota/LoL community is definitely worse.

    Cs is a close second though.

      Have you played match-made CS games, or PUGS for that matter, or just in casual servers? It makes a huge difference. Some of the shit talking in even official ladder matches back in the day were just... hilarious. Good times.

        Yeah I have to agree -- in fact, oddly, I think it gets worse as you get higher on the skill ladder, which might be the opposite to most games. It certainly seems counter-intuitive. But the closer you get to the top, the better they seem at dishing it out.

          Single, square-eyed 16 year old's who talk 'like big men' and dish out this crap have more time to sink into their online game-of-choice than the 30-something male family man (statistically average gamer), ergo higher level = immaturity.

        I didn't play much other than casual servers but over the span of 1.6 and source but I definitely experienced a hell of alot.
        Did you ever get into surfing on cs? The top surf servers were filled with stuff like this.

        Yeah cs has a terrible community, but I still think mobas have the edge.

        I could go multiple games in a row in cs without anyone arguing or the like. Hell I couldn't imagine anyone getting ridiculed in a bots match on cs..but on LoL? Games against beginner bots are filled with crazy arguments and abuse, that's not even mentioning normal or ranked matches.

        Just thinking about my comment, it's pretty sad that discussions over the worst game community are so common these days. I wonder if anything's going to change..I feel like it's just going to get worse.

    That abuse sounds like a average tf2 day xD
    Not for females, for any one.
    Just ban them and move on.

    Last edited 27/08/14 2:19 pm

      Really? I haven't really come across that in TF2 - mind you, I tend to stick to a few community servers rather than trying my luck with Valve/trade servers.

      The most abuse I hear tends to be toward younger kids with squeaky voices.

        I mostly stick on my own server, and that gets a fair few bottom feedeers. Valve servers are full of mic spamming kids that accuse you of hacking and GamersUn is just full of rude pricks that insult my mother.
        i got yelled at just for saying that i botched up a few arena rounds because i had a new mouse. "Stop seeking attention and stop sucking your mums dick". Don't ask me how that works.
        Might be only me who has this issue.

        Last edited 27/08/14 3:58 pm

    Is it just me or was Counter Strike: Source never this bad?

      Counter Strike has been about this bad since the first beta releases. I used to admin a large gaming network with over 50 servers and at the time CS came out and we set servers up for it, things in pretty much all our other games (Half Life DM, QuakeWorld TF, TFC, etc) were all mostly friendly with the occasional outbursts, but it took less than a month of the CS servers being up to see that it was considerably worse.

      Though I agree with matty079 above, MOBAs are worse than CS...but not by much.

      I still play CSS on the Game Arena servers mainly Dedust2. There are 2 or 3 regular females on here and there.

      Because it's usually the same people every night, we get along fine. It's those people new to the server who start abusing the girls and talking smack. We usually abuse them back or mute them.

    Thanks for reminding me why I don't play these kinds of games.

    A quote from GTA: San Andreas "With people like you, no wonder they don't bother curing cancer"

      Oh man I forgot about that. Thank you as I will now use it often.

    that's pretty fucking disgusting.

    Junglist is about to get an influx of Steam friend invites.
    I jumped off the CoD bandwagon after MW2 due to the kids thinking they're all that and GO has slowly gathered their community.

    Last edited 27/08/14 2:29 pm

    I don't think I've seen anything worse than what Junglist has presented in this article. I know they just think they're being funny and it's no big deal to them, but seriously that is some horrendously gutter born trash talking.

    Then again, when I play online I am so far behind in skill level most of the time that I focus on nothing but the game and voice chat, so I probably miss most of the abuse in text. Recently I played a game of Dota 2 with friends and they were telling me that the opposing team started trash talking in text using my actual name (which is stupidly listed in my profile) and trash talk about hours played on certain games.

    i guess that's just the internet for you. i'm not condoning sexism or anything else, but generally speaking you will cop shit in online games regardless of gender. even on call of duty, i have received countless death threats (lol) but have also heard the CS / MOBA community is even more toxic. all you can do is laugh it off, and enjoy your game

    It's pretty bad, but that said. I've been on servers where this kind of trash talk gets you banned pretty quickly.
    A number of well established servers have their own MOU on how one can behave. And dependant on the admin, they follow it so closely, that the servers collective culture expect it when an idiot jumps on. I've seen players kicked pretty fast on both CS and DOD servers for stuff a lot lighter than what's in the article.

      That raises a good point about the changing nature of servers, and therefore communities. A server used to have its own house rules, and people that would treat that place like their home. Certain stuff wouldn't fly in other places. But with one central competitive matchmaking queue for everyone, there's no control until Valve itself implements it.

        Remember the days of the node games network. Entire servers where people would change their name on CTs to [Rebel] Luke Skywalker (Or Chewie etc) with the oppositiong all being [Imperial] Moff Tarkin etc etc. Oh man those were the days. Or a whole server of Street Fighter Characters with key binds for moves to shout in chat. Those were the days.

    My experience on playing games with women in them is less abusive and more "Hey, there's a girl, time to talk a LOT over my mic and try and be as funny and cute as possible so as to attract the female species".

    You are actually paying attention to anything someone named "Blackest of Niggahs" and "Blackest of Anals" says?

    Welcome to the internet and people being completely fucking careless at times.

    Very happy that CS has a way to mute and filter out this kind of crap from certain people.

      They actually changed their names to that about halfway through the match

    jeez... wow is cupcake fairy chat compared to this. I'm glad i don't play that crap.

    Poster article for "Online experience not rated".

    Consoles win in this area, some trash-talker ruining the fun? Press the mute button. Be nice if more games allowed for a permanent mute or some such for particular users. This isn't the case with text-based chat, which fuels the trolls.

    Games should implement persistent player mute for both voice and text chat. This level of maturity is not welcome or necessary.

      I've been told that douchebags on Consoles get off when they realise somebody muted them as if they've won a major victory and the person didn't just decide they didn't want to deal with that BS.

      I just turn voice chat off in CS: 1.6/Source/GO or any other online MP game like it honestly. It makes for a better game.

        Honestly in serious games of CS it is impossible to without proper teamwork and communication... I myself have gotten very mad at team mates not listening to what I have to say and running to their death, at times costing us games. It is not very fun when that happens...

          In PUG game, not worth it. A more semi serious game, sure.

      In CS:GO,on the scoreboard, you just right click on a name and press block communication. Then for the rest of the game (and maybe longer) you don't see or hear any chat from them.

    I used to love playing with a Chick from Brissie back in the Source days. Those were good times. They would trash talk the bejesus out of her, and she'd slam them back to the stone age with ridiculous precision. I think she ended up playing fighting games in the WCG a while back.

      I knew a chick from Brissie who played source as well, her handle was 'trolly chick'. You can imagine how that went down.

    I've hardly encountered this kind of language and abuse on CS:GO in the 18 months I've been playing. Of course there's robust banter and occasional competitive trashtalk, but that's as far as it went.

    FYI when I play CS:GO (albeit occasionally) I game between 7-9pm via Valve's automated matchmaking service.

    Anyway I'm not saying that abusive language and treatment towards other players doesn't happen, because it clearly does happen and should be both condemned and acted upon by Valve. We don't want this kind of crap.

    FYI have not yet watched or read the contents of this article just the saw the title mention CS and Girls, thought I'd ad my 2c into it

    Nothing annoys me more than playing MM (match making on CS:GO) and a 'girl' happens to be on your team.
    Don't get me wrong I have nothing against gaming girls.

    80% of the time I encounter the type that just feels the need to flaunt the fact that they are a girl be it they try to sound cutesy on the mic or you know have some kind of revealing selfie as their in game display picture and a provocative game name, what makes it worse if when the rest of your team start to 'suck up' to said girl, now that's when it gets infuriating.

    whiteknight1: "oh "girls name" don't worry that was just a bad round" - when it was said girl who caused the loss of the round.

    eventually if you so little as to speak negatively/constructively about the girl player you will get an ear full of abuse from the rest of the team, Logic just simply flies out the window whilst the girl gamer is just giggling and agreeing with what her knew found whitenight/BFFFFFS team mates are saying to you.

    This seems to happen quite a lot for me, maybe it's because I already have a partner that I don't feel the need to give special attention to girl gamers?

    Who knows.

    Last edited 27/08/14 4:07 pm

      please read the article and come back.

      Teenage boys play games, get use to it. On another note though... I actually don't knowingly run into many girls at all. Maybe 1-1000 games don I hear a girl talking on my team and no one has given her any special treatment. This does sadly lead me to the opinion that many girls of CS stay quiet. But it also makes it hard for me to see how it can be a frequent enough thing to cause you problems. Do you party with some people that behave as you explained?

        I have played quite a few hours of CS:GO, I'm currently a (rank) distinguished master guardian. this does not happen frequently as in I don't encounter many games with attention seeking girls however it's something I have experienced over the whole duration of starting CS:GO many many months ago. In saying that the last time I had this issue was when I was in Gold nova 1, 2 and 3 and below I have yet to have the scenario mentioned above, I'd say it's safe to assume that the girl gamers in my current surrounding league are playing for ranks and not attention so team mates are fully co-operative on in game objectives, you will notice in higher ranks you will hardly ever need to speak since everyone already know's what they need to do and how to do it.

        Your not going to see names like "xxxSexytracey is coolxxx - Girls are cool <3" in high ranks.

        My in game behavior is pretty good I really only speak when needed, Ie round management, my position, enemy's position etc... tbh I don't take 'leadership' as you will I just go with the flow with my fellow team mates. I mainly solo MM.

        Put yourself in my position at the end of the day if you were in the middle of a match and your fellow team mates are favoring the bottom scoring playing on your team simply because of their gender how would you react?

        Last edited 29/08/14 8:56 am

    Hmm... makes me think that gaming and internet must have some sort of License to use. This kind of thing makes me wish there was an active monitoring in place so that we can ban people like this from the internet.

    The issue is that some might say that they only say things like this because it's anonymous, but it really says something about a person who goes that far and then laughs it off as a joke with the excuse of 'just trolling haha'.

    It's pretty damn inexcusable. I get the competitive trash talking (I've played LoL, Dota 2) and for that stuff some thick skin goes a long way but intentionally sexist/racial/homophobic slurs are way beyond that line of just 'toughen up'.

    Goes to show that the PC community needs some sort of moderation/behaviour management system like consoles do. In some ways I don't mind paying for xbox live knowing that there is some semblance of a process there for cheaters, trolling etc.

    Now the real (unrelated) question here is ... What rank are you Junglist and are you up for a game tonight?

    But back on topic in my 700 hours of CSGO I haven't seemed to notice these problems nearly as badly as you make them out to be. The worst I normally hear is just the unavoidable trash talk for the guy who has just gone 1-18 or something like that.

    Last edited 27/08/14 8:06 pm

      Master Guardian II at the moment, as my aim slowly gets a bit more consistent after a long break from FPS. You?

        Just worked my way back up to Master Guardian I the other day.

        I actually only started CS:GO (and online FPSs in general) this year and have been really enjoying it. :)

          Yeah, I'm loving it, though I have been thinking it'd be good to play with regular people. Three matches in a row the other day were ruined by trolls, and I've only got myself to blame for solo matchmaking I guess. But yeah if you add Jungypoo I'll add you, though fair warning I tend to be distracted for long periods by other games (Dark Souls DLC just dropped :P)

            Oh god... Tell me about all the trolls hackers and smurfs in this game. Match making can be bad at the best of times. I just sent you a request and my steam name is Rock, I'm a university student so I also have some long (but forced) breaks when I need to study. :)

    ok so my wife played CS competitively when 1.6 came out.
    She got abused in person at a LAN. All because she was on top of the ladder and a guy she beat got insecure and accused her of cheating.
    Right now, women tolerate the behaviour online or stay gender neutral by not saying anything.
    It wont change until men- er, boys, start changing their behaviour.

    why bring up that she was female if not for attention?

    i'm reminded of this

    http://i.imgur.com/NArL0KH.png

    Tl;dr why reveal you're female unless you want recognition of that? if you're there to game then damn well game. Otherwise you're attention seekers whining that the attention you get isn't the attention you want.

      The game is there for everyone not just men. If you are female then it comes out REGARDLESS of you revealing it deliberately or not for eg: the sound of your voice, avatar name or even profile in game. Hence if it is revealed regardless then you are not seeking attention to get abuse at all.
      Your linked picture is just offensive logic to force justification for vile behavior. It is not just unpleasant for the girls either but for other mature men who have to have the experience of the game ruined by absolute cowardly wankers.

        The internet is anonymous. When anonymous, people indulge their id; the impulsive, instinctual and sensory part of their brains. This is id behavior. Like i said earlier, everyone does it, not just men, or gamers. When it stops being human nature, it'll stop here. Don't act like the exceptions; the ones who take it too far, are the norm, just so you can soapbox about it. Gendering it is a way to play on sympathies. If you don't think women are just as twattish, go look at twitter or tumblr, anywhere women are in large enough numbers and anonymous.

        Also, the offensive logic is sound, quit whining just because you don't agree with it.

          I am not whining at all, the logic is that of a sociopath.
          I did not say women don't do it too. I was keeping it to the topic of the article. The internet is not annomymous on gender at all.
          Don't change context to rationlise it. If you dont have control of your mouth when it comes to using offensive language then that is an issue regardless of annonimity. Playing a game online with rules on behaviour is just that for everyone's positive experience.
          Junglist even makes a point of these people trying to find peoples fb profiles for God sake.

            You are, and you disguise it by demeaning it. It's as "sociopathic" as society has created it.

            Funnily enough no articles are directed towards that particular issue.

            Fact is society puts women on a pedestal. Gaming does not. Everyone is equal and everyone receives shit equally. Anything revealed will have attention directed towards it. Don't want attention? Don't reveal anything.

            Otherwise, yeah, sounds like the fb stalking is a common thing, s'why i haven't heard of it till now. And let's not fail to take into account that attaching your real identity to -anything- online carries a risk. But lets take a rare exception and add a little spotlight to make it seem like it's a prevalent problem.

      I think something about equal rights should be said here... Something like guys and girls should be recognized and treated equally and girls shouldn't need to hide themselves?

    When I was a lot younger used to play the original counter strike (the HL mod) a lot. There was none of this talk and I don't remember it being on the original Team Fortress either.
    Parents of friends etc who at the time where in early 40's up to 50's would play it too. There was just more maturity in general. Then the adults went away and they have been replaced by cowards with vile mouths.
    It is not exclusive to the internet though. A year or so ago I was standing in a courtyard of a primary school and heard a group of kids calling each other C**ts and Sluts. No kid when I was in primary school would dare use those words. I wonder what the cause and effect is ie - they use it in school cause they heard it online or vice versa? Either way I miss my younger nerdy isolated net community - even if the kneckbeards and their lack of control was just as childish, but far less verbally offensive.

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