There’s a little debate raging on within the Counter-Strike community about how poorly women, and people in general, are treated over in-game chat.
It’s always a debate worth having, although there’s a cold, uncomfortable reality that gamers should face. The Counter-Strike community isn’t just toxic to women: it’s toxic to everyone. WARNING: There is a lot of profanity, creepy questions and just generally unpleasant chatter. You have been warned.
People like to heap crap on Call of Duty and Xbox Live, or more recently League of Legends, for the level of salt its players dispense on a minute-by-minute basis. Those games didn’t develop a reputation for nothing, after all.
But it’s worth remembering that these games have absolutely nothing on the cesspit of humanity that Counter-Strike, Counter-Strike: Source and Global Offensive seems to foster. It’s like a real-time manifestation of YouTube comments in a zero-sum video game. It’s truly awful.
Most people, particularly older readers, will be familiar with this already. But if you weren’t, here’s the two montages the CS:GO community has mocked up showcasing the standard of discourse that happens on a frequent basis. The first comes from swegZbot.
The second is the response, although the middle of the image probably encapsulates the entire debate perfectly. “Counter-Strike: Globally Offensive.”
Not much really needs to be said; the images speak for themselves. The CS:GO community doesn’t really treat one gender better than another — it just treats human beings like trash, from start to finish. In my experience, and this is running back almost 13 years now, that’s always been the case. It doesn’t look like it’s going to change, and Valve hasn’t made a great deal of effort trying to make it change.
If you want to read a thoroughly depressing discourse of the how’s and why’s, the ongoing thread is here. Don’t expect a pot of gold at the end, though.