Author Archive

Supporting Counter-Strike’s Professional Women

Courtesy of Aurélie Bellacicco Photographie

In Pop Flash, a series of insights into Counter-Strike: Global Offensive [official site], Emily Richardson looks past the amazing clutches and crushing defeats to understand the culture and meta of Valve’s everlasting competitive FPS.

In comparison to some other games, Counter-Strike is doing pretty well with regard to its female pro scene. The situation is far from perfect – there are still issues both at the professional and amateur levels, and we definitely want more women competing, but there are some extremely talented women playing CSGO professionally. So I’m interested to learn more about what we’re doing right, what we’re doing wrong, and how can we encourage more women to get into eSports.

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How Counter-Strike: Global Offensive’s Economy Works

In Pop Flash, a series of insights into Counter-Strike: Global Offensive [official site], Emily Richardson looks past the amazing clutches and crushing defeats to understand the culture and meta of Valve’s everlasting competitive FPS.

Counter-Strike’s weapon skins are as numerous as they are glamorous. The very best in tactical fashion, they’re bright, they’re weird, they’re occasionally very expensive. Some of us don’t care for them, but many more do. They’ve been a phenomenal success, so much so that the rarest knives sell for more than the Steam wallet’s cap of $500, and betting and trading sites are springing up all over the web.

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Counter-Strike Global Offensive Guide: Tips For Beginners

In Pop Flash, a series of insights into Counter-Strike: Global Offensive [official site], Emily Richardson looks past the amazing clutches and crushing defeats to understand the culture and meta of Valve’s everlasting competitive FPS.

This week I want to go right back to basics. Counter-Stike has been around since 1999, but every week new players log onto the Global Offensive servers. I hope this post will help those players get into the game quickly and enjoy its competitive nature from the start. Have a browse through, try some things, find what works for you. The most important thing is to have fun and enjoy the game whether you’re playing competitively or just for laughs. Obviously, this piece isn’t really aimed at experienced players, but if you’d like to give some extra tips in the comments they’re totally welcome.

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Globally Offensive: Let’s Talk About Abuse in CS:GO

In Pop Flash, a series of insights into Counter-Strike: Global Offensive [official site], Emily Richardson looks past the amazing clutches and crushing defeats to understand the culture and meta of Valve’s everlasting competitive FPS.

This week, I’ll be discussing abuse and toxic behaviour in the CS:GO community. Before we get to it, let me reiterate that I am madly in love with Counter-Strike. It’s simply one of the best team games out there. This piece, however, is meant to highlight one important issue that I think we can overcome.

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How Do You Make A Professional Counter-Strike Map?

In Pop Flash, a new series of insights into Counter-Strike: Global Offensive [official site], Emily Richardson looks past the amazing clutches, crushing defeats and humiliating knives in the face to understand the culture and meta of Valve’s everlasting competitive FPS. Why is it so popular? What the hell is that Scottish guy saying? And why can’t anyone resist opening those damn crates?

This week, I spoke to veteran level designer Shawn ‘FMPONE’ Snelling about map design in Counter-Strike and what it’s like to construct levels for the most punishing and rewarding of FPS games. Having worked on the recent Cache and Season remakes, and some more famous maps besides, Shawn is known for his immaculate art style and well-balanced, flavourful levels.

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Insurgency Early Access Impressions: What’s It Like Now?

Insurgency is a lot of fun. Following Rich’s great exploratory feature on the highly tactical game last year, I took a look at it for the first time this week and tried to find out more about it, where it’s going and how a year’s further development has shaped it.

At its core, Insurgency is a tactical shooter, one that sits between the hardcore realistic works of Arma; the competitive, smart strategies borne of Counter-Strike; and the large-scale war efforts of Red Orchestra. It kind of feels a bit like Battlefield in parts, too.

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The Saline Bandit: DayZ Diary – Part Four

DayZ is a multiplayer zombie survival sim which, though incomplete, produces anecdotes of drama, desperation and clown mask-wearing weirdos. Emily Richardson has been playing it with a question: can you be a good person in the videogame post-apocalypse? Read parts one, two, three.

On the way back to Elektro we meet two New Spawns on the road. They’re totally bear, in nothing but t-shirts and jeans. They seem to be having a little trouble with a fence, so we puff out our charitable chests and take our opportunity.

“Hi there!” one of us announces. The pair turn to look at us.

“Are you guys thirsty? Hungry?” we ask. They say nothing, merely looking at us, a group of about four. We start dropping food and water on the floor for them and I try force feeding one some water from my canteen, but he shuffles awkwardly away to break the animation.
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The Saline Bandit: DayZ Diary – Part Three

DayZ is a multiplayer zombie survival sim which, though buggy and incomplete, produces anecdotes of drama, desperation and clown mask-wearing weirdos. Emily Richardson has been playing it with a question: can you be a good person in the videogame post-apocalypse? Start with part one.

We’re a team of four heading straight for the city of Cherno. We have another survivor to pick up and we want to help some people around the town if we can. Yes, by now we realise how dangerous this is. Cherno is not a friendly place and we know that bandits go to find a more challenging kind of prey there, but we’ll be a pack of five soon, and we’re up for the fight.
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The Saline Bandit: DayZ Diary – Part Two

DayZ is a multiplayer zombie survival sim which, though buggy and incomplete, produces anecdotes of drama, desperation and clown mask-wearing weirdos. Emily Richardson has been playing it with a question: can you be a good person in the videogame post-apocalypse? Read part one here.

I’ve started a new life in DayZ and I’m determined that this one isn’t going to kill anyone. I’ve already lost all my friends, but I’ve got a lot of food and water from the town of Polana. It’s time to head back to the coast, meet up with some allies and begin my work as a good Samaritan of Chernarus. Read the rest of this entry »

The Saline Bandit: DayZ Diary – Part One

Hey! Don't kill me.
DayZ is a multiplayer zombie survival sim which, though buggy and incomplete, produces anecdotes of drama, desperation and clown mask-wearing weirdos. Emily Richardson has been playing it with a question: can you be a good person in the videogame post-apocalypse?

I’m waiting behind a big green house in the grass, watching the city below me from my little hill. It’s my second time in DayZ, the first consisting mostly of finding and eating sardines with my guide, Andy. I’m waiting for him to find me when I see a silhouette coming up through the grass toward me, a big M4 rifle pointed at my head.

I yell, ‘Wait, wait, don’t do that!’ and turn and run round the other side of the house. When I turn to look back at him he’s stood waving. It’s Andy, but as a woman, in different clothes and wielding a weapon I hadn’t ever seen before. He thinks I’m an idiot.

I’m so new to this that I feel a lot like the hopeless little kid from The Road and Andy is a bit like my dad, leading me through the world and trying to keep me alive. But not in a weird way, that’s just an analogy. I have no idea what I’m doing, though, or what my course of action is for bashing into other survivors.
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