MDA & 8 Kinds of Fun – CS:GO

One video game shooter that I really enjoy is Counter Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO). As far as first person shooters go, the mechanics of the game are relatively simple and the actions are mostly reduced to shooting/zooming in, running/walking, crouching, throwing, and planting/defusing a bomb. The mechanics overall are incredibly simplistic and there’s a dynamic of extreme calculation and precision which makes every small thing in the game matter. Players must have a high level of technical ability since most guns do not have a “zoom-in” feature and must also account for “spray” patterns in order to tame recoil. Since it doesn’t take much time to kill a player, players must utilize space carefully such as checking every corner or putting themselves in secure spatial positions. There are also no special actions in the game (such as killstreak rewards in Call of Duty) and so players must have refined game acumen in order to compete at a high (or even manageable) level. 

One of my favorite aspects of the game is the mechanic of being able to throw handheld objects such as grenades, smokes, or flashes. The ability to flash opponents or set up a smokescreen creates a dynamic of precise defensive or offensive movement and can dramatically slow down or increase the pace of a round. Also, another unique mechanic of CSGO is the in-game economy which requires players to “purchase” weapons at the start of each round (money is rewarded for killing a player, winning a round, or completing an objective and if you do not die, you maintain your weapon). This economical component requires players to be strategic with their resources and to develop a calculated plan for which weapons to buy and when. 

Overall, because of the game’s mechanical elegance and slow, precise, and calculated dynamic, its overall aesthetic is one of intense and focused competition. It’s no surprise that considering these attributes, it’s regarded as one of the best-designed shooters of all time.

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