Why Does Counter Strike Keep Getting in Trouble?

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It’s been a few years since Counter Strike was in hot water, but given the turn of events in global events of late – it won’t be a surprise to anyone if it winds up the focus of an investigation once more. There have been two major investigations of the impact and influence of the game in promoting real-time violence within the past decade. Both of them merit a serious look given that Google Play and the Iron Dome games have been making the news with the discussion about what is and is not appropriate in games.

There has been a lot of controversy over whether playing violent games promotes violence. It can be said, without any doubt, that if someone is already prone to violence and fantasizing about violent acts that these games can push them over the edge. The number of people like that represents less than 1% of the gamers who play. The question then is whether or not games like Counter Strike will bring out that tendency in someone who would otherwise not have acted on it. While most of the media acts as if this is the million dollar question, it has already been answered. Playing games like Counter Strike will not make you more violent, but it will make you more suspicious of people’s motivations. If you already have a tendency to paranoia, that could be a bad mix. In the end, for healthy people, a game is just a game.

School Shootings in ’08 and ‘09

When the Virginia Tech Massacre happened in 2007, a lawyer came out and predicted that when they found the killer they would have “trained” using the game Counter Strike. The whole mapping schema in the game with terrorists, hostages and counter strike forces was close enough to support this theory. When the killer was identified, it turned out that he had been an avid player of the game.

When the North Illinois University Massacre occurred in 2008, the same prediction was made about the perpetrator. When the shooter was identified, once again it was found that he liked to play Counter Strike. The company did not make an official comment in either 2007 or 2008 in these instances but it did fuel the debate about how influential violent games were on people prone to violence.

Brazil Bans CS and then Lifts it a Year Later

During the same time frame, the country of Brazil banned the game in 2008 from sale in the country. That ban was lifted in 2009. It was during this time that the government forces were moving into the drug gang controlled areas of the favelas. It is thought that the judge that issued the ban did so because they saw a hacked version where the graphics were made to look like the favelas and the counter strike teams wore the uniforms of the Brazilian military and police.

What does the Closing of Xbox Studios Mean for Xbox One?

The closing of Microsoft’s Xbox Studios marks the end of their drive to produce original television content. The hard road to coordinating content, production and distribution didn’t go easily for Microsoft, but their decision to close the Xbox Studios may be of a benefit to the owners of the console. With the most recent upgrades to the Xbox One system about to be released, owners – and those considering buying at the new price – are anxious to understand what all this means for the console.

What Happened to Original Content?

Microsoft isn’t giving up totally on original content; it is just shifting to balance it with other content. With the coming Xbox One upgrades the ability to play Blu-ray will be enabled on the consoles. There will also be more compatibility for hosting different video streaming app servers, DVDs and CDs. The hope is that by removing the priority of creating original content that independently produced content can then be licensed for distribution onto the Xbox One through their Windows Mobile system.

Netflix and Hulu are Back

For users, this means that along with the ability to play recorded media, that services like Netflix and Hulu will be available again on the platforms. The closing of the dedicated original programming studio allows for Microsoft to recoup losses. Combine this with the new pricing of the Xbox One that is beginning to drive sales and there is an increased potential for the platforms to appeal to independent content creators. Microsoft has to work out the details of publishing and licensing agreements to really capitalize on these changes.

Not Just for Xbox One

While this is good for the console, the actual aim of the switch from production of original content to its distribution is included on the gaming platform only as an afterthought. The focus is on created streaming content to promote the Mobile phone systems and Xbox 360. That all of this will be compatible with the consoles is just a benefit.

How Xbox One Owners Might Just Win in the End

While not the intended target of these changes, beyond the upgrades to allow for Blu-ray and other recorded media play, owners stand to benefit the most from all of these changes. As the push is on to claim original and independent content for streaming to promote Windows Mobile and Xbox 360, all the users holding the console will find that they can watch the media as well as the device and systems are already compatible.

This gives you the dual purpose handset that will allow you to play games, communicate on a social media network and watch movies or TV shows at will and without additional pricing for most content. In the end, Xbox One users will benefit the most from the shift in priorities that Microsoft is showing in how they attract and support their console and device customers, without having to bear the burden of being the device that all bets are riding on.