Blizzard made CSGO back in 2008, combining the tactical elements of Counter-Strike with the thrilling adrenaline rush of an open-world shooter. In the decade since, it has become one of the most popular games globally with over 300 million downloads and counting. However, as with any successful title, there are those who wish to capitalize on its popularity through illegal means, leading to concerns around gambling within the community. Is CSGO really as safe for play as its creator’s promise of a fair and fun game would have you believe? Let’s take a look.
The Main Concern: Gambling
Although it’s difficult to quantify, many in the CSGO community worry that the game is being increasingly used for gambling purposes. If you’re playing for fun, you’re probably doing okay. But according to a 2015 CSGO survey, 9% of respondents said they’d be more likely to bet on games they play, with 5% saying they’d use the opportunity to place bets of up to £500. The numbers are almost certainly higher today as a result of the game’s ongoing popularity and ease of access with smartphones. On the other side of the world, 7% of Steam users also reported having used bots to gain an unfair edge in CSGO gambling. It’s clear there’s still work to be done to ensure that this type of behavior is kept in check.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS: GO) Is Still A Kids’ Game
Since its creation, CSGO has maintained a reputation as a game for and by people of all ages. The first-person shooter genre in general, and Counter-Strike in particular, are consistently rated as some of the most accessible titles globally, making them ideal for use in schools, community centers, and other places that children frequent. That’s according to research firm NPD Group, which states that across all game genres, 42% of gamers report that they play games with their children.
It’s a trend that’s been gaining popularity as of late, with the NPD group reporting a 77% year-on-year increase in the amount of gamers between 4 and 14 years old playing titles rated E for Everyone when compared to the previous year. In the U.S., the NPD group also reports that in 2019, 48% of gamers between 4 and 14 years old were playing games rated E for Everyone, compared to 39% in 2018 and 30% in 2017. The implication is that younger generations are rediscovering the joys of gaming and are using the internet and social media to connect with friends while playing.
The Rise Of Esports
Esports may be a relatively new category within the world of competitive gaming, but it’s rapidly gaining popularity, particularly among the younger generation. In 2018, over 263 million people tuned in to watch esports events across the globe, with revenue expected to hit nearly £50 billion by the year 2024.
The trend is being spurred on by the exponential growth of the gaming landscape in general. According to a 2019 report from Dimensional Research, there are now more than 400 million global gamers, with the industry projected to hit 620 million by the end of 2029.
How Is Responsible Gaming Measured?
Responsible gaming is a term used to describe the practice of moderating or limiting how and when gamers can engage in certain activities within games in order to reduce the adverse effects that certain behaviors might have on their well-being. For instance, it might be responsible to limit the amount of time that a gamer spends in a casino or to restrict certain game modes in case they’re being used for gambling. However, the concept itself can vary from game to game.
When it comes to measuring the health of the industry, a number of metrics are used, with some identifying esports as a special case. They might look at the total hours of gameplay per week (minus sleep and other incidental activities) or the amount of money spent by gamers. Some also look at the number of unique players registered on esports platforms or the amount of tournament prizes awarded within these platforms.
Risks And Benefits Of Gaming
The risks associated with gaming mainly come in the form of addiction and mental health problems, with some studies linking the two. However, it’s important to note that not all games are created equal, and it’s up to the individual to determine how much risk they’re willing to take on in relation to the benefits that gaming might provide. In the case of esports, the risks are minimal as competitors play for the love of the game and not for financial gain. Furthermore, with most gamers knowing that excessive game play can lead to health issues, the tendency is to keep a healthy limit. When it comes to benefits, there are many, ranging from increased mental stimulation to improving hand-eye coordination and improving the chances of landing a job in the IT sector.
It should be noted that not all games are created equal, with some having more addictive qualities than others. It’s important for gamers to be mindful of the games that they play and to understand the potential risks. When it comes to gaming and sports betting, the risks of addiction and mental health problems are significantly lower than those associated with other forms of entertainment, such as watching television or going to the movies. While the benefits are potentially life-changing, it’s still important for gamers to be aware of the risks before they begin betting or playing games heavily.