Please do not cheat, according to the current patch for Counter-Strike.

You have to admire the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive creators. Despite being chastised by fans for a lack of communication, never correcting the “right” things, and apparently disregarding the community’s repeated demands for things like higher tick servers, Valve’s brilliant team sticks its heads over the parapet every few months and throws us a bone. At which point, everyone complains that the bone lacks the vital marrow, that it’s the incorrect sort of bone, and that we didn’t ask for a goddamn bone anyhow Gaben please.

I’m half-afraid it’s on purpose. Anyway, the latest CS:GO patch has come, bringing primarily minor tweaks to the matchmaking frontend: Premier mode may now be selectable with other competitive maps (it used to be one or the other), and the game also allows you to build up numerous competitive matching presets (ie, your favorite map groupings). There are also a few minor bug patches, such as the bot difficulty selection in War Games and the ever-present “stability enhancements.”

What I found most amusing about these patch notes was that they “included a link to CS:GO Fair Play Guidelines while playing on official gaming servers.” That is, when the ‘Accept’ button appears to confirm a competitive match, a link to some new fair play standards will now appear: Let’s have a peek!

“Playing CS:GO together works best when everyone goes into a match with similar expectations. Players who choose to play on official CS:GO servers are expected to:

In all modes:

– Never cheat.
– Never grief or verbally abuse your teammates or opponents.
– Never use any automation for any reason.”

They’ve done it by Jove! I can feel the sorrow coming from the bedrooms of cheaters all across the world when they realize CS:GO has them covered. In all seriousness, it’s not rare for a developer to state unequivocally that, yeah, we don’t want cheating in our game. But, given CS:GO’s difficulties with cheaters of all hues, and Valorant’s apparent success with its own Vanguard anti-cheat software, this seems a bit absurd.

However, the fair play standards go on to state that in Competitive and Wingman modes, you are expected to “play to win.” Well, of course. After this, there’s an asterisk that adds the following comment at the bottom of the page: “Obviously, it’s acceptable to try new things and experiment with new stats and talents, but players should not start a battle to lose or disturb their teammates.”

There’s a strange combination of the obvious and Valve virtually falling over itself as it attempts to muddle through. Of course, it’s still my favorite shooter out there, and at least now I’ll know that any cheats will feel the sting of having disobeyed the fair play standards.

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