Deciding which games are suitable for your kids can prove challenging. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is one of the most popular first-person shooters out there, with more than 500,000 monthly users on Steam alone. If your child is even halfway interested in video games, CS:GO is something they'll be eager to investigate for themselves. Worried about whether this Valve classic is too violent for youngsters? We've compiled some useful guidance to help you decide whether or not CS:GO is suitable for your kids.
What is Counter-Strike: Global Offensive About?
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) is a multiplayer first-person shooter. Players take on the role of either a terrorist agent or a counter-terrorist operative. The overall objective of the game varies depending on the mode selected, but most modes pit the two warring factions against each other. Those playing against a terrorist are tasked with planting an explosive device within a set amount of time. Those playing as counter-terrorist operatives will need to stop the enemy from planting the explosive. If they fail to stop the bomb from being planted, they will then need to diffuse it. Other objectives include guarding or freeing hostages.
Parents who aren't keen on their children being exposed to these kinds of story details might want to restrict Steam parental controls or adjust the access settings of individual gaming consoles. However, even if you decide to block access to CS:GO on Steam and consoles, children may wish to follow the action on streaming services like Twitch. Unfortunately, Twitch doesn't provide parental control functionality, making it difficult to restrict what your child sees.
In the United States, CS:GO is rated M for Mature. Elsewhere, the game is rated PEGI 18. Although the exact age rating varies between territories, the consensus is that the game is only suitable for individuals aged 18 and over.
Although some parents might be comfortable with their children playing CS:GO, the overall difficulty level of the game might limit their enjoyment. Like many other multi-player titles, CS:GO relies on rapid game-play and quick interactions. If your child struggles to keep up with the high-octane action on screen, they'll struggle to maintain a high enough ranking to compete with other players and access a full range of gaming modes. You only need to glance at CSGO scores here to see how challenging this title is for the average player.
How Violent is CS:GO?
CS:GO might have been around for some time, but recent software updates have meant that the graphics are fairly realistic. This means that the blood, gore, and violence on screen may prove distressing to younger children. However, that's not to say that CS:GO is a particularly violent video game. Players will inevitably encounter spraying bullets, explosions, and blood splatter, but these are all secondary to the cooperative focus of this multi-player title. Virtual gore is also only limited to individual rounds, with most rounds taking as little as three minutes to complete.
This is something parents will need to bear in mind if they're allowing their children to play CS:GO online with other plays. Unfortunately, it's difficult to police the actions of other plays. Although parental settings can go some way to protect your children from foul language, they will ultimately be exposed to it unless gaming groups are rigorously moderated. However, when played in offline mode, bad language isn't something your children are going to be exposed to.
Nudity and Sexual Content
The base game doesn't feature any graphic nudity or sexual content. However, there are very moderate instances of semi-nude pinup posters scattered throughout the game. There is the potential for nudity and sexual content via add-on material, but provided you've set parental controls on downloads, this shouldn't be a problem.
If you've happily let your kids play first-person shooters in the past, CS:GO isn't going to cause any concern. While the game content itself is fairly pedestrian in terms of violence, younger children will probably find the difficulty level too demanding. What's more, you'll need to be wary about other players, especially if you want to monitor exposure to bad language. It's also worth adding parental controls to gaming accounts if you want to ensure your youngsters aren't spending a small fortune on mods and superficial upgrades.