There’s a big new Counter-Strike update out, and it’s really good! ...Mostly. On top of everything else, the update added a whole host of community maps, including one set in Turkey. Problem: some players claim that one is full of insulting inaccuracies.
The map, titled Mikla, was initially just a footnote in an update that seemed to finally break Valve’s streak of updates that royally pissed off Counter-Strike fans. After the frigid R8 winter of 2015, things like an updated version of classic map Nuke, a new event containing two campaigns and a new mission type, new weapon drops, and a Bowie knife (I see what you did there, Valve) seemed like a breath of fresh air. However, the update also contained seven new community maps, and that’s where things got messy.
Video courtesy of Tbep.
Community maps are not directly created by Valve, but they are, at least in theory, vetted by GabeN’s House Of Storefronts, Hats, And The Occasional Video Game. Usually they’re pretty solid. The new update in particular includes an especially good one, FMPONE’s de_santorini. In the case of Mikla, a map set in Turkey, however, it seems like the vetting process wasn’t enough. Shortly after the update dropped, a number of Turkish Counter-Strike players chimed in with grievances like:
So in short, these players claimed that the map misnamed a beloved Turkish historical figure, President Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, and made frequent references to generalized stereotypes (donkey riding, gun fights as a family, etc), some of which don’t even make sense when aimed at Turkey.
As ever, it would be one thing if this was a drop in a bucket of video game locations that represent Turkey. Given that it’s one of only a handful, inaccuracies and attempted gags can be much more potentially insulting than if something similar was made about, say, an iconic American location. Applying stereotypes to frequently misunderstood people is just not a great idea, you know, in general. Or, as one player put it: “We are not being overly sensitive. We want an accurate map.” Makes sense!
Mikla has been removed from Counter-Strike’s Steam Workshop, at least temporarily. The precise reason why still isn’t known. Some people don’t love how T-sided (that is, advantageous for the terrorist team) it is, claiming it’s egregiously unbalanced. It could also have been removed for that reason, though other folks seem to like its layout just fine. I asked Valve what’s going on and whether the Workshop removal precedes removal from the Official portion of the game, but as of publishing they had yet to reply.
As per usual with major Counter-Strike updates, Valve has already corrected some of the smaller issues stemming from this one. Earlier today, they released a minor patch to correct some crashing and smoke grenade issues. Given that there have been reported issues with framerate drops on Nuke and, of course, Mikla itself, more is likely on the way.
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