How Playing Counter Strike Taught Me that Current Audio Solutions are Not Cutting It

I am going to start this blog post by saying that I am in no way a great gamer. I appreciate a good video game and can pull some amazing kills, or some serious speed in Mario Kart. However, two things have been brought to my attention recently, and I feel that my gaming experience will never be the same…3D audio and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.

3D Audio

My ears were recently blown to what amazing 3D audio can do to a gaming experience (read a previous blog post on what 3D audio is here).  It is incredible to be able to turn around when you hear something behind you, or look up when a monster is about to cave a roof in on you to react appropriately. The audio was actually almost unnoticeable, because it felt so NORMAL, like this is what game audio should sound like. It was as if I was experiencing everything in normal life. Amazing!

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

Bring in Counter-Strike. This game is awesome, more of a simple single shooter game, but challenging and fun. If you haven’t played before I highly recommend checking it out HERE.  The first couple times I played, I did so without audio, so was unable to truly understand what it was missing. When I did add my headphones to the mix, let’s just say I was blown away…literally.  No wonder I was getting killed so quickly!

Game Audio Experience 

I heard commotion and shooting from the moment I entered, but had no idea where it was coming from! I would follow the dots on my map trying to find ‘terrorist groups’ and end up getting killed from a sniper unseen, or a person behind me. How are you supposed to defend yourself when you can’t hear what’s going on around you?  I tried using the defensive mode of whipping my mouse around this way and that every couple seconds to see if anyone was following me.

Since I was in deathmatch mode, thankfully my deaths didn’t take long to recuperate from, but I became increasingly frustrated to clear a room, get ready to make my move and have someone take me out from behind.

Maybe these are my amateur skills talking, but there’s got to be more of you out there that have gotten a shocking death by someone you should have heard! Nobody wants to be this guy killed in this manner HERE.

Opportunity for Game Audio

Now, let’s discuss the opportunity at hand.  In 2016 virtual reality units and games will become much easier to come by, and the talk is that 3D audio will be the next item to focus on. 3D audio will not only affect the virtual reality world, but it will revolutionize the experience of other PC or console games such as Counter Strike: Global Offensive.

Can’t you imagine it now? 3D audio will provide a gamer’s dream world where you can hear an opponent shooting from behind and you’re able to whip around and defend yourself. If you’re a Counter Strike professional like San Diego native, Jordan ‘n0thing’ Gilbert, this means that you’ll get a chance to stomp on your opponents. It can take a rookie like myself, and make it so I can stand a chance against more advanced players.

Who else is ready for this audio revolution? 

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If you enjoyed this article here are a few more recommended posts:

5 Cool Videos about Sound

Binaural Audio and Virtual Reality

9 3D Audio Terms You Should Know