Ukraine war: “Counter-Strike” map to circumvent Russian censorship

The Russian government controls all news about the war of aggression against Ukraine in its own country. The Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat has come up with a project to circumvent this media censorship: It has created a map for the first-person shooter “Counter-Strike: Global Offensive” with a secret room in which some war images can be seen. They should draw attention to the circumstances in Ukraine with the accompanying text.

The map is called “de_voyna” and can be downloaded for free via the Steam workshop. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is also available for free. There are no online servers with the map – if you want to look inside, you have to open a game yourself and go to the start in the observation mode.

About the three console commands mp_limitteams 1, mp_autoteambalance 0 and bot_kick you can remove all virtual players to explore the map in peace. The console must be activated in the settings under “Game” (“Activate developer console”). A hotkey can be assigned to the console under “Keyboard/Mouse” and then “UI”.

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Map “de_voyna” in “Counter-Strike: Global Offensive”

“Voyna” is a fictional place with a typical apartment complex. As a character, everything is completely normal – only in observation mode can you float through a locked front door and then into a twisted basement room.

There Helsingin Sanomat shows some self-made pictures from the war. Such can be inserted as textures in “Counter-Strike: Global Offensive” with reasonable resolution.

As a matter of principle, there is no cutting-edge news and there is probably a healthy dose of PR in the campaign. However, the project shows once again how video games can be used to exchange information.

According to Leetify, “Counter-Strike: Global Offensive” had more than 1.6 million active players as of July 2022 – the majority of the first-person shooter is Russian. Player numbers have fallen since the war began in February 2022.

(Picture: heise online [Screenshot] / Helsingin sanomat newspaper)


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