Fly Gabe Newell Campaign Exceeds Targets

Not for much longer, it seems.

A quick update on the Fly Gabe Newell story, where amateur L4D campaign maker Joe W-A is trying to raise the money to fly Gabe Newell and Erik Johnson to Brisbane, Australia, so they will call off their boycott of his mod. (Read the original story to make sense of this.) He needed to make roughly $2400 to achieve this. Rather incredibly he’s just broken the $3000 barrier. Gabe, you’re going to Oz.

Joystiq spoke to someone at Valve who suggests that Gabe will honour his agreement.

However, it seems that’s no reason to stop giving money to Joe’s cause. Joe has committed that all excess money (so long as the donator agrees to it) will go to Penny Arcade’s Child’s Play charity. Child’s Play raises money for providing toys and games for kids in hospitals around the world. It’s a good place for your money to end up. Of course, if you’re concerned about the ambiguity of giving the money this way, you could always just give some money to Child’s Play directly.

If we were a multi-million dollar company who could afford a billion plane flights, we’d certainly make sure most of the money raised went in that direction and still go on the trip.


  1. dsmart says:

    This has become one massive meme – and we’re all a part of its history. Yay!!

  2. HANsVonWolfensteinn says:

    This is all of course just my honest opinion, so take it as you may.
    I refuse to believe that every human being that works at or starts a business looses their humanity just because they need to make money. Even some of the CEOs of these big companies. It is such a cynical and pathetic view of life that I just feel sorry for you, as I’m sure so many others on this site feel.
    Sure much of what a company does is for-profit. But Gabe Newell sitting down and taking precious time out of his day to write back to a short, joking e-mail from some unknown dude out in Australia, is awesome first off, but surely it is not all in a “for-profit, lets get their money” point of view.

  3. gobion says:

    Yay for Joe, yay for Gabe and hopefully all of that to say yay for Child’s Play. Like John Walker I also am free to do as I choose with my money and I chose to get involved. I’m the Chairman of a indie games company so that probably makes me “the enemy” but I neither wear a suit nor am I a drone and all the folks I have ever met at Valve have been really passionate about games and very friendly. They also work very hard – hell everyone I’ve ever met in the games industry works really, really hard. Easy to critisise, harder to do.

    Anway congrat to Joe for a bit of fun and yay to RPS for covering it :)

  4. PHeMoX says:

    “Of course, if you’re concerned about the ambiguity of giving the money this way, you could always just give some money to Child’s Play directly.”

    Right, people should do that instead.

    The whole ‘hey lets fly “Valve” over to Australia’ basically just to make a point is ridiculous. It’s a great way of throwing away money too, unless said mod creator hopes to land a job at Valve with his ‘bold’ move. Not so bright move if you ask me, despite the fact that his mod is probably Valve-worthy.

    Good intentions and charities aside, it’s still a waste of money and time.

  5. whalleywhat says:

    To be fair, Child’s Play isn’t exactly the worthiest charity in the world. But hey, it’s about video games, right?

  6. Snall says:

    I say give video games to all starving children, to lighten the mood! Also, send me $3,000 to fly..uh..Bill……with….Don King!

  7. Concept says:

    God, I love you all.

  8. sinister agent says:

    I recently refused to give a publisher a discount on image reproduction rights, because those rights are our only significant source of income. OH NO I AM A CORPORATE MONSTER HOW DARE I PUT PROFIT BEFORE ALTRUISM. SOBBING BEGINS NOW.

  9. Gap Gen says:

    “The thing is I find Valve more dangerous then EA, with EA you know what your getting but Valve put on this smily face.”

    Actually, they are pretty up-front about their shallow, corporate innards, now that they’ve added Halo to TF2.

    Conspiracy theories are fun, but sometimes a cigar is just a penis. Cigar.

  10. Vinraith says:

    IF Valve were as bad as EA (and it’s not, by a long shot, at least not yet) it WOULD be more “dangerous” because it’s (wisely) built up a ravenously loyal fanbase by being a genuinely great company. Lately it’s behaving a bit less like a great company, but you’ll note than a lot of people still credit various non-generous behaviors as generous because they believe it’s still the “old Valve.” If it DID go completely EA on us (and I hope it never does, I don’t think it will) you can bet a significant portion of those fans would refuse to see it.

    For now, though, I’ve really got nothing against Valve. I just don’t view them in quite the same glowing light I once did. TF2 and L4D have both evolved in, to me, uninteresting directions, so I’d just like them to get along with the business of making Half Life universe games again.

  11. subedii says:

    And yes everything they do is to get profit, if they have happy customers they get profit from them.

    I’m trying hard… I’m trying real hard to see how Valve making more money by making their fans happy is a horrendous thing.

    I’m trying… and I can’t. Can anyone PLEASE explain this crazy logic to me?

  12. Joseph says:


    I’m trying too. I don’t know… perhaps… happiness is the new unfair?

    Yeah… a company is supposed to get money. It’s actually a good thing, for like, the economy – y’know?

  13. Joseph says:

    Shows what a good public image they (valve) have that people want to fly them over the world for a joke slash visit to someone elses mod. They really do seem like they are just awesome guys.

  14. lilgamefreek says:

    People pay to view stand up comedy are a bunch of morons and the comedians, swindlers.

  15. Andy`` says:

    Hmm, to explain it…to explain it…well, this might not be entirely accurate, but let’s have a try.

    In short, because I know I’ll ramble on, it’s a difference between “They made me happy and so they deserve my money” and “They’re making me happy so they can get my money”. Or, seeing good or bad in everything. Or differing opinions on the value of space and time. Whatever.

    The idea comes from a sort of circular logic. To preface: a business that has happy staff and happy customers (that are genuinely happy, not just kept content) creates happy staff and happy customers, productive staff and returning customers, and ultimately leads to increased profits and/or increased sustainability.

    How the money’s channelled is the real biting point. The optimistic assumption is that the money feeds back into the system so that the staff stay happy, to produce things that lets the customer stay happy, to make more money. The pessimistic assumption is most easily explained as a reverse of the optimistic assumption. The goal of the business is to make more money, so the aim becomes to keep the customer happy so they buy the product, a happy customer means happy staff (because jobs aren’t being lost, and they can see the positive effect the company’s having out in the world, in a way), and happy staff leads to a decent product that makes money, and then this cycle begins (product keeps customer happy, etc).

    [The realistic assumption is probably somewhere in-between: once a business becomes aware that what it’s doing is making money or creating some other positive effect for their business, it’ll try to keep doing that, or improve on it. In the majority of cases, save for those few entities that aim to squeeze all the money they can out of everyone they can, neither the process nor the result of that process is inherently bad, or evil, or kitten killing – all parties mean well, to co-exist, so they can survive]

    The pessemistic assumption only seems more “evil” than the optimistic assumption because the focus has changed from “making something that makes people happy, to make money from it” to “making the customers happy, to make money from something”. It’s a subtle but powerful change of context that on the face of it seems like an insignificant change.

    But then you add another factor: like disappointment, surprises, misunderstandings, good experiences, unexpected consequences. Positive factors amplify the positive response to something like “they made something that made me happy, so they deserve my money”. Negative factors amplify the insignificant change to a negative response into something that makes a person feel like they’re being used, because they’re “making me happy so they can make money from me”.

    Similar processes govern the viewpoints of “this is an awesome joke”/”this is a waste of time” and “yay, money’s going to charity”/”they’re not exactly a worthy charity”, etc.

    There’s plenty of external factors, mainly charted along a person’s history in the world and the experiences they’ve had along the way defining their personality. Most of the time those external factors change what’s viewed as an infraction against them, or how severely they respond to it, thus increasing the likelihood of one response over another, and the intensity of the response.

    None of the resulting responses is inherently wrong: perception belongs to the perceiver, there’s no such thing as an incorrect opinion, all that stuff [but it is possible to jump to huge conclusions and proclaim them as fact, like I’ve been doing this whole post ;) ha]. But in certain environments, the mixture of responses is bad: happy people don’t understand how others can be sad about it, sad people don’t understand how people can be happy about it, arguments start, tempers rise and an otherwise compatible group of people can be divided and pushed to the edges believability – the optimistic end up too optimistic, the pessimistic end up too pessimistic, and newcomers think everyone is wearing rose-tinted or blood-tinted goggles, when in fact everyone’s just wearing red goggles.

    Welcome to the Internet.

    Maybe Joe will run the Internet one day, and it will be a happier place.

  16. Kommissar Nicko says:

    Whenever I think that two or three bucks is a waste of money (like my subscription to RPS!), I stop and think, “I make roughly two dollars when I take a nice long shit at work.” And then it doesn’t feel so bad to give a little bit away, when you think that in the time it takes to make stool, you might be drastically changing someone else’s life.

    Think about it the next time you take a crap on the job.

  17. vasagi says:

    well they are gonna fly out as soon as some pressing bussiness is taken care of.

    YAAYYY Interwebz

  18. Frankie The Patrician[PF] says:

    *sobs at sinister agent*

  19. Dirty Jesus says:

    I hope to god Joe’s campaign is good after all this.

    It’d suck for him if Gabe and Erik turned up only to tell him what utter rubbish it was :D

  20. autogunner says:

    All this is just some massive cover up campagain by valve to make sure no one is thinking about Ep.3

  21. Catastrophe says:

    I agree with Lilliput King’s early comment, that the best outcome would be that Valve announces they are honouring the agreement of flying over if he could accumulate the funds but then states the funds should all go to the charity and Valve will pay for the flight.

  22. Ergates says:

    Yay for t’internet.

  23. Ergates says:

    The best outcome isn’t that Valve agree to pay of the flights, it’s that they donate an equivalent amount. If they pay for the flights themselves then Joe has to go back to each and every donor and ask if they want the money back (or if he can give it to charity).

    Though it’s actually funnier if they just go with the original agreement (i.e. Joe pays for flights, Valve don’t pay for anything).

  24. Nahual says:

    It’ll be even funnier if Joe arranges for them to sleep on his couch because he can’t afford a hotel and Valve agrees to it.

  25. Nick says:

    How many of the miserable boycotters were slagging off the people at NMA over the fallout thing I wonder. Hmm. Eh?

  26. Funky Badger says:

    Xercies: do you, you know, actually have a job?

    And wouldn’t it be fantastic, if Joe’s campaign was picked up, and released as free DLC for L4D1!

    There’s an actual and legal difference in the levels of evil between a publically listed company (e.g. EA) and a privately owned one (e.g. Valve) – EA have a responsibility to act evilly, and their corporate officers can be legeally defenestrated should they not act in an evil enough manner. Facts. Scary, scary facts.

  27. Gunhover says:

    From Joe’s blog:
    link to

    The English language lacks the words to express the level of excitement Erik and I feel that you and your friends have pulled this off. Give us some time to organize our affairs, as we are trying to ship a product, and then we’ll let you know the time and date of our arrival. Give our best to Robin’s mother, as she is apparently a neighbor of yours.

    Gabe & Erik

    Hahahaha. Get your arse to Brisbane, Gabe!

  28. Gunhover says:

    Also – people can say what they want, but ultimately in just a few days, using only a combination of mouse clicks and key presses, the random degenerate PC gaming addicts of the internet just made the president of a major games company fly halfway across the world to Australia.

    I’m simultaneously awed and amused. Give yourselves a round of applause (even you, Xercies :)

  29. Joe W-A says:

    Latest news: All the proceeds have been donated to charity and Gabe and Erik are coming to Australia on the 7th of October.