If you haven’t been following the Internet soap opera of Gabe Newell and the Australian Left 4 Dead modders, let’s get you caught up!
Weeks ago Valve, maker of Left 4 Dead, flew two founding members of a Left 4 Dead 2 boycott community group to Valve headquarters in Seattle for some up close and personal time with the zombie shooter in hopes of changing their minds.
That’s all great, but here’s where the fun starts. An Australian Left 4 Dead modder, Joe W-A-e also wanted to be flown to Seattle to show the development team his mod, and Newell jokingly responded saying he’d be boycotting the‚ mod and Joe was not flown to Valve HQ.
It gets better! Joe then decided to ask community members, through his website, to donate cash to fly Newell to Australia to try out his mod in the flesh. 48 hours later, the website, Fly Gabe Newell, generated over $3,000, which was more than enough to fly Newell and project manager Erik Johnson to the land down under. The two are currently packing for their trip to the land of the kangaroos next week.
Here’s the last twist, I swear. Newell and Johnson will be flying to Australia on their own dimes and will give the money to the Child’s Play charity. How nice!
Newell had this to say about the entire zany situation:
“The power of the gaming community and their ability to rally around a cause “" be it serious or fun in nature “" is amazing. In 2003, the community helped the FBI and European law enforcement officials find the people who stole the Half-Life 2 source code. This year, the community is putting me on a plane to the other side of the world to meet Joe W-A and see his MOD. It’s going to be a fun trip.”
We should be hearing more of this story next week, but for now, take comfort in the fact that the gaming community is capable of great deeds.