Fly, Gabe, Fly!!

Though we’re slightly behind the actual bandwagon, there is no way I can not touch upon a wildly imaginative exchange between a Left 4 Dead modder and Valve, something that has got to be the flat-out funniest occurrence within the Valve community this year.

The seeds were sown last week, when it came to our attention that Valve had flown the Left 4 Dead 2 boycott group leaders over to their headquarters for a tour of the forthcoming game – something only the Valve masterminds, wearing their best pair of silk gloves and armed with a jar of lube, would have been able to think up; To add insult to the injury, the boycotters came out of the experience feeling positive.

Meanwhile, a relatively unknown Left 4 Dead modder, Joe W-A, jokingly sends an e-mail to Gabe Newell, asking:

Why the hell haven’t I been flown to Valve?
I mean, you guys need to preview my campaign.

Gabe, jovial as always, retorts:

We are boycotting your campaign.

Not one to shy away from a verbal fracas, ripostes Joe, “Does that mean I have to fly you here?”, to which Gabe counter-ripostes, “Me and Erik [Wolpaw]”. Only moments later, a blog collecting donations for flying the Valve duo over to Australia, Brisbane appears, and a mere few days’ worth of gathering, the undertaking has already broken the rather amazing 3000 dollar barrier required for the plane tickets. Joe additionally promises the surplus will go to the Penny Arcade charity venture, Child’s Play.

The hilarity of this inconceivable succession of events aside, I’m not sure what it will mean for the overall complexion of interaction between Valve and its fans, but as far as the actual realities of this meeting go, it is either going to be an awkward trainwreck or a fantastic fête of funk: Plans are being made for capturing the occasion on video, too, so we’ll be privy to the plot! Either way, I do commend both parties for their geniality and their willingness to engage, something which Valve has built their reputation on from the very beginning.

Lastly, Rock, Paper, Shotgun make a great point in their latest coverage on the story:

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.

I second this notion! Don’t forget to take your sleeping bags, Gabe and Erik!