A modder’s drive to raise the money needed to fly Valve’s Gabe Newell and Erik Johnson to Australia has succeeded – with flying colours.In response to Valve recently flying out boycotters to look at Left 4 Dead 2, Joe W-A of Brisbane emailed Gabe Newell – with whom he had previously corresponded – to ask why he hadn’t been invited, pointing out that Valve needs to look at his Left 4 Dead 1 campaign. Newell responded that Valve was boycotting his campaign; when Joe asked if this meant he had to fly Newell out to Australia instead, Newell responded once more: “Me and Erik.”Tongue-in-cheek though this may have been, this sparked off the Fly Gabe Newell fundraiser, which has managed to raise over $3000 USD over the last few days. The majority has been in small donations from amused netizens, although one donation of $100 USD was made by Valve’s Robin Walker, stating: “This is Robin Walker, from Valve. The rest of us at Valve would sure appreciate a couple of days without Erik around, so thanks for organising this! Quick question though: if I donated more, would you buy a one-way ticket for him?”Joe W-A had already stated that, should Valve take back what they’d said, the money would be donated to the Child’s Play charity, but it looks. At around the $2,900 USD mark – a few hundred over the required airfare – an email was duly sent off to Newell and Johnson, asking for details on what was going to happen. Their response follows:”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 neighbour of yours.”Whether or not Newell and Johnson will actually use the raised money to fly out, or whether that money will be donated to Child’s Play and they’ll fly out on Valve’s money, is unclear. One way or another, it looks like Child’s Play will see some of the cash.Well done, internet. Very well done.

Paul Younger
Founder and Editor of PC Invasion. Founder of the world's first gaming cafe and Veteran PC gamer of over 22 years.

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