IN A NUTSHELL:
- Gabe Newell is going to send a replica of Chompski garden gnome from Half-Life 2: Episode Two into space;
- The event is dedicated to charity - for every person watching the stream live or within 24 hours of the rocket launch, Newell will give a dollar to an Auckland hospital;
- Weta Workshop and Rocket Lab are involved;
- Gabe Newell has been in New Zealand since the beginning of the pandemic.
Gabe Newell, the head of Valve Corporation, known for the Steam digital distribution platform, decided to organize an unusual charity. He intends to send a statue of a garden gnome - a replica of the famous Chompski from Half-Life 2: Episode Two into space (via PC Gamer). For every person who watches a live broadcast of this event or in the first 24 hours, Newell will give a dollar to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit of Starship Hospital in Auckland, New Zealand.
Garden gnome known as Chompski appeared in Half-Life 2: Episode Two. If the player decided to take the gnome with him and drag him to the very end of the game (don't ask why) and then send him into space, he received a special achievement called "Little Rocket Man". Later, Chompski also appeared in the Dark Carnival campaign in Left 4 Dead 2.
The dwarf will be made of titanium, using modern 3D printing technology developed by Weta Workshop. In turn, Rocket Lab will be responsible for the launch; the company executes various contracts for the U.S. Army and sends satellites for commercial entities into orbit. Chompski will be part of such a mission. Unfortunately, his chances of survival are rather slim - the rocket was designed to burn down completely on re-entry after the mission is completed (it remains to be hoped that no one will get hit by a titanium garden gnome in their head...).
"The mission serves as an homage to the innovation and creativity of gamers worldwide, and also aims to test and qualify a novel 3D printing technique that could be employed for future spacecraft components," said Rocket Lab representatives.
Gabe Newell's involvement in the venture is no coincidence - Steam's boss has been in New Zealand since the beginning of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus pandemic (he came to the country to visit friends associated with Weta Workshop and Rocket Lab). The city of Auckland became his temporary home.
The exact date of the rocket's launch is not known, but it will take place within two weeks from November 16. More information about the event can be found on the Rocket Lab website (there will also be a stream) and the company's social media channels, where all important updates are to be published.
- Half-Life 2: Episode Two - game guide
- Valve Corporation - official website
- Weta Workshop - official website
- Rocket Lab - official website