Looks like Gabe Newell’s heading down under. The Australian modder whose Left 4 Dead campaign Newell is boycotting has raised a whopping $3000 to fly Newell and Valve staff to Brisbane to try out the mod for themselves.

The internet is an undeniably powerful thing. It has the power to change the way we communicate and connect. It has the power to incite revolutions, reshape the face of the world. And it has the power to move Gabe Newell across hemispheres.

Among the many things that came out of Newell and Valve’s clever plan to fly Left 4 Dead 2 boycotters out to Valve’s offices to see the game for themselves, perhaps the most extraordinary one was the grassroots campaign by modder Joe W-A to fly Gabe himself all the way to Brisbane, Australia. Joe, something of an acquaintance of Newell’s, wrote to Newell expressing how upset he was that he wasn’t flown out to see L4D2 and show Valve his custom campaign, to which Newell jokingly responded that he’s boycotting the mod.

Well Joe W-A wasn’t going to accept that. He started a Paypal fund to fly Newell and Erik Johnson to Brisbane, Australia so that they could see Joe’s campaign and end their own boycott. In “not-even-three-days,” he had raised $3000. The rate at which the money piled up is fairly astounding. When I talked to Joe last Friday he had raised some $1,653 and by two days later that amount had pretty much doubled.

“The English language lacks the words to express the level of excitement that Erik and I feel that you and your friends have pulled this off,” Newell wrote to Joe. “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.”

So yes. It’s actually happening. Gabe Newell is flying to Australia to check out a Left 4 Dead mod. And it’s all thanks to the power of the internet.

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