Valve's co-founder, Gabe "Gaben" Newell, hasn't been in the US for quite some time. Instead, the billionaire is a "COVID Refugee" in New Zealand, but unlike other filthy-rich people, his stay in New Zealand wasn't planned. To thank the country, GabeN and a couple of friends are helping to organize a free concert to thank the country.
GabeN: The COVID refugee in New Zealand
In a morning TV show, called the TVNZ1's Breakfast, it was revealed how Gabe "GabeN" Newell came to be a COVID refugee. After the release of Half-Life: Alyx, GabeN took a 10-day break to New Zealand with his friends.
His friends who came along on the trip are Spanish racecar driver Alex Riberas, and his partner, Teagan Klein. Yes, that's three travellers...
On the TVNZ1's Breakfast show, Teagan Klein explained how their break was extended way past 10 days: "Then the pandemic broke out globally [and] we had 48 hours to decide before New Zealand closed their border, and we decided to stay."
On the show, Gabe "GabeN" Newell spoke about the decision to stay in New Zealand: "We've continued to connect with more people and discover more things about New Zealand, and that's made it very easy.
"The hardest part by far is being worried about friends and family who aren't in New Zealand. When I talk to people back in Seattle, it's a very strange time. It's very challenging. They're very isolated."
When asked why he loves New Zealand, GabeN replied: "For me, it's very much about the community spirit, the sense that everyone can come together and solve this super-challenging problem and be welcoming to us as, essentially, COVID refugees.
"There's a natural beauty, the fun stuff you can do, but it's the people that have really made our lives different."
To thank the country, Gabe Newell, as well as his friends, and others, are throwing a free concert called "We Love Aotearoa". This concert will take place on 15th August in Auckland, and will feature live music, food trucks, VR stands and more.
Maybe, just maybe, GabeN can get over his fear for the number "3" in New Zealand...