Whether it’s commenting on the state of an operating system or appointing an economist to look at hats, Valve often makes the news outside of just gaming circles. Increasingly it seems as well that coverage of the company’s minor actions merits space on the front pages of newspapers worldwide, as they become the arbiters of what is and is not cool in the world. This makes today’s announcement, that several major players in the global news market have teamed up to offer a 24 hour TV news channel dedicated solely to whatever it is Gabe Newell is doing, not all that unreasonable.
The venture, a joint effort between CNN, BBC, Russia Today, CCTV and Al-Jazeera will launch next month, and will feature in-depth coverage of whatever it is that Valve in general or Gabe Newell in particular have expressed an opinion on. We caught up with Mark Thompson, Director-General of the BBC, to ask him exactly what about Valve merits a 24-hour news cycle.
“To be honest”, he told us, “it’s just so we can get it off our regular news channels. Have you actually watched the BBC News Channel lately? It’s about 90% ‘what Valve are doing today’. Like yesterday, Gabe went to Starbucks and was overheard claiming that his coffee was a little cold. Naturally this merited a six-hour piece in which we relentlessly state that he had “lambasted” the “cold-hearted” corporation. Their share value plummeted, but it’s what people want! There are wars on, and people want to read what Gabe Newell thinks about his coffee! There are wars on, people are dying. By shifting all the Valve coverage to VNN we’ll be able to get back to the important stuff, like missing cats in Southend.”
Newell himself (who is of course the sole employee at Valve whose opinion matters to the global media) has stated that he’s “cautiously optimistic” about the move, which promptly caused scenes of jubilation across the world’s media outlets, with the top story everywhere being that he had given them his complete and unequivocal blessing.