Yesterday at 8:44 PM EST (2:44 PM NZT), a 3D-printed replica of Left 4 Dead’s Gnome Chompski was launched into space on the back of Rocket Lab’s Electron commercial rocket. It will now remain in space in perpetuity, or until something smashes into it and disturbs its orbit, sending it either careening back into Earth’s atmosphere or into the inky black depths of space.
To commemorate this momentous occasion, Valve has updated both Half-Life 2 and Left 4 Dead 2 with a brand new achievement. “If you are reading this achievement,” reads the new ‘Gnome Alone achievement, “Gabe Newell has successfully launched Gnome Chompski into space. If you did not also receive the achievement ‘Manufacturing Ascent,’ Newell has abandoned his plans to shoot Noam Chomsky into space.”
For those unaware, Noam Chomsky is an American linguist, philosopher, and polarizing political figure. Gnome Chompski, on the other hand, is an adorable garden gnome that first appeared in Half-Life 2, although he wouldn’t be given his full name until appearing in Left 4 Dead 2. Chompski would also feature heavily in several achievements available in Left 4 Dead, including one which involves carrying the gnome around like a newborn child all the way to the extraction zone.
Chompski’s successful launch is more than just Gabe Newell entering the exclusive club of rich people shooting things into space for fun. For everyone who watches the launch within the next 12 hours, Gaben will donate $1 to Starship Children’s Hospital, a pediatric hospital in New Zealand.
Gabe has been having a blast in New Zealand ever since the coronavirus pandemic turned most other countries into disease-ravaged apocalypse zones, and he’s been showing his appreciation in a number of different ways, not the least of which being charitable donations and firing garden gnomes into space.
Watch the launch video above and know that you’re not just watching history, but you’re also making Gabe Newell donate money to a children’s hospital. And don’t forget to unlock that achievement in Left 4 Dead 2 either.
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