Newell: "Strong Interest" from Some Valve Staff in NZ

In an interview with TVNZ News, Valve boss Gabe Newell discusses a variety of topics, including the possibility of holding an esports tournament in New Zealand, as well as the interest some Valve staff having in moving there as well, at least temporarily (thanks ResetEra). Gabe has been living in New Zealand after he was sort of stranded there by COVID-19 last March. He obviously enjoys the place, and he discusses the envy some Valve employees in Bellevue, Washington express about his situation. He has reservations, but does admit there's grassroots "strong interest" from Valve staff in lockdown to move there, at least until the pandemic is under control:
Newell revealed that there is "strong interest" from Valve employees to move to New Zealand, after last year saying there were no active plans to make that happen.

"We were actually just talking about that — I was literally having that conversation earlier," he said.

However, he doesn't want to jump the gun and confirm that any plans are in motion.

"You don't want to uproot a bunch of families, have them come here, and then the situation gets a bunch better and then they have to turn around and go back — so that's why getting a better handle on how long the epidemic is going to be affecting our operational decisions is important to that.

"But there's strong interest — after talking to these people who've literally been locked in their houses except to go out for groceries for the last nine months — and I'm like, 'Oh look, here I am at a motorsports race, or here I am at Starship, at the hospital talking to doctors or reviewing optic nerve damage from Covid-19 patients because of my interest in neuroscience,' and they're like, 'Yeah, I'm still at home — can we come to New Zealand now?'

"There's a lot of interest at a grass roots level inside of the company to have some people move."
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18.
 
Re: Newell:
Jan 20, 2021, 18:31
18.
Re: Newell: Jan 20, 2021, 18:31
Jan 20, 2021, 18:31
 
MoreLuckThanSkill wrote on Jan 20, 2021, 16:35:
Holy shit, what an awesome job Valve must be at this point: insane pay (probably), stock options (probably), interesting work, opportunity to get an easy pass to life in a non-insane country (New Zealand)... wow.

Can I interest you in a permanent trip to sunny Mordor? There's no pay or stock options, but the work is definitely... interesting.
Kittens!
Avatar 8692
17.
 
Re: Newell:
Jan 20, 2021, 18:26
17.
Re: Newell: Jan 20, 2021, 18:26
Jan 20, 2021, 18:26
 
MoreLuckThanSkill wrote on Jan 20, 2021, 18:01:
Well, I'm mostly screwed at this point for moving outside the US for my job, I'm tied down by seniority and retirement, etc. I'd also take a huge paycut outside the US. It's a pipe dream for me now, although I am considering going elsewhere after retirement. I am just hoping the USA avoids spiraling into a complete clusterfuck with antivaxxers and homegrown terrorist groups and other dystopian shit. I'm happy for you, and these eventual Valve New Zealander people though! Enjoy it!
Unless you have citizenship in another country you'd probably be better off trying to move while you are working. Residency rules in most places want you to have a job. While I haven't researched it deeply, a casual look at a couple of countries told me it would not be easy for me to move permanently as a retired person.
“Extinction is the rule. Survival is the exception.” -- Carl Sagan
16.
 
Re: Newell:
Jan 20, 2021, 18:21
16.
Re: Newell: Jan 20, 2021, 18:21
Jan 20, 2021, 18:21
 
jdreyer wrote on Jan 20, 2021, 17:55:
RedEye9 wrote on Jan 20, 2021, 14:32:
Hmmm
Temporarily move from a country where half of the inhabitants don’t believe in science and think the pandemic is a hoax.
Seems like a no brainer to me.
Back in April/May/June this made sense. Not sure it does today.
Maybe not for the islands but on the mainland a temp move to NZ would still be better than being in most of the USA including Bellevue, Washington.
- I refer to it as BC, Before Corona, and AD, After Disaster. -
Avatar 58135
15.
 
Re: Newell:
Jan 20, 2021, 18:01
15.
Re: Newell: Jan 20, 2021, 18:01
Jan 20, 2021, 18:01
 
ChaosEngine wrote on Jan 20, 2021, 17:48:
I packed up and moved to NZ 16 years ago. One of the best decisions I ever made.

My advice: don't worry about having the same job. The whole point of living in NZ is to shift your work-life balance in favour of life. You can get a similar job (but probably paid less), but you're no longer worried about chasing the rat race. If your car is 10 years old instead of new... who cares? You're driving it in the middle of nowhere surrounded by amazing scenery

Well, I'm mostly screwed at this point for moving outside the US for my job, I'm tied down by seniority and retirement, etc. I'd also take a huge paycut outside the US. It's a pipe dream for me now, although I am considering going elsewhere after retirement. I am just hoping the USA avoids spiraling into a complete clusterfuck with antivaxxers and homegrown terrorist groups and other dystopian shit. I'm happy for you, and these eventual Valve New Zealander people though! Enjoy it!

Avatar 54863
14.
 
Re: Newell:
Jan 20, 2021, 18:00
14.
Re: Newell: Jan 20, 2021, 18:00
Jan 20, 2021, 18:00
 
ChaosEngine wrote on Jan 20, 2021, 17:48:
MoreLuckThanSkill wrote on Jan 20, 2021, 16:35:
If your car is 10 years old instead of new... who cares? You're driving it in the middle of nowhere surrounded by amazing scenery

That's definitely true. Cars last a long time in NZ - no matter how old they are. When I was a teen in the late 80s, I was driving around in a 1969 Vauxhall Viva (my first car). Infact most of the cars I owned while living there were probably over at least a decade old.

jdreyer wrote on Jan 20, 2021, 17:53:
Also, Jacinda Ardern is better looking than Biden.

Also true
Avatar 59311
13.
 
Re: Newell:
Jan 20, 2021, 17:56
13.
Re: Newell: Jan 20, 2021, 17:56
Jan 20, 2021, 17:56
 
Mr. Tact wrote on Jan 20, 2021, 17:37:
Braden wrote on Jan 20, 2021, 17:30:
Move back? I haven't moved back and therein is the problem. Left NZ in the mid-90s and moved to England. Married an American who initially moved over to England but then got homesick later on. So we both moved to the US. Still stuck here today
Ah, bad assumption on my part. Following your partner instead of a job is either better or worse depending on who you talk to.

Well, I'll admit my job here in the US is certainly better than the one I had in England. Sure, it could pay more but I don't hate doing it. Which is always a plus in my books
Avatar 59311
12.
 
Re: Newell:
Jan 20, 2021, 17:55
12.
Re: Newell: Jan 20, 2021, 17:55
Jan 20, 2021, 17:55
 
RedEye9 wrote on Jan 20, 2021, 14:32:
Hmmm
Temporarily move from a country where half of the inhabitants don’t believe in science and think the pandemic is a hoax.
Seems like a no brainer to me.
Back in April/May/June this made sense. Not sure it does today.
COVID infections: 133M - - - COVID deaths: 3M - - - Death rate: 2%
Vaccines administered: 711M - - - Vaccine deaths: 7 - - - Death rate: 0.00000001%
Your choice is clear.
Avatar 22024
11.
 
Re: Newell:
Jan 20, 2021, 17:53
11.
Re: Newell: Jan 20, 2021, 17:53
Jan 20, 2021, 17:53
 
Braden wrote on Jan 20, 2021, 14:50:
RedEye9 wrote on Jan 20, 2021, 14:32:
Hmmm
Temporarily move from a country where half of the inhabitants don’t believe in science and think the pandemic is a hoax.
Seems like a no brainer to me.

I envy him since I did the reverse (except permanently). The last couple of years have made me miss NZ more then ever - not least because we seem to have our shit under control back there
Also, Jacinda Ardern is better looking than Biden.
COVID infections: 133M - - - COVID deaths: 3M - - - Death rate: 2%
Vaccines administered: 711M - - - Vaccine deaths: 7 - - - Death rate: 0.00000001%
Your choice is clear.
Avatar 22024
10.
 
Re: Newell:
Jan 20, 2021, 17:48
10.
Re: Newell: Jan 20, 2021, 17:48
Jan 20, 2021, 17:48
 
MoreLuckThanSkill wrote on Jan 20, 2021, 16:35:
Holy shit, what an awesome job Valve must be at this point: insane pay (probably), stock options (probably), interesting work, opportunity to get an easy pass to life in a non-insane country (New Zealand)... wow.

I'd love to be able to pick up and just move to New Zealand, and basically have the same job with the same company, as these Valve people are going to have.

I just hope whatever Valve ends up doing in NZ doesn't end up being a super spreader event.

I packed up and moved to NZ 16 years ago. One of the best decisions I ever made.

My advice: don't worry about having the same job. The whole point of living in NZ is to shift your work-life balance in favour of life. You can get a similar job (but probably paid less), but you're no longer worried about chasing the rat race. If your car is 10 years old instead of new... who cares? You're driving it in the middle of nowhere surrounded by amazing scenery
9.
 
Re: Newell:
Jan 20, 2021, 17:37
9.
Re: Newell: Jan 20, 2021, 17:37
Jan 20, 2021, 17:37
 
Braden wrote on Jan 20, 2021, 17:30:
Move back? I haven't moved back and therein is the problem. Left NZ in the mid-90s and moved to England. Married an American who initially moved over to England but then got homesick later on. So we both moved to the US. Still stuck here today
Ah, bad assumption on my part. Following your partner instead of a job is either better or worse depending on who you talk to.
“Extinction is the rule. Survival is the exception.” -- Carl Sagan
8.
 
Re: Newell:
Jan 20, 2021, 17:30
8.
Re: Newell: Jan 20, 2021, 17:30
Jan 20, 2021, 17:30
 
Mr. Tact wrote on Jan 20, 2021, 15:56:
Braden wrote on Jan 20, 2021, 14:50:
I envy him since I did the reverse (except permanently). The last couple of years have made me miss NZ more then ever - not least because we seem to have our shit under control back there
Feel free to not answer, but what caused you to move back? Following a job?

Move back? I haven't moved back and therein is the problem. Left NZ in the mid-90s and moved to England. Married an American who initially moved over to England but then got homesick later on. So we both moved to the US. Still stuck here today
Avatar 59311
7.
 
Re: Newell:
Jan 20, 2021, 17:13
7.
Re: Newell: Jan 20, 2021, 17:13
Jan 20, 2021, 17:13
 
eRe4s3r wrote on Jan 20, 2021, 15:39:
Dev wrote on Jan 20, 2021, 15:16:
I mean I can tell you, it will be at least a year until everything is settled out. In large part because it will take a bit to vaccinate but even when we vaccinate everyone who wants it by summer, there's still going to be like 40% of the population of US who won't do it, and we need 90% for herd immunity. So it will have to burn itself out.

BTW, we still haven't seen the full effects. Turns out that something like 10% of people hospitalized from covid die soon after they get better and are released because covid did a number on their organs and there's timebombs sitting internally.

Well, and then there is also a chance that the virus mutates to a different spike protein, making all vaccination and immunity null and void. Let's hope that it is just a fluke and not reality. The study has not been peer reviewed*

It's not as gloomy and doomy as it may seem. The BioNTech vaccine has already been proven to be effective against the British B.1.1.7 variant. And I just listened to a podcast yesterday with professor Christian Drosten (one of or possibly the Germany's highest ranking corona virus expert) who said that changing mRNA based vaccines (like the BioNTech or Moderna vaccines) would be a relatively trivial matter taking only four to six weeks plus whatever time it may take to receive new validation which could be considerably longer than the actual scientific adaptation process to a mutated variant of SARS CoV-2.
The current situation is that most mutations (minor mutations of the virus happen all the time) are totally harmless and are covered by current vaccines/immunity. Those very few spike protein mutations that may slip by certain vaccines or vaccine types should be easy to handle by vaccine adaptations especially if mRNA based vaccines are involved.
6.
 
Re: Newell:
Jan 20, 2021, 16:35
6.
Re: Newell: Jan 20, 2021, 16:35
Jan 20, 2021, 16:35
 
Holy shit, what an awesome job Valve must be at this point: insane pay (probably), stock options (probably), interesting work, opportunity to get an easy pass to life in a non-insane country (New Zealand)... wow.

I'd love to be able to pick up and just move to New Zealand, and basically have the same job with the same company, as these Valve people are going to have.

I just hope whatever Valve ends up doing in NZ doesn't end up being a super spreader event.
Avatar 54863
5.
 
Re: Newell:
Jan 20, 2021, 15:56
5.
Re: Newell: Jan 20, 2021, 15:56
Jan 20, 2021, 15:56
 
Braden wrote on Jan 20, 2021, 14:50:
I envy him since I did the reverse (except permanently). The last couple of years have made me miss NZ more then ever - not least because we seem to have our shit under control back there
Feel free to not answer, but what caused you to move back? Following a job?
“Extinction is the rule. Survival is the exception.” -- Carl Sagan
4.
 
Re: Newell:
Jan 20, 2021, 15:39
4.
Re: Newell: Jan 20, 2021, 15:39
Jan 20, 2021, 15:39
 
Dev wrote on Jan 20, 2021, 15:16:
I mean I can tell you, it will be at least a year until everything is settled out. In large part because it will take a bit to vaccinate but even when we vaccinate everyone who wants it by summer, there's still going to be like 40% of the population of US who won't do it, and we need 90% for herd immunity. So it will have to burn itself out.

BTW, we still haven't seen the full effects. Turns out that something like 10% of people hospitalized from covid die soon after they get better and are released because covid did a number on their organs and there's timebombs sitting internally.

Well, and then there is also a chance that the virus mutates to a different spike protein, making all vaccination and immunity null and void. Let's hope that it is just a fluke and not reality. The study has not been peer reviewed*
Avatar 54727
3.
 
Re: Newell:
Jan 20, 2021, 15:16
Dev
3.
Re: Newell: Jan 20, 2021, 15:16
Jan 20, 2021, 15:16
Dev
 
I mean I can tell you, it will be at least a year until everything is settled out. In large part because it will take a bit to vaccinate but even when we vaccinate everyone who wants it by summer, there's still going to be like 40% of the population of US who won't do it, and we need 90% for herd immunity. So it will have to burn itself out.

BTW, we still haven't seen the full effects. Turns out that something like 10% of people hospitalized from covid die soon after they get better and are released because covid did a number on their organs and there's timebombs sitting internally.

This comment was edited on Jan 20, 2021, 15:27.
2.
 
Re: Newell:
Jan 20, 2021, 14:50
2.
Re: Newell: Jan 20, 2021, 14:50
Jan 20, 2021, 14:50
 
RedEye9 wrote on Jan 20, 2021, 14:32:
Hmmm
Temporarily move from a country where half of the inhabitants don’t believe in science and think the pandemic is a hoax.
Seems like a no brainer to me.

I envy him since I did the reverse (except permanently). The last couple of years have made me miss NZ more then ever - not least because we seem to have our shit under control back there
Avatar 59311
1.
 
Re: Newell:
Jan 20, 2021, 14:32
1.
Re: Newell: Jan 20, 2021, 14:32
Jan 20, 2021, 14:32
 
Hmmm
Temporarily move from a country where half of the inhabitants don’t believe in science and think the pandemic is a hoax.
Seems like a no brainer to me.
- I refer to it as BC, Before Corona, and AD, After Disaster. -
Avatar 58135
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