Watch Gnome Chompski get blasted into space today and Gabe Newell will donate to a children's hospital on your behalf

A few weeks ago Gabe Newell announced, as you do, that he was going to be partnering up with Rocket Labs to send a garden gnome into space for charity. This morning at 2:20am GMT in the UK (9.20pm EST on November 19) the gnome was launched.

The video above is timestamped to the start of the broadcast: if you want to go straight to the launch, skip to around 30 minutes in. If you want to see Chompski in space, go to 38:50.

On one level, the idea of Gaben chilling in New Zealand and deciding to amuse himself by creating the first CosmoGnome is just hilarious. Even Valve's more serious games have a great sense of humour, which of course is where all the Gnome Chompski stuff began, and it's funny to see the likes of Left 4 Dead 2 getting in on the action.

But there's also a scientific basis for this stunt, with Rocket Labs saying the mission "aims to test and qualify a novel 3D printing technique that could be employed for future spacecraft components."

And finally, there's the chance for everyone to spend some of Gabe Newell's money on a good cause. For every person who watches Gnome Chompski go into space within 24 hours of the launch, so before 9:20pm EST or 2:20am BST, Newell will donate one dollar to the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit at the Starship children's hospital Auckland, New Zealand. Newell has been staying in the country since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

So let's rinse him. He can afford it—the guy's worth an estimated 4 billion dollars—but the YouTube video has 'only' been viewed 200,000 times thus far. Give it a watch, feel good about yourself for the rest of the day, and let's make the G-man write a massive cheque.

Rich Stanton

Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."