The Rise of Gabe Newell

By Shamus Posted Sunday Mar 27, 2011

Filed under: Movies 103 comments

Here is Gabe Newell, co-founder and managing director of Valve Corporation:

Link (YouTube)

Now here he is, as we’ve never seen him before:

Link (YouTube)

Seeing Gabe Newell shoot tons of dudes makes me giggle.

The character builder in Saint’s Row 2 (my review begins here) is phenomenal. Seeing this made me want to play through the game as Gabe. But someone already did that. Who else would be a good choice? You need people with a really distinctive visual look. Sure, you could play as Ben Afflek or Brittany Spears, but they’re not really iconic in the broad sense of having distinct outfits or silhouettes. Their faces are recognizable, but faces are hard to get right. You also want to make people who don’t make sense in the game world. It’s easy to make Bruce Lee (black pants and shoes, white socks, no shirt, begin game) but it’s not all that funny to see Bruce Lee kicking tons of ass. He’s Bruce “Hwaaaaah!” Lee, for crying out loud.

I might suggest:

  1. Yahtzee
  2. John Romero
  3. Current-day William Shatner. (Although it just wouldn’t feel right without the Shatner voice.)
  4. Mary Jo Pehl as Pearl Forrester.
  5. Lady Gaga seems like an obvious choice, but most of her look comes from her crazy outfits, which you wouldn’t be able to do in the game. The dress-up system has a ton of variety, but you can’t make an outfit from cookware, dead frogs, and sparklers, or whatever she’s wearing today.
  6. Bill Nye.
  7. The little girl from Lazytown.
  8. Teddy Roosevelt or Abe Lincoln

Further suggestions?


From The Archives:

103 thoughts on “The Rise of Gabe Newell

  1. Gahazakul says:

    This was always my favorite Saint’s Row 2 video thanks to the great character creator.

    1. Someone says:

      Tweak the face a bit and you’ll have Johny Bravo!

  2. Kale says:

    Are we sticking to the realm of existing people or is someone like Guybrush Threepwood an option?

    Ooh, the actor that played John Hammond, or perhaps Colonel Sanders while my mind is on old men in white outfits.

    1. Someone says:

      Larry Laffer. Or Lovage. Or whichever one is the old Larry.

  3. Lovecrafter says:

    I know it’s obvious, but still:

    1. Shamus Young
    2. Josh
    3. Rutskarn
    4. Mumbles
    EDIT: Forgot about Reginald Cuftbert. And Regina Cuftbert.

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Mumbles is not no good for the same reason bruce lee is no good.

      1. Hitch says:

        Lack of shirt?

        1. Daemian Lucifer says:

          Umm…I wouldnt mind seeing Mumbles topless.

          I was actually talking about Mumbles hitting people being nothing out of character for her,which was the point of the video above.

    2. Jjkaybomb says:

      Yes to any of those!
      Though I think trying to remake Regina Cuftbert in her bright yellow space suit might be fun. Never seen the Saint’s Row costume editor, is there something close?

      Reginald actually might be the easier one to make… even though his outfit is that much more ludicrous.

    3. Tizzy says:

      Yes, it was obvious, but it needed to be said, so thanks for saying it. Though I guess Mumbles does not need this to get respected (feared) around here.

      1. Lovecrafter says:

        Stating the obvious. A heavy risk, but the priiize.

  4. Christopher M says:

    River Tam.

    That is all.

    1. Bobby Archer says:

      For my money: Simon Tam. Much funnier.

      1. Tizzy says:

        Shepherd Book? We *know* he can kick ass after all, but we never really saw it much…

        1. RTBones says:

          Actually, that’s not a bad idea. Of course, it does help that I saw the episode of Firefly last night where they deliver cows and Book ends up needing to go to an Alliance hospital.

          Big damn heroes. Awesome.

          Wash would be funny, different reasons.

    2. Justin says:

      I actually found a set of instructions on gamefaqs for making a character that looked like Summer Glau. The whole Regenerating Health thing in game makes much more sense when you’re playing as a Terminator.

  5. What about Abbott or Costello? Ooh, or both if you’re playing co-op with a friend!

    1. Irridium says:

      I demand that the next Spoiler Warning be Saints Row 2, and 2 of the crew are playing.

      1. Blanko2 says:

        have you ever played it on PC?
        its so so so sooo badly ported.

        1. Jeremy says:

          Well why don’t you just play it on a console? :p

          1. Aldowyn says:

            Because that makes their horrible tech issues even more horrible, I believe

          2. Blanko2 says:

            don’t own one, but i meant for them, can’t be a console game

        2. Kojiro says:

          I actually had almost no problems playing it on my PC; I think that, as long as you have one that’s decent enough, it can handle the rather mediocre porting.

          1. Veloxyll says:

            Agreed. it’s got a few issues (I can’t turn off reflective water, REALLY) but besides that it’s quite playable

            1. Blanko2 says:

              doesnt run well at all on mine, what CPU do you guys have?
              pretty sure its not my GPU thats messing it up

    2. Klay F. says:

      I call your Abbott and Costello and raise you Charlie Chaplin.

      EDIT: Or Bela Lugosi.

  6. scragar says:

    What about a character from another game? I’d love to see someone like Kratos running around if the editor allows it.

  7. Someone says:

    1. Jack Thompson. Naked. Bonus points for sending him some violent screenshots and a link to that Gabe video (seeing how he’s “regulating” Valve now).

    2. Robert Kotick
    3. Santa Claus
    4. Batman (Just for Mumbles)
    5. Obama
    6. Elmer Fudd
    7. Angry Video Game Nerd
    8. Nostalgia Critic
    9. The Scout
    10. Carl Sagan
    11. Charlie Brooker
    12. John Romero (bonus points for completing the whole game with a katana)
    13. Chuck Norris (bonus points for completing the whole game with fists)
    14. Joker (The one from Normandy)
    15. Dr. Evil
    16. Mario
    17. The Soup Nazi
    18. Mister Miyagi
    19. Vladimir Putin
    20. Old Spice Guy

    … you can play this game all day!

    1. Sucal says:

      1) Ah yes, playing as the laxative of gaming, what an excellent idea. Better be careful though, he might try and sue you, then file gay porn to prove that all gamers are perverts

  8. Max says:

    1. Weird Al Yankovic
    2. Captain Crunch
    3. Colonel Sanders
    4. Patrick Stewart
    5. Harrison Ford
    6. Bob Barker
    7. Gene Simmons
    8. Sephiroth if possible, but probably without the wing.
    9. Niko Bellic

  9. Irridium says:

    Gordon Freeman
    Alfred(Batman’s Butler)
    Jade(from Beyond Good and Evil)
    Christopher Walken
    Bruce Willis
    Abraham Lincoln
    Nikola Tesla
    Ash Ketchum
    Vault Boy
    Ugly Shepard
    Adam Sandler
    Ace Ventura: Pet Detective
    Doc(Back to the Future)
    Peter Moleneux
    Serious Sam
    Duke Nukem
    Rick Astley

    And yeah, those are what I suggest.

    1. Oh my God, watching Doc Brown kicking gang ass would be EPIC.

  10. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Weird how no one said bill gates yet.

    1. SeekerOfThePath says:

      Tss, tss, tss. The obvious choice here is Richard Stallman. With two katanas.

      1. Scott (Duneyrr) says:

        I second this. He is the Chuck Norris of computer science.

    2. MrPyro says:

      Steve Ballmer. Does Saint’s Row allow you to use chairs as weapons?

      1. Simon Buchan says:

        “But boss, Ultor owns all the property from the river to the west end – how are we going to muscle our way into the market?”
        “Developers! Developers, Developers, Developers! DEVELOPERS! Developers, Developers, Developers! DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! YES!”

    3. Mari says:

      I would sell a child to see Linus Torvalds on a murderous pixelated rampage.

  11. Blanko2 says:

    that is all

  12. Jennifer Snow says:

    Martin Luther King
    Malcolm X
    Huckleberry Finn
    Mark Twain
    Colonel Sanders
    Tyra Banks
    Oprah Winfrey
    J. Alexander
    Eddie Izzard

  13. Z-Ri says:

    It would be fun to try this with Steve Jobs. I think he has just unique enough a look that you could pull of an instantly recognizable avatar like the video above does.

    1. Garden Ninja says:

      Introducing Apples new product: iAmKickingYourAss

      1. Will says:

        They already have the iAmTakingAllYourMoney so that is a logical extension of the product line.

  14. Cody211282 says:

    Well this explains why Half-Life 2 Episode 3 hasn’t some out yet.

  15. ? says:

    Doctor Horrible or Albert Einstein!

    1. Dev Null says:

      Totally Einstein. Always wanted to watch old Al kick some heads.

      If you’re going to go Dr. Horrible, I’d go with Captain Hammer.

  16. wildweasel says:

    I once made Faith from Mirror’s Edge (she’s much more fun once you unlock the Infinite Sprint from insurance fraud missions and the Ronin fighting style), and you can also make a reasonably convincing Dr. Kleiner. I knew someone who made The Crow, Nathan Drake, and a scarily accurate rendition of “Weird Al” Yankovic.

  17. Marcus says:

    Any one of the Doctors from Doctor Who.

    1. Jjkaybomb says:

      Bwahahahaha! David Tennent in his nerd glasses and suit gunning down punks. oh god… its actually quite the frightening thought o_o

  18. Irridium says:

    New idea.

    The Mythbusters

    1. Noble Bear says:

      Yes. This must happen.

    2. Wesley Noble says:

      Imagine if they done this as spoiler warning two player so you could have adam and jamie :D

    3. Jexter says:

      A bit late to discussion, but I just did a playthrough with Jamie Hyneman. It really is hilarious seeing Jamie shoot tons of dudes. The likeness isn’t perfect- the customization actually doesn’t allow for his degree of mustache- but it’s good enough to be instantly recognizable. I think I might try making a similar video.

  19. Jethro says:

    Sarah Palin.

    That is all.

    1. Noumenon says:

      For Sarah Palin, follow the directions here. Ignore the screenshot, it actually does look like her in the game and is fun to play. And, consider all the tweaks I offer in the first two comments.

    2. Noble Bear says:


  20. NonEuclideanCat says:

    Ridiculously inappropriate characters for Saint’s Row 2, you say? Like this:

    Warning, may cause urgent and severe need for Brain Bleach.

  21. Tse says:

    What about Jay or Silent Bob?

    1. RTBones says:

      Abe Vigoda

  22. Gandhi.

    Or… Dr. Horrible. I don’t know.

    1. acronix says:

      Considering what Gandhi ends up doing on every Civilization installment, I`d say we should rule him out for the same reason we rule out Bruce Lee.

    2. Halfling says:

      Everything is better with NPH.

  23. Vextra says:

    Jimmy Carter
    Franklin Delano Roosevelt
    Thomas Jefferson

    Also, on the other side of the pond:
    Winston Churchill
    Neville Chamberlain
    Benjamin Disraeli(dat pointed beard)

    Other reasonably badass political figures:
    Lukashenko(president of Belarus)
    VI Lenin
    Georges Clemeanceau
    Nelson Mandela

    Hell, if you have time and wiki, you can find alot of visually distinctive people from history.

  24. Bit says:

    Jim Carry, anyone?

    1. Big Tiki says:

      Harry Carey!

      I’d kick your ass for a tasty hot dog! Hey heeeeey!

  25. Falling says:

    Hm, Chris Farley and David Spade?

    Hillary Clinton?

    Any of the ladies from The View?

    Or for that matter, how about some media figures? Bill O’Reilly, Anderson Cooper, Jon Stewart, etc.

  26. ccesarano says:

    I wonder if Yahtzee just one day found there was a Wikipedia entry of him one day and part of his brain blew open. I mean, what do you do when you’re just some kind of Internet celebrity and someone bothers to take the time to organize such a thing? Encyclopedia Dramatica is one thing, but actual Wikipedia?

    It doesn’t help my self-esteem that he and MovieBob aren’t much older than me, and while they’re doing all kinds of awesome crap with their lives I’m stuck in a cubicle farm wondering how the Heck I’m going to boost readership of my blog outside of my circle of friends.

    Bah humbug and all that.

    Meanwhile, I shall see what sort of information pops up when I Google “Shamus Young”.

  27. Carmel J. says:

    I cannot believe I get to say this one(!):

    Mr. Rogers. Mr. Freakin’ Rogers, winner of the Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny, cardigan and all. Someone MUST do this.

    Barring that, hmmmm… would a Grim Reaper be possible? I second the Betty White, too, though I was thinking Miss Marple myself. (What? You didn’t read Agatha Christie’s books? Ok, think Little Old British Lady Detective who sits and knits. And give her automatic weapons. muahahahahaha…. just make sure her gloves match her shoes, ok?)

    1. Tizzy says:

      Mr. Rogers seconded; my favorite suggestion so far.

    2. Maryam says:

      This suggestion makes me a little sad, as did seeing him in the Ultimate Showdown. Fred Rogers was very opposed to violence in the media, and he was such a good and gentle man that I think it’s worth respecting his memory in this regard.

  28. Ninjariffic says:

    Charlie Brown
    Pee Wee Herman
    Ernest P. Worrel
    Bruce Cockburn
    Simon Pegg
    Harry Potter

    1. Mari says:

      Would that be Ozzy Nelson or Osbourne? Personally, I’m hoping you meant Nelson because that would be HI-larious!

      1. Ninjariffic says:

        I meant Osbourne, but you’re right. Nelson would be ridonculous.

  29. X2-Eliah says:

    Myeah, the cc is quite versatile in SR2. Such a shame the actual game handles like a hyperactive pig.

  30. dovius says:

    I’m voting for George Carlin, nothing better than gunning down punks as a self-admitted old f*ck.

  31. Vect says:

    Gabe Newell: Bonafied OG

    Well, Yahtzee makes sense since he loves the game for it’s utter silliness. I also recall his story about visiting Valve, where Gabe took him to a shooting range. Figures.

    I know that a group of LPers called the Freelance Astronauts made a character called “Dongs” REO Speedwagon (sorta their version of Reginald Cuftbert but replace Chaotic Stupidity with As Ugly As Character Editor Can Go) that has to be seen to be believed (same said with Dongs Shepard) only to scratch it out of abject horror and create Link instead.

  32. Dan says:

    How about Jonathan “Gabe” Gabriel or Tycho Brahe.

    Or even their real-world counterparts Mike Krahulik or Jerry Holkins

  33. Zaxares says:

    … The really scary thing is that for some reason, I could TOTALLY see Gabe Newell doing all of those things. O.o He just has the “really sweet, affable guy who’s secretly hiding a TON of pent-up rage and unresolved issues that’s just waiting to snap and go on a rampage” look in that first video.

  34. Noble Bear says:

    Bill Murray

    Gandhi II


    Bill (L4D)

    Mr Bean (Rowin Atkinson)

    1. Wolfwood says:

      Gandhi <<< definitely Gandhi! as it would be the largest dichotomy ever to see a pacifist played in Saints. XD

      1. Vect says:

        Oh god, it’s Civilization all over again.

  35. dovius says:

    Also, am I the only one who imagined that Dane Vogel was Jack Thompson for a second?

  36. Steve C says:

    “black pants and shores” = “black pants and shoes

  37. RTBones says:

    Hmm…well, here’s a few:

    1: Basil Fawlty
    2: Rimmer (from Red Dwarf)
    3: Joey Tribiani
    4: Larry (from the Leisure Suit Larry games)
    5: Lara Croft
    6: Stephen Hawking
    7: Marcus Brodey (of Indiana Jones fame)
    8: Hugh Hefner
    9: Dana Carvey as the Church Lady of SNL fame
    10: Charlie Sheen

    1. lazlo says:

      I was going to say Hawking myself, but not sure if the character creator could handle the crime-fighting robotic exoskeleton.

    2. Mari says:

      Forget Rimmer. It would be way cooler to see Cat running wild!

  38. Torsten says:

    Prince Charles

    Vladimir Putin

    Che Guevara

    Henry Kissinger

    For some readon many political figures seem to have rather distinctive looks.

    1. DanMan says:

      The Vladimir reference made me think of another historic Russian: Grigori Rasputin

    2. Mari says:

      Don’t forget Gorbachev. Of course, he’s only distinctive with his prominent port wine stain, which I’m not sure you could manage in SR2’s character creator.

  39. Hitch says:

    Dick Van Dyke. perhaps too old for most people around here. Very thin, long distinctive face, and almost always the nicest guy in anything he was in.

    1. Mari says:

      Dick Van Dyke isn’t too old for anybody. OK, maybe if you count his three self-titled TV shows but there’s not a kid anywhere (or if there is, I don’t want to know about it) who hasn’t seen him in “Mary Poppins” or “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.”

  40. Patrick the Wildly Apathetic says:

    I’d vote for the entire cast of the Golden Girls.

  41. Mari says:

    You can’t do Gaga-esque weird stuff with the clothes but my husband played the entire game as a 13-year-old cat girl. Rethink that helicopter ride with a pre-pubescent cat girl (well, she was short adult height but no extra curves or protuberances)saying “This is our city. We can do whatever the *^$# we want.” It’s creepy. Really, really creepy. Possibly even creepier than Something Positive’s entire Cat Girl Con story arc which I can’t be fussed to link because I hate Randy’s archive system.

  42. Kdansky says:

    I cannot believe that Gary Gygax wasn’t mentioned yet!

  43. Deadpool says:

    Pro Tip: Saints Row II cutscene are a whopping 78% funnier when your main character is female. None of the motion capture is changed in any way, shape, or form. She sits with her legs wide open, and wrestles an 8 foot, 500 lbs of muscle man to death. So find yourself the tiniest, most petite woman you can think of, stick her in a dress, and watch the hillarity unfold.

    Plus, her singing along to the 80s radio station is awesome…

  44. SteveDJ says:

    Scanned rather quickly, so might have missed it…

    Did nobody suggest any of the Doctor Who doctors? Especially #4 (Tom Baker) with his iconic scarf!

  45. chabuhi says:

    Wow – cool! I don’t remember the character editor being that versatile. Then again, it’s been awhile since I’ve played SR2 … and, dammit, this makes me want to load it up again.

    As my 5-year-old might say, “Curse you, Aqua-Shamus!!”

  46. Cain says:

    I made Raul Duke from “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,” I only wish there had been an appropriate voice.

  47. Patrick the Eternally Caucasian says:

    …but a bitch ain’t one

  48. Milo says:

    I played through this whole game in co-op with a friend of mine, and we went through a whole slew of characters along the way. I’d say the best duo we put together was Walter and the Dude from The Big Lebowski. Seeing them riding tandem on a motorcycle while Walter shoots a pistol over his shoulder is just crazy enough to be plausible.

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