Gabe Newell on ‘Productivity, Economics, Political Institutions and the Future of Corporations': 30th January, University of Texas at Austin

In recent months, as some of you know, I have been working with Gabe Newell (of Valve Corporation) exploring the social economies that have spontaneously emerged within the vast and intriguing communities of video game players. Convinced that students of economics, politics and public policy in general have a great deal to learn from this weird and wonderful universe, I took the initiative of suggesting to the LBJ Graduate School of Public Affairs that they invite Gabe Newell to give a talk on these matters from his perspective. The result is the following invitation to whomever happens to be in the Austin area this coming Wednesday. See you there, if you will…

On Productivity, Economics, Political Institutions and the Future of Corporations: Reflections of a Video Game Maker

  • Speaker:  Gabe Newell, President of Valve Corporation
  • When: 12.15, Wednesday 30th January 2013
  • Where: SRH Room 3.124, LBJ Graduate School of Public Affairs, University of Texas, Austin (Click here for map)

Gabe Newell Austin Talk Flyer

A few words on Gabe, Valve and his forthcoming talk: Gabe Newell worked for many years at Microsoft as a leading designer of the first three releases of Windows. In 1996 he left Microsoft to found, with Mike Harrington, Valve Corporation – a video game company which has proved immensely successful and whose anarcho-syndicalist structure poses interesting questions about the possible future of corporations. Valve’s trading platform, Steam, has evolved into a major electronic market, with 55 million active customers spread all over the planet. In this talk, Gabe will relate his experience of how the passage from standard video game manufacture to creating online communities of gamers changed his views on the meaning of productivity, shaped his understanding of interconnected economies, impressed upon him the need for new international governance institutions, and led him seriously to question the proposition that future corporations will resemble the corporations of today.

29 thoughts on “Gabe Newell on ‘Productivity, Economics, Political Institutions and the Future of Corporations': 30th January, University of Texas at Austin

  1. Pingback: Reflections on Gabe Newell’s Video Game Maker Talk | ALIEN FICTION

  2. I hope the PC gaming platform remains viable because hardware-wise it’s leaps and bounds above consoles. Sun Man, fortunately my derriere isn’t fat. I have over 55+ games on Steam, typically having cost $60 apiece. If Gabe Newell brought gaming back from the brink it’s because of profits earned from consumers. I thank you for your reply and wish you much continued gaming joy.

  3. You may have noticed, word of this talk is spreading. How many seats are actually available in 3.124? Are you really prepared for, “whomever happens to be in the Austin area”?

  4. Pardon me, my fellow gamers, but why do you beg for a video of Gabe Newell? If he’s not talking about H-L2, episode 3, I don’t care what he has to say. Because of him we can only play modern games if we have an internet connection. I don’t disparage the gaming industry protecting itself from piracy, but couldn’t there been other means than requiring us to have internet? I’m not an online gamer because bunny-hopping all over the same map, shooting and being shot at, gets boring for me. Paying $60 for a game on DVD is plenty. I’ve done more for Gabe Newell than he’s done for me. And so have you.

    • [quote] I’ve done more for Gabe Newell than he’s done for me. [/quote]
      0/10
      He brought gaming back from the brink – all you’ve ever done is sit on your fat ass and complain that you gotta pay for an internet connection

    • So why are you here posting an opinion on it if you don’t care? I personally want to know what the man thinks considering how successful he’s been getting a company up and running to where it is today rather than listen to someone who has done nothing but complain.

    • Someone hasn’t heard of steam’s offline system, at least try to make sure you don’t spout things that are factually false.

  5. I — and the rest of the gaming world who are huge fans of Gabe and Valve — would also very much love to see a video of this lecture!

    Especially if it involves a discussion of the role that hats play in the economy of Team Fortress 2!

  6. The institutions of the future – whether States or Corporations – will not be ‘organisations’: they will simply be framework agreements (and networks of sub-agreements within that framework) to a consensually agreed common purpose.

    My work at UCL is in this space, from a background of 25 years’ experience of markets and finance including six years as a director of a global energy exchange.

    We can’t solve 21st century problems with 20th century solutions. The irony is that they lie in updating solutions – such as ‘prepay’ instruments – that pre-date the modern banking system by hundreds, if not thousands of years.

    • Immanuel Wallerstein had an interesting comment I heard recently off a youtube video- saying how today’s capitalists are basically for lack of a better word, finding and discovering in a rather fragmented way that capitalism no longer works for them. Wallerstein is too old to be an innovator, and he’ll admit this, but hes the first one to realize and exhibit to us that the game is over from the traditional capitalist framework.

  7. The institutions of the future – whether States or Corporations – will not be ‘organisations': they will simply be framework agreements (and networks of sub-agreements within that framework) to a consensually agreed common purpose.

    My work at UCL is in this space.

    We can’t solve 21st century problems with 20th century solutions. The irony is that they lie in updating solutions – such as ‘prepay’ instruments – that pre-date the modern banking system by hundreds, if not thousands of years.

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