For many people, touring a video game studio is like taking a trip to nerd heaven. Valve let the winners of its 2013 Saxxy Awards film contest peek behind the curtain in this way. The resulting photo gallery that was recently posted online makes the place look about as whacky as you'd expect the company that's made games like Half Life, Team Fortress, and Portal to be.
Things begin to look very Valve the moment they call the elevator:
The tour starts out normally enough, with the contest winners assembling at the office's entrance:
They're pretty happy, to say the least.
There are lots of valves—literal valves—scattered around the office:
And, of course, there are plenty of tchotchkes that'd probably fetch a good price on eBay:
Other things start to seem a little...odd.
I mean, do you need to have everything up to and including your trash cans themed after one of your video games??
Why does Valve have an emergency eye wash station like the ones from my sophomore chemistry class? I know they're always experimenting with weird stuff. But how many of those involve acid baths?
Do all the artists have to audition by painting lovingly crafted portraits of Gabe Newell?
Why is the gym the one room that looks like nobody has ever been in?
What is this rack of guns for and how do you get anything done when they're are just sitting there begging you to play with them?
Can I have one?