Alexei is, presumably, your average Russian Half-Life fan. When he saw Chandana’s tweet, he decided that e-mailing Marc Laidlaw, the writer behind the Half-Life series, might just solve this little riddle. He sent a link to the picture, and asked:
It’s true? And what does that mean?
Marc responded with:
I can confirm the existence of a shirt. Other than that, I couldn’t tell you.
This is the e-mail’s screencap:
This e-mail is, of course, legitimate, and Marc did actually write this stuff. We’ve verified it, and it checks out. The question isn’t whether or not this e-mail is real. It’s whether or not Marc was simply joking around, and didn’t actually mean to imply anything more. That remains to be seen. But I think it’s a bit interesting that he didn’t vehemently debunk this rumor, as Valve has done in the past, and instead gave us a very intriguing non-answer. Notice that he simply says there is a shirt in existence. He doesn’t expose this thing as a fake, he doesn’t reveal that no one from Valve attended the event Chandana went to. Instead, he gave us this. Hmm. Either Marc Laidlaw is among the world’s greatest trolls, or something is up.
Well, what can I say? I won’t even bother speculating, because this stuff is just far too inconclusive. Let’s just stay calm, and see what happens.