Earlier this year, the head of independent developer Wolfire Games approached his friends and contacts in the games community with the idea that they should offer their games on a “pay what you want” basis. The Humble Indie Bundle, which included indie darling Gish and my beloved World of Goo, went on sale in May and, despite many people offering $0.01 for the collection, raised over $1.2 million (almost $400,000 of which went to charity). The sale was such a success they decided to try it all over again with the Humble Indie Bundle 2, which is available for the next few days.
If getting a handful of great games for well under their retail price doesn’t sell you, and you are the type who does not feel compelled to support the indie scene from which our medium sees so much of its heart and innovation, know that you can allocate your payment for the bundle to charity and screw those greedy indie devs! The well known Child’s Play provides children’s hospitals with video games for the kids. The Electronic Frontier Foundation divides their work into free speech, innovation, intellectual property, privacy and transparency, and they are more or less on the right side of all these issues.
Personally, I participated in the Bundle because I wanted to buy Machinarium anyway, so I choose to pay a bit over the list price for that one game and got 5 games in return. Consider my surprise when I received an email informing me that since I paid over the average (not by as much as Minecraft developer Notch, who paid $2,000) I would be rewarded with the first bundle as well. I am not affiliated with these people at all, so I apologize if this came off sounding like an advertisement, but this seemed like an opportunity to do a little good and get some great games in return (seriously, see my piece on Braid and World of Goo from a while back).
So if you love games, indie devs, children, or freedom, go download the Humble Indie Bundle.