In our view, the big media conglomerates that own most of the radio stations, television networks, and publishing houses in this country could just as accurately be described as big entertainment conglomerates. They sell and distribute most of the movies, music, games, books, and software that we buy, often under onerous terms and conditions that attempt to restrict our digital freedoms.
When it comes to games, chances are, you’re familiar with companies like Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony (which all make popular gaming consoles) or Electronic Arts (which makes some of the best known titles for consoles and computers). But these companies hardly have a monopoly on good games. Some of the best games in the world are made by independent game studios that you may have never heard of.
Last year, one of these studios (Wolfire Games) convinced some other studios to join them in giving users the opportunity to name their own price for a collection of games. The offering was called the Humble Indie Bundle. Would-be players were asked to donate what they wished to acquire five quality titles, with the proceeds being divided between the developers, the Humble Bundle itself, and two great organizations: the Electronic Frontier Foundation (one of NPI’s favorite civil liberties watchdogs) and Child’s Play (a terrific Seattle-based charity).
The response, especially from the worldwide gaming community, was strong. Within two weeks, the Humble Indie Bundle had racked up more than $1.2 million in sales. The promotion was so successful that it led to a second Humble Bundle in December of 2010, and then a third, last spring. Just a few days ago, the fourth Humble Bundle went on sale, and already, proceeds have topped $1 million.
If you like quality games that you can install and reinstall on all of the computers you own, with no digital restrictions management, then the Humble Indie Bundle is for you. All of the titles are truly cross-platform and will work on Windows, Mac, or your favorite GNU/Linux distribution. In addition, when you purchase the Humble Indie Bundle, you get to decide how to split your donation — between the developers, the EFF, Child’s Play, and the Bundle itself.
It’s an incredible offer — one that’s really, truly worth taking advantage of.
If you’re not familiar with the Humble Bundle, we urge you to head on over to their site and take a look at the games that are being offered in the current promotion. There’s no fine print and no catch: You pay what you want and you get some outstanding games in return. It’s fun and easy to take part.
If you’re not a gamer yourself, consider buying these titles as a gift for a friend and supporting two worthy charities (the EFF and Child’s Play) as well as some pioneering independent game studios.
You can’t go wrong with the Humble Indie Bundle.