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.

About the author

Andrew Villeneuve is the founder and executive director of the Northwest Progressive Institute, as well as the founder of NPI's sibling, the Northwest Progressive Foundation. He has worked to advance progressive causes for over two decades as a strategist, speaker, author, and organizer. Andrew is also a cybersecurity expert, a veteran facilitator, a delegate to the Washington State Democratic Central Committee, and a member of the Climate Reality Leadership Corps.

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