Bundles of joy

Humble Bundle offers video games at user set prices to raise money for charity

If a person can become addicted to video games the way one can become addicted to drugs, then the folks at Humble Bundle are the best dealers on your digital corner.

Humble Bundle is a website (www.humblebundle.com) that sells a selection of video games for a set period of time using the PWYW (pay what you want) model. However, there are several differences to Humble Bundle’s PWYW and the pricing system made popular by Radiohead and currently used on Bandcamp.

Rather than have the full amount go to the developers, portions of the proceeds are split between the developers of the game, several charities that are listed and Humble Bundle Inc. How much that goes into each is determined by the consumer. Want to give all your money to the developers? All to charity? Split evenly three ways? You can set how much goes to each group down to the penny if you so desire.

There is no minimal amount, but fans of Steam (digital distribution software) will get redeemable codes for their purchased games if they pay more than $1.

If you’re not the altruistic type, extra games are offered to those who would pay higher than the average paid price for the bundle. As I’m writing this, I can get four games for $2, less than the cost of an extra large Double-Double. If I pay more than the average of $4.84, I will get six games in addition to the original four.

The bundles usually consist of games from well-known independent developers. Each of the games featured in the ‘Peg produced documentary Indie Game: The Movie have been included in a bundle at some point. Most games will include a soundtrack as an additional bonus.

The Humble Bundle isn’t a Windows exclusive club. Most games are available in Mac versions and Linux as well, so you’re not limited by your system. A previous bundle featured games for the Android platform. Since the site’s launch, they have branched out into different mediums. Previous bundles have offered ebooks, music and a selection of comedy audio and video recordings.

Humble Bundle has made it difficult for anyone with a video game addiction to kick the habit. With prices that you can set, DRM-free games (digital rights management) and proceeds going to charity, you’ll be hard pressed to find a reason not to feed your addiction.

Published in Volume 68, Number 4 of The Uniter (September 25, 2013)

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