The Humble Bundle’s Mighty Power!
Of all the genres of games I love, indie games are one of my favorites. My other favorites include… well, all of the other genres I love, so I guess saying “indie games are some of my favorites” isn’t exactly the earthshattering statement of the year. But c’mon, indie games are great! I’ve blogged about them before, and I certainly will blog about them again. I have that clairvoyance because, of course, today’s post is about indie games! “But,” the skeptical reader quips, “Your title today says nothing about indie games!” And the skeptical reader would be right, if he or she had not googled “Humble Bundle” first, and discovered its mystical awesomeness.
The Humble Bundle is a creation currently in its fifth incarnation. The rules are: you pay however much you want for a bundle of four popular indie games. If you choose to pay more than the average, you get a fifth game. You then choose the proportion of your payment to go to the gamedevs, the website hosting the drive, and a specific charity. Presto-change-o, you’ve bought the Humble Bundle!
Now, what games are you getting? Well, I’m glad you asked! (And by “you,” I mean my rhetorical alter-ego who just helps move this whole blog thing along.) You get 5 games (if you pay more than average, which you honestly should, ya cheap jerk): Swords & Sorcery, Limbo (not the popular Jamaican party game), Psychonauts, Amnesia (which one is that? I forget), and Bastion! Check out a little footage from each in this video:
Whoa, don’t those look cool? By the way, the guy narrating is the narrator from the game Bastion. He literally narrates your entire journey as you go through it… a guy who sounds as if the Old Spice Guy picked up chainsmoking. Too good to be true. By the way, the other guy (besides the smoky narrator-man) is Tim Schafer, the man behind the scenes of Psychonauts and quite a few other great indie games. Huzzah!
Of course, I say to you, “Buy this!” But, that’s not exactly what my blog is about. So, instead of simply telling you to give into your game-hungry consumer instinct, I want to talk about the idea of this Humble Bundle. Although I’ve just discovered it recently, what I see and what I think about it is that it’s a truly great idea, for a number of reasons! And, yes, you guessed it, I’m gonna go through those reasons with my tongue as far in my cheek as it’ll go. Thank heavens I’m typing and not using it to talk. That’d get awkward fast.
The first reason is because it promotes indie games. (Thank you, Captain Obvious!) Indie games are often used and abused, and a lot of work and creativity goes into creating these fabulous works of timesucking art. As a gamer and someone who promotes games in the online (and real world) community, I’m all for the little guy getting a little more bang for his buck. I think that indie games are a lot more true to the idea of “games by gamers,” and it’s a market that is incredibly INCLUSIVE, meaning that you can make a game that sells well even if you’re not EA, BioWare, Bethesda, Altus, Square, or whoever else. If you have a vision, then you can create it and it’ll sell (as long as you don’t release it the same day as a Minecraft update). Hooray for indie games!
The second is that it promotes charity! There’s nothing to explain about it, helping children in need is GOOD. And all these gamers with 10 bucks in their pocket say, “I could buy three or four Rockstars with this 10 bucks, but why not give it to CHARITY?” And so they do, and the right people benefit from it. Also, you get people who love giving money to charity (like loyal KickStarter donors. Where do they get the cash?). They buy games, homeless kiddies get help and so do the gamedevs. Win-win situation.
The third reason is because it promotes US! Not really, I’m not sure how we’d be promoted anyway. But we get 5 awesome games for a ridiculously low price. Win-win-win situation!!
The final reason is because it… well… it doesn’t technically “promote” anything, it’s just that the whole thing is brilliant. You have some very well-known games paired up with a couple of “newcomers,” or lesser well-known companies/games, which is the right mix of marketing and publicity for the people who need it. It’s a total bargain, it helps people in need… but the clincher, the real deal, is the “get the 5th game only if you pay more than the average” clause. Bastion is without a doubt in my mind the best game of the five. That’s my opinion, and it certainly can’t be argued that it possesses a ridiculously high level of gameplay, lore, and novelty (which is the meat and potatoes of indie gaming). And, to get it, you have to donate more than the average (which is currently $7.86, pretty much pocket change). Now, chances are, you’re thinking of donating $7.87… but you don’t. You probably donate 10 bucks (like those 10 bucks you have in your pocket that you’re not going to spend on Rockstars). And what that does, is slowly but surely, it kicks up the average. And people donate slightly more. And it’s this vicious cycle of the price spiraling slowly upward. And that is the most brilliant thing because it gets the most money for the kids (which, setting my gamer’s heart aside, is the important thing here).
The Humble Bundle is a truly wonderful thing. I’m happy because I got five great games for a steal. I’m happy because I’ve helped kids. I’m happy because I helped the game developers and have encouraged them to make more awesome games. To have game developers like this dedicate themselves to making a real difference in the real world is an incredibly awesome idea. The big game companies don’t do that, and they certainly don’t ask for their customers to do it, either. So there you have it, folks: The Humble Bundle, another reason to love indie games.
P.S. I say to you, “BUY THIS.”
Posted on June 4, 2012, in Miscellaneous and tagged Amnesia, Awesome, Bastion, Charity, Children, Children's Charity, Gaming, Humble Bundle, Indie Games, Limbo, old spice, PC Games, PC Gaming, Psychonauts, Sorcery, Swords, Tim Schafer, Video Games. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.