Gaming for Charity with Humble Bundle

Humble Bundle

If you like gaming; but do not like paying full price for video games, then Humble Bundle presents a great opportunity to get a bargain, and also be charitable at the same time.

Humble Indie Bundle 9 will be available until September 25. They have a timer on their site indicating how much time is left to purchase. It offers the opportunity to buy a package of games at whatever price the consumer wants to pay. Humble Bundle also has special offers every week, starting on Fridays, usually of older, less desirable games. Also, if you are not a gamer, you can buy a game package for someone who is, as a gift. Relatives that want to buy a kid a birthday gift and think you can get at deal on video games at a discount store, I am warning you right now, that kid will hate you if you buy them that. With a Humble Bundle, there is going to be at least a couple of recently released games they are going to play.

There are two aspects of Humble Bundle that separate it from the conventional retail model. The first one is that the buyer can determine the price of the product they buy. One would think that this would drive the price down; but Humble Bundle has already thought of that. The consumer must pay above the average price in order to get the bonus, most coveted games in the package, among other benefits. This prevents buyers from lowballing the price too much, as many of them primarily purchase the bundle specifically for those games. Also, only those that pay over $1 will get keys to Valve’s Steam client. This is significant because Steam sometimes holds contests allowing players to win prizes by accomplishing certain achievements within the games offered in order to enter a raffle. This became a problem with Humble Indie Bundle 4, as many gamers were purchasing multiple packages for the minimum price of one cent in order to enter a concurrent Steam contest multiple times, and that is why this policy was put in place.

The other aspect that sets Humble Bundle apart is that gamers decide how much of their money goes to what end. Buyers can choose what percentage of what they pay goes to the game developers, to Humble Bundle, Inc. itself, or to the charities corresponding to that particular package, which vary from bundle to bundle. Furthermore, the consumer can choose how much of their charitable donation goes to what specific organization.

Not only are Humble Bundle events not driven by consumer interest in keeping prices low; but the charity aspect of it tends to drive the price up. Despite the fact that games obtained through Humble Bundle do not include DRM (digital rights management features) and can easily be copied, many buyers that want multiple copies as gifts simply buy them separately. Also, Humble Bundle posts statistics of how many copies are sold per platform. The bundles are sold for PC, Mac, and Linux (no consoles so far), and the owners of different platforms compete against each other to not seem cheap. Not only that; but the site posts the top donors. As of this writing, somebody paid $1000 for Humble Indie Bundle 9. That is over 200 times the price that they needed to pay for the premium package. Still, paying even five dollars for several games that would cost you $120 total at retail prices is a bargain, any way you look at it.

If gaming is not your thing, Humble Bundle recently offered their first Humble Comedy Bundle,which included shows by such top-notch comics as Maria Bamford, and Louis C. K. if the buyer paid above the average price. It would be interesting to see the company branch out into other product lines.

Now you can entertain yourself, donate to charity, and save money with a few clicks through Humble Bundle. So what are you waiting for? That joypad is not going to button-mash itself. Go game! And remember, you are doing it for a good cause.

By Milton Ruiz

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