I was introduced to the Humble Bundle a year or so ago. If you've never heard of this, let me explain. The Humble Bundle is a project that releases, every so often, a number of games that are cross-platform, DRM-free, and pay what you want. What's best is the buyer not only sets his price, but also decides where the purchase funds go. And although the games themselves are not open source, to me this project is a perfect example of how the spirit of open source can be applied in various ways. Even though the consumers does not get to download the source of the games, they get to specify how much is spent and where each dollar goes. That money can go to:
- The developers
- Electronic Frontier Foundation
- Child's Play Charity
- Humble Bundle Tip
The current Humble Bundle is in the third release and the included games are:
- Average Windows Purchase: $4.75
- Average Mac Purchase: $7.49
- Average Linux Purchase: $11.97
As you can see, the average Linux user is dropping more than the average Mac user and quite a bit more than the average Windows user. What does this say? Not much really — but I felt it should be noted that the spirit of giving is strong within the open source community. But then, that should be expected. I know many open source users who are far more apt to give to such a cause than the average user.
But my point is really not to highlight the willingness of each platform's giving, but more the fact that this project not only started out with a great idea with honorable intentions, it has grown significantly and will continue growing significantly.
I've heard some complain about the games offered up by the Humble Bundle. To those I would say, "And you were willing to purchase how many worthless games on your iPhone that didn't support any sort of cause?" Naturally you're not going to find games in the Humble Bundle that will blow your mind. But you will find games that are equally fun to play as those mindless tricks on your favorite mobile device. And seeing as how this project does quite a bit more than simply entertain people when their brains need to shut down for a while, I can only see the upside in purchasing your very own humble bundle.
I would love to see other such projects arise from the ashes. I could see an office bundle, a graphics bundle, a multimedia bundle...you name it. And each bundle would help support a specific charity that may or may not be somehow related to the software theme.
I highly recommend you visit the Humble Bundle site and order your bundle. But do so soon; the Bundle will close up (until next release) on Tuesday 08/09/11. You can choose where you want your money to go and how much of it you want to spend (even choose which bundles you want to include). No matter how and how much you spend, at least give the Humble Bundle a look. It's a fun project with a huge heart — something this world needs far more of now.
Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website getjackd.net.