Itch.io’s historical Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality, which for a minimum of five dollars gave contributors 1,704 computer games, printable tabletop games, game assets and more totaling about $9,360 in value, closed with $8,174,601.26 raised for charity with 814,524 people buying the bundle.
Itch.io organized the bundle shortly after the wave of protests that occurred after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on the neck of a black man named George Floyd after Chauvin and three other then officers failed to put Floyd into a squad car after arresting Floyd on suspicion of using a counterfeit $20 bill, according to Heavy. Floyd was then sent to a hospital where he was pronounced dead. Chauvin was charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter before the charge of second-degree murder was added. The other former officers involved in the incident were charged with aiding and abetting second degree murder and manslaughter, though one of the officers, Thomas Lane, was released on $750,000 bond according to KMOV4. Protests were held around the world in the wake of the death of Floyd to stand against police brutality and systemic racism.
“We live in a time of racial injustice, inequality, and police brutality against black people,” read the page for the bundle. “We hope that everyone takes a stand in any way that they can.”
Vlambeer was one of the 1,361 creators who gave a game, Nuclear Throne, to the bundle. Rami Ismali, one of the two person independent studio, took to Twitter to say how proud he is of everyone who contributed a game or other project to the bundle despite the fact that they wouldn’t make any money from it, of everyone who bought the bundle and of everyone in the itch.io team who worked to put it all together.
“If you had told me a decade ago, when my wave of indie just started, that indie games would band together & raise $8,000,000 for charity, I wouldn’t have believed it,” Ismail said. “But we did. And that’s remarkable. No matter what you did to help, you’re part of this.”
Here’s a quick guide to some of the great games you can play if you bought the bundle:
Celeste – This game appeared on many a “Game of the Year 2019” list, and for good reason. Come for the tough as nails platforming action, stay for the tender story of overcoming anxiety and depression. Also includes accessibility options that more games should have.
Night in the Woods – This indie darling is perhaps the closest thing games have to mumblecore. A 2D adventure game where you play as a college dropout reconnecting with her friends in her old home town.
Quadrilateral Cowboy – You pull off heists with a computer that lets you hack doors and cameras by typing lines of commands. Tons of unique visual effects and tense puzzle adventure gameplay. This isn’t a game to be ignored.
Minit – A top down adventure game but you only have 60 seconds to live. Think Majora’s Mask but with an even stricter time limit and just as inventive puzzles. Minit joins the bundle with other Devolver Digital-published games like Pikuniku and Heavy Bullets.
OneShot – If you loved how Undertale smashed the fourth wall to pieces, then you’ll want to check out this puzzle adventure game.
2064: Read Only Memories – A point-and-click adventure game set in a cyberpunk world with through-provoking discussions on what it means to be human.
Four Horsemen – A visual novel game where you guide the lives of four immigrant teens squatting in a WW2-era bunker. The game confronts discrimination with unwavering grace. The experience also changes depending on what country you choose to immigrate to, as there are different customs for your characters to deal with.
Tonight We Riot – Probably one of the most relevant games in the bundle. A 2D brawler where you control a mass of angry protesters fighting against an oppressive capitalist government.
Halloween Forever – A cute 8-bit inspired platformer.
Signs of the Sojourner – A deck-building card game, but instead of defeating monsters you’re trying to have a positive conversation with another person.
Imperishable Memories – A surreal shoot ’em up with the aesthetic of a teenager’s amateur anime scribbles.
Octodad: Dadliest Catch – One of the first and finest examples of the kind of games with intentionally bad controls to make for hilarious gameplay ripe for YouTube coverage.
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