In order to buy games, you need software to run it. Consoles have internal software, but PC requires a third party. The most popular of its kind is Steam by valve. But if you’re looking for cheaper options and supporting the equivalent of your local online game makers, itch.io is the place to go. This marketplace is specifically for independent developers, so each purchase is Indie support guarantee!
In May and June, we saw riots. People in the streets, enraged by how the police handled the arrest and death of George Floyd, and later how the police handled the infiltration which then lead to the death of Paramedic Breona Taylor. As this tension grew, more and more companies ended their silence and began actively backing racial equality and others outright backing the Black Lives Matter Protesting Movement (not to be confused with the radicals in their system).
Itch.io is one such company that took this stance to support Racial Justice and Equality. In June, Itch.io released its “Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality” with a minimum payment of 5% for about 700 games / assets.
WHAT IS IN THE BUNDLE
By the start of it, it was 700 games. By the end, there were 1,741 games worth $9,741 and you could get it all for a minimum of $5. Creators did not get any money from this, as 50% of it goes to the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund and the Community Bail Fund.
This alone is a showcase of how passionate our indie creator community is, and how they’d rather support the BLM than get money for their own game, allowing it into this bundle. This is truly a showcase of humanity of the creators side.
On this page, itch.io also linked the black lives matter’s website to see how you can get involved. If there was any question as to where itch.io stood, it’s very clear now.
ARE THERE ANY GOOD GAMES?
While there is a high volume of visual novels—which a legitimate genre, but are the easiest games to make—there are some indie classics that have become popular within the last ten years. One of my favorite indie games, Oxenfree is apart of it. Night in the Woods, A Short Hike, The White Door, Celeste, and many other bigger indie games are here. Suffice to say, buying it was absolutely worth it!
SONY AND MICROSOFT
Sony and Xbox have come out the gate with their own support of the Black Lives Matter movement as well. And their fanbases were not as receptive as the replies on Itch.io’s Twitter. Hilariously enough, Sony fans have claimed they’re going to Xbox because of Sony’s new Black Lives Matter background, not realizing that Microsoft is just as much a supporter as Sony.
I guess they’ll have to go find someone else that doens’t support The Black Lives Matter Movement…
Let’s just say, it’s going to be hard to find a way into the gaming industry without supporting a company that supports Black Lives Matter.
A FINAL NOTE ON BLACK LIVES MATTER
There’s a lot of controversy about Black Lives Matter. It’s easy to look at its radicals and condemn them, but we must consider that the radicles are just that, and that shouldn’t be a reason to discredit the BLM and what they do. Every group has radicles, and they are by no means a representation of the whole.
Understand that this community feels like they’ve been wronged, again and again, and again. Ignoring it and saying it’s made up is easy, confronting it is hard because it’s scary to think that it might be true. It is. But it is true. It is happening. And we’re lucky to have companies who are taking a stance with them.