Because Linux is available freely, its users often get unfairly stigmatised as stingy. A “set your own price” charity gaming bundle totally blows away that assumption, showing that Linux users are much more generous than their Windows or Mac bretheren.
There have been plenty of examples of “name your price” entertainment options in recent years (Radiohead’s In Rainbows immediately springs to mind). Humble Indie Bundle #3 offers a group of five games (Crayon Physics Deluxe, Cogs, VVVVV, Hammerflight and And Yet It Moves), and users can nominate how much they want to pay for the bundle (which is promoted as being worth around $50). You can also allocate what proportion of your payment goes to selected charities, to the original game developers, and to the Humble Bundle team.
Live stats on the site show how much has been paid so far in total, and how much has been paid on each of the three platforms. This is where things get interesting. While Linux users have paid an average of $11.08 (as I write this), that figure drops to $6.42 for Mac and $3.87 for Windows. That’s not actually that surprising: the open source community is used to the idea of contributing towards a project that it deems worthwhile, so generosity is perhaps to be expected.
With that said, far more copies have been sold on Windows, so the collective contribution from that community is greater. There’s also the fact that there are fewer active Linux games developers, so enthusiasts might be more willing to spend money when an option comes along.
Nonetheless, it does rather chime with my general theory that most people will be as cheap as they think they can get away with. If you’ve got any other theories as to what’s going on here, tell us in the comments.
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