The latest Indie Gala bundle has some pretty sweet games up for grabs, but the cause du jour is a little unusual.
The new Indie Gala Mass Effect bundle is a very decent collection of quality games (although calling it a "Mass Effect bundle" is a serious stretch). For any price you care to pay, as little as a single penny, you can grab Rebuild, Kill Fun Yeah, Shadowgrounds, Zombie Driver HD and another title that will unlock next week. And if you pay more than the average price, currently sitting at a paltry $5.82, you'll also take home Gimbal, Shank 2, Mass Effect 2, the Zombie Driver HD DLC and soundtrack and a second game to be named later.
They're not exactly brand-new, high-demand games, but Shadowgrounds and Zombie Driver HD are a blast, Shank seems popular and Mass Effect 2 is obviously brilliant and not the sort of thing you see turn up very often in an indie bundle like this. Yes, it's an older game and most people with any interest in playing it have already done so by now, but if you're one of those who haven't, this is not a bad way to pick it up.
The funds raised by this Indie Gala are going to "help rebuild Vancouver's game industry." Vancouver, as you may be aware, was a hot-spot of North American game development, but has suffered a rather severe downturn over the past couple of years. Heavy cuts or outright closures have fallen upon Vancouver-based studios owned by Microsoft, Ubisoft, Activision, Rockstar, Electronic Arts and others, as they've fled the high cost of the West Coast for the cheaper environs of Ontario and Quebec.
That situation has led "gaming entrepreneur" Matt Toner, formerly of the once-Vancouver-based (and now closed) EA Black Box, to run for election under the flag of the provincial NDP party on a platform of "reversing the exodus of creative and technical talent from Vancouver" and "rejuvenating the innovation-based industries in British Columbia." To assist with that noble goal, funds raised by this Indie Gala will go toward supporting his election campaign.
Money will also go to Launch Academy, a Vancouver-based "local incubator that works with digital entrepreneurs to make their first startup a success," to help fund a scholarship program for indie game developers.
Toner has no previous political experience but his campaign isn't a fringe long-shot; the NDP are widely expected to win the coming election and regardless of his platform or talent, he may very well be swept along by the tide. And while I was initially a bit iffy on the idea of using Indie Gala to raise funds for a political campaign, I suppose it's no different than THQ raising money through the Humble Bundle to try to keep the lights on. It does perhaps violate the "spirit" of indie bundles, if you believe in such a thing, but like any cause, if you don't believe in it, don't support it - and if you do (or if you just don't care), enjoy the deal!
Source: Indie Gala