Top ways gamers are raising money for charity

Gamers are a generous sort, as evidenced by the countless ways they have been raising money for charities over the past several years. 2011 was an especially noteworthy year, a year in which the Child’s Play charity alone raised $3,512,345. Child’s Play was founded by Penny Arcade owners Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins in 2003 as a charity dedicated to improving the lives of children with toys and games in a network of over 70 hospitals worldwide.

The best indie games of 2011

Indie games are officially in style. Amidst all the bundles that have been offered for so very little money all year, it can sometimes be hard to take a step back and gather one’s thoughts about which of the indie games released in 2011 really stood out among the crowd. We have taken the time to rifle through dozens of these games to find the very best, and the following list, presented in no particular order of quality, are the ten we have chosen. Feel free to suggest your own favorites in the comments below, or yell at your monitor for any startling omissions from the list.

Zelda Data Restoration Channel fixes save file in Skyward Sword

Nintendo has finally released the solution to the game-breaking bug in Skyward Sword in the form of a separate downloadable channel. The Zelda Data Restoration Channel is currently only available in Japan. The channel will be available for download from the Wii Shopping Channel when and if it releases globally.

From castles to card games: a rundown of Zynga’s biggest titles

Zynga is the most recognizable name in social gaming. Facebook members and iPhone owners alike have seen Zynga’s games continuously rise and fall from the top of the charts over the past few years, and with CastleVille’s launch earlier this month, it is unlikely that will change any time soon. The company is likely to go public soon and raise a ton of money, so we thought we would show this primer on Zynga’s social games so everyone can see what the fuss is all about. These simple, time-consuming titles have taken the  world by storm, bringing in hundreds of millions of users internationally since Zynga’s beginning in 2007.

Halo Waypoint, ATLAS coming to mobile devices on Dec. 10

Right on the heels of the My Xbox LIVE release, Microsoft is bringing two Halo apps to smartphones. The first, Halo Waypoint, will function much like its console counterpart, relaying stats, awards, news, and other Halo-related content. It will be free on all the smartphone markets on December 10th, but for $4.99, a separate premium app called ATLAS can deliver an impressive slew of features the free Waypoint app won’t be offering.

Conquer Online iPad

NetDragon Websoft brings storied free-to-play game Conquer Online to iPad

Conquer Online, one of the oldest free-to-play online games in existence, has migrated to the iPad as of today. It might not be the first massively multiplayer game to make its way to the App Store, but it is certainly one of the most recognizable, having been online since 2003. With over 10 million registered accounts, the game has a big following.

Humble Introversion Bundle sales rising over 150,000 with 6 days left

The Humble Bundle releases have become quite an event in the world of indie gaming, and the recent Humble Introversion Bundle is certainly no exception. With six days until its completion, the Bundle has already sold over 150,000 copies, earning the developers and the supported charities over $630,000.

Review: Rayman Origins deserves your attention in this crowded month

Rayman Origins is a contender for the title of the best 2D platforming game of this generation, and that’s no small feat. Everything leading up to its release suggested this, but it cannot be overstated just how pitch-perfect this revitalization of one of gaming’s most under-appreciated mascots manages to be. This is the same limbless, unidentifiable protagonist that was overrun by mutated rabbits in his own game a few years ago. This time, it’s Rayman’s turn to take center stage once again.