If you're an even moderately Online Person and a fan of video games, chances are you're aware of the Twitter account @CanYouPetTheDog. Its mission is simple: to create "a catalog of pettable and non-pettable dogs in video games," compiled from screenshots and video clips sent in by followers (or "manual input resulting in visual representation of petting", if you're fancy). It's sometimes hard to find truly wholesome content at the intersection of Twitter and gaming, but Can You Pet the Dog? is a stand-out example of people coming together to share their gaming knowledge just to bring a little extra joy to anyone else who sees it.
Now, Can You Pet the Dog? have teamed up with another force for good in the gaming world: the creators of Humble Bundle, a digital storefront known for its support of numerous charitable causes. The 'You Can Pet the Dog' Bundle (opens in new tab) is available for purchase between now and October 1st, and features games across numerous genres with one unifying feature: each game on offer features at least one cute dog and, yes, your character can pet them.
For those unfamiliar with how Humble Bundles work, the price is determined by the purchaser—meaning you can commit to pay any amount you want, above a very generous minimum—with a few reward tiers locked off unless you pay a (still fairly low) 'full' amount. You can also pay anything above this if you want; and, furthermore, you get to determine exactly what percentage of your money goes to Humble (to pay their administration fees), the games' developers, and various charities identified by Humble themselves or of your own choosing. It's a pretty sweet deal for everyone, especially when you factor that Humble Bundles typically retail for a much lower price than even a single game from other storefronts. Your loot is delivered in the form of digital Steam keys, which you can redeem yourself or gift to a friend.
In the case of the 'You Can Pet the Dog' Bundle, paying just $1/£0.76 will net you copies of four games: cute puzzler Scribblenauts Unlimited; arty adventure game Beyond Eyes; indie sports management simulator Dog Sled Saga; and point-and-click horror game Bulb Boy. Pay more than the average (at the time of writing that's £3.66, so approximately $4.75 in the US) and you'll further unlock a two-pack of groundbreaking martial arts adventure games, Shenmue I & II; indie narrative adventure Where The Water Tastes Like Wine; and moody action platformer Death's Gambit. Finally, pay the full amount ($12/£9.21) and you'll also receive last year's most unexpected survival horror tie-in game, Blair Witch—including the free DLC 'Good Boy Pack', which nets you some new skins and animations for doggo deuteragonist Bullet—as well as the soundtracks to Bulb Boy and Dog Sled Saga.
Buying these items individually from Steam would set you back around $160/£122, so it's hard to argue with the savings on offer. But the real good news is that Humble Bundle have nominated several animal charities as the recipients of the profits: The Humane Association of the United States, a nationwide animal protection organisation; Best Friend Animals Society, a welfare organisation with a focus on promoting no-kill animal shelters; and Sweet Farm, a non-profit sanctuary which addresses the impact of factory farming. You can also donate to a charity of your own choosing if you prefer, allowing you to focus on charities operating in your region (Humble's default choices tend to be fairly US-centric) or to a charity that holds a more personal meaning to you.
Also, did I mention that you get to virtually pat all these good digital dogs? Because that really is the icing on the pet treat.