No idea who should be charging more — that’s the formal question — because I don’t actually do much with PWYW stuff. It’s a huge blind spot, I think.
I’ve been advised more than once to go this route for my various little design projects (and then put that money into paying a layout artist for the next ones I post up). I just…it’s very hard for me to see the upside, because blind spot.
I think I’ve paid what I wanted…twice? Once for a copy of Dream Askew (Avery asks for a $5 donation, so not precisely PWYW), and once for a big fundraiser Bundle of Holding, can’t remember what the cause was. That one filled my drivethrurpg.com library with so much crap I will never download or read and continues to fill my inbox with notifications and spam from those publishers. I liked donating, didn’t like the marketing bullshit afterward.
This is, I think, mostly a function of my age.
I get how Kickstarter works, but I’m also cynical about it being largely a preorder platform. Beyond that my understanding of the modern game publishing world drops off fast. I’ve also been advised to try a Patreon but I can’t make heads or tails of how to succeed at that. PWYW makes very little sense to me. A Payhip button or whatever, same thing. I think it’s because I think in strictly capitalistic terms like value proposition. I have no mental model in which people just give you money because they like what you’ve done. Even at the high point of my little three-week blast a few years ago with Tiny Dragons and folks were repeatedly asking how to give me money, I was like…why would you? I’ve posted it for free.
And because I’ve been fed a steady diet of capitalism, I immediately undervalue anything that doesn’t have a price. Including my own stuff, I’m sure. Of course the logical endgame of that is the dumbass “why should I pay for all this blank space” #shitgamerssay business.
Paying what you want intersects with the late capitalism idea that money is the only meaningful way of showing appreciation in some very strange and hypocritical ways.