Polls mean NOTHING.
Petitions mean NOTHING.
You can do them to make you feel better that you tried to make your desires clearer to them. But, in the end, you are NOT a customer to them right at the moment unless you're buying a Windows title- unless of course they make a title for whatever non-Windows platform that you can buy from them. Unless they see that there really IS a buyer's market for Linux, they're just not going to go and make things as long as Windows is so damn profitable- even if it's dead nasty to code for and support overall.
As for what I've done... I've helped kick-start 3D support (along with the likes of Gareth Hughes and John Carmack...) on Linux. I've done PPC code for Soul Ride, x86 code for Ballistics, and trying to put the wraps on the last couple of bugs in Bandits but real life keeps intruding. Also worth noting, I'm trying to actually do MORE for Linux in the form of trying to lever the Pandora handheld up with some firmware for it and some initial titles.
You see, I take this VERY seriously. I have for years now.
And I DO happen to have an insider's view of things to at least some extent. I'm not kidding- if you're buying a Windows title, that's what you're buying. If that's what you want to do, more power to you- but in the same vein, you're not helping things any on the Linux games front when you do this.
Let me share with you all a moment in Linux history...
December 1999. It was going to be Linux' shining moment. The coming of age party for all of the efforts up to this point. Part of WHAT I'd signed up for working with the Utah-GLX stuff.
Quake III: Arena was about to come out. Simultaneously. For ALL platforms. Including Linux. To be sold STOREFRONT for Linux in many locations, much like Civilization:Call To Power had been.
Because of the business screwups of one Scott Draeker, though, that was BOTCHED.
Two stupid things the man did.
He placed a 50k unit order for replication. This means he owed Id over a quarter of a million out of the gate past what he'd wrangled to get the Linux publishing deal. In and of itself, had he NOT fubared the deal with the second stupid thing, he'd have at least broke even on it and we'd not be in the mess we're in right now.
The second stupid thing he did... He placed a 50k unit order for the same custom tins that pre-orders for the Windows version were getting for the game. That got held up in Customs for about 6-8 weeks, delaying the availability of the Linux version for about the same amount of time.
The delivery date came: NO Linux SKUs in the stores.
What did Linux users worldwide do? Rather than wait for the damn thing, they went and bought the Windows version and "patched" it with the conversion binaries Id thoughtfully provided for the people that wanted to switch OSes for their purchase. The official Linux SKU sold some 200-400 units worldwide, officially. I happen to have one of those boxes, FYI.
Because people couldn't wait, they all sent a damn message that we won't buy games. There's no market for Linux titles. Something we've been fighting ever since.
When I tell you that the mentality you espouse is the problem, I'm not kidding. It's what caused the mess we're now in. Blaming the publishers that're fighting this uphill battle isn't going to help. Telling me that I'm part of the problem is not really the case.
As for getting them to figure this out... Heh... Dwindling sales figures for Windows will be enough for them to look at the actual stats for Linux usage and give it a go again. Either that or if you've got 25-50 Million in your pocket burning a hole in it to be an investment in the long-term big picture... Now, that's the current picture. Valve coming to the party MIGHT just shift things more in our favor. Greenhouse and Hothead (if you like Penny Arcade- BUY the silly thing, it's cool...) coming to the party will help as well.
But you've got to BUY a Linux SKU in some way to make those count.