An upcoming visual novel Tax Heaven 3000 is more than just a story with cute characters.
Let Iris be your accountant in this upcoming game where you go on dates and files your taxes. The game attempts to offer tangible advice and information.
The game is the latest project from MSCHF, an “art collective” that does social commentary through art, along with some interactive pieces like Tax Heaven 3000. Their previous projects include “The Ultimate Participation Trophy“, “WD-40 Cologne”, and other eccentric products.
Would-be tax filers have expressed some concern over the game. In order to help file your taxes, Iris is going to need some information first. Whether you’re filing single or if you have a dependent, your date of birth, and concerningly your Social Security Number.
At the time of writing the store page has seemingly been taken down, possibly in relation to these privacy concerns. The point of the game appears to be making filing taxes more transparent and the “Manifesto” for the game criticizes the current way Americans file taxes:
Hi there! Iris here~
It’s always been a dream of mine to meet that special someone…and file their tax return. Join me and we’ll search for deductions while searching for love!
But be careful! We’re not alone. Corporate tax filing services like TurboTax are (by dint of extensive lobbying) predatory, parasitic bottlenecks that deliberately complicate the tax filing process in order to make it unnavigable by ordinary people. They feed us their poison so that we buy their medicine!
Most wealthy countries make tax filing free, if the burden of preparation is even passed along to individuals at all. TurboTax actively seeks to backdoor the regulatory structure that could otherwise seek to rein it in. And it works! The villainous corporation that controls the government from the shadows is a sadly mundane reality. It’s the most boring industry imaginable.
TurboTax, per its own internal documents, is built on the “Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt” that ordinary people have about their taxes. Against this, we pit free software instead built on parasocial desire for intimacy and benign horniness! If TurboTax is Dark UI, TH3K is Pink UI, the nightcore of tax software.
Videogames are, at the end of the day, pieces of software–ontologically akin to Microsoft Word. All of TurboTax’s cutesy loading animations are fake graphics; TH3K simply makes the fiction the point. For some reason the game-to-real-life interface has tended to remain in the purview of corporate metaverse fictions. TH3K is a dongle that adapts from a visual novel to the IRS.
Come on, let’s get started! I can already tell I’m going to like you ♥ And remember, i̶f̶ ̶y̶o̶u̶ ̶d̶i̶e̶ ̶i̶n̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶g̶a̶m̶e̶ ̶y̶o̶u̶ ̶d̶i̶e̶ ̶i̶n̶ ̶r̶e̶a̶l̶ ̶l̶i̶f̶e̶ if you file your taxes in the game, you file your taxes in real life.
Tax Heaven 3000 is reportedly meant to come out later this month, but with the Steam page being taken down it’s unclear when it will release.
According to the official site, a Collector’s Edition with a body pillow will be available; but due to the nature of the creator that could possibly just be a joke.