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Viral Visual Novel About Doing Taxes With Anime Girl Removed From Steam

posted on by Kim Morrissy
Tax Heaven 3000 game about preparing 2022 U.S. federal tax return was slated for April 4

Earlier this week, an indie visual novel called Tax Heaven 3000 went viral on Twitter because of its absurd premise: The game promises to help prepare your 2022 U.S. federal tax return, which you accomplish by interacting with a pink-haired anime girl named Iris.

Developer MSCHF appears to be well-intentioned in its goal. The game's itch.io page comments on the flaws of the U.S. tax system as follows: "Most wealthy countries make tax filing free, if the burden of preparation is even passed along to individuals at all. But, corporate tax filing services 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."

The game purports to simplify the process for a self-prepared tax return by making it more entertaining. In another stroke of humor, the system is only suitable for "single filers without dependents." Which makes its own kind of sense—you wouldn't be looking for love while filing your taxes if you already have a spouse!

Although many Twitter users are amused by the novelty of the concept, The Verge reported that the game has been removed from Steam as of Wednesday evening. MSCHF co-founder Daniel Greenberg told The Verge that Valve did not provide a reason for the game's removal. The game originally went through Steam's "standard verification process" and was scheduled to launch on April 4.

For all the positive buzz about the game, quite a few Twitter users have also pointed out the dangers of providing your social security number and financial information to an unofficial body. Although the game does not literally file the taxes for you, the game's description does not provide details about how it will handle personal information.

MSCHF is an American art collective, known for creating the Chair Simulator game and Lil Nas X's Satan Shoes, among other humorous projects.

Tax Heaven 3000 will still be available for purchase on ichi.io on April 4.

Source: The Verge (Jay Peters)

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