Tax Heaven 3000
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Tax Heaven 3000 is a dating simulator published by the art collective MSCHF that helps players file their taxes, specifically their 2022 U.S. federal income taxes. The game and tax software features a waifu character named Iris, who asks the player a series of questions about their taxes as they go on dates, resulting in a filled-out tax return form. Tax Heaven 3000 was announced in March 2023 with a release date on April 4th as a physical release and a digital release on Itch.io and Steam, although the Steam page was removed for unknown reasons prior to the release date. Iris notably became the subject of fan art following the game's announcement.
On March 21st, 2023, MSCHF, the art collective behind projects including the big red boots and the Lil Nas X Satan shoes, announced Tax Heaven 3000, a visual novel dating sim/piece of tax software that helps players file their 2022 US federal income taxes. A website, taxheaven3000.com, was launched that introduces visitors to the game's characters, allows for the purchase of the physical collector's edition of the game, which includes a body pillow of the game's waifu Iris. The website also includes links to two Wattpad fanfictions about Iris and a manifesto explaining the idea behind the game, which reads:
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,
if you die in the game you die in real life if you fileyour taxes in the game, you file your taxes in real life.
On March 23rd, the Tax Heaven 3000 YouTube channel posted a trailer for the game, garnering over 800 views in a day (shown below). The game is set to release on April 4th, 2023. The game is currently listed on Itch.io.
Removal From Steam
Tax Heaven 3000 was originally listed on Steam, however, the Steam page was reportedly delisted on March 22nd, 2023. On March 23rd, Polygon reported on the delisting, sharing a quote from MSCHF co-founder Daniel Greenberg where he explains that the game "went through steams standard verification process, and was ready go live April 4th, but out of nowhere if was de-verified and removed from the platform without explanation yesterday. That’s all we know.”
Word of Tax Heaven 3000 spread online following its release. On March 21st, 2023, Twitter user @HD_Kirin shared screenshots from the game's Steam page, garnering over 41,000 likes in three days.
Iris Fan Art / Memes
On March 22nd, several pieces of fan art of Iris were uploaded to DeviantArt. Some of the most popular pieces include a close-up of her face by exotic-rain-15, garnering over 2,000 views in two days (shown below, left) and a piece of artwork depicting Iris as the lo-fi hip-hop girl by fisherman-nick, garnering over 1,700 views in the same span of time (shown below, right).
That day, a Redditor posted a meme to /r/whenthe about losing all your money by giving your social security number to Iris, garnering over 1,200 upvotes in two days (shown below).
 Taxheaven3000 – taxheaven3000
 YouTube – Tax Heaven 3000
 Itch.io – taxheaven3000
 Polygon – Michael McWhertor
 Wattpad – Filing Head Over Heels
 Wattpad – Iris Learns a Lesson
 DeviantArt – exotic-rain-15
 DeviantArt – fisherman-nick
Mar 24, 2023 at 03:25PM EDT
Mar 24, 2023 at 02:16PM EDT
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