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A new visual novel game is set to be released at the end of the month, and it wants your social security number. That’s not being alarmist or misrepresentative, it does actually ask for your SSN and it does actually have a use for it, if you’re willing to trust it.

Tax Heaven 3000 is a new game set to launch on March 31, 2023, and is a visual novel dating sim that helps you file your tax return. Yes, really. Despite being dressed up as a dating sim, complete with anime girls to romance, if you buy and download the game on Steam it should, apparently, help generate your US federal tax return.

The aim of the game seems to be making the process of preparing and filing a tax return much simpler, as its Steam description takes a hard swing at corporate tax filing services.

“Most wealthy countries make tax filing free, if the burden of preparation is even passed along to individuals at all,” the description reads, “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”.

Tax Heaven 3000 comes courtesy of Brooklyn-based art collective MSCHF, who have a long history of doing weird and wonderful things. Perhaps its most famous work is the Satan Shoes it created for Lil Nas X, a pair of Nike Air Max 97s that contained real human blood in the show’s sole. The provocative work caused Nike to sue the collective for trademark infringement and brand dilution, resulting in a settlement out of court after weeks of negotiation

It’s not MSCHF’s first game, either. Taking a look at the collective’s Steam creator profile reveals that it also released another game, Chair Simulator, back in 2021. Chair Simulator is an “exciting single player adventure” according to the description. According to the screenshots and trailers though, it’s simply a person sitting in different chairs. Exciting!

Normally we’d tell you not to give your SSN to a video game, regardless of whether or not an anime girl was asking, and that’s still true now, you probably shouldn’t. That said, given the company behind it has a long and mostly trusted history, it probably isn’t going to steal your details or leak them to the public. ‘Probably’ being the operative word there.

I cannot stress enough bad an idea it is to give your social security number to an anime girl.

I cannot stress enough bad an idea it is to give your social security number to an anime girl.

At the very least, Tax Heaven 3000 is an entirely free-to-play game, so you won’t have to spend any money to have an anime girl do your taxes. As MSCHF points out, at the end of the day games are just software, and there’s heaps of software available to help you do your taxes.

“Videogames are, at the end of the day, pieces of software–ontologically akin to Microsoft Word. Tax Heaven 3000 simply makes the fiction the point,” MSCHF says, “For some reason the game-to-real-life interface has tended to remain the purview of corporate metaverse fictions. Tax Heaven 3000 is a dongle that adapts from a visual novel to the IRS.”

Now it’s just a matter of if you trust a company that once made, marketed, and sold horse meat-flavored potato chips.