Spring was intended to be a wonderful time of year. The snow newly-melted and the cherry trees in bloom, you are drawn out of your small desk space or dusty living room into more temperate air. But someone forgot to tell the I.R.S., who plopped the national tax deadline right in the middle of spring on April 15th. Sadly, my spring is kicked off with a flood of 1040’s, 1099-B’s. and Schedule D’s.
With the ambition of saving our springs from the doldrums of tax season, the hobbyist game designer David S. Gallant, who was fired from his job with the Canada Revenue Agency (doubtlessly one of the dullest employment experiences of his young career), hopes to make doing taxes a little more springlike by creating a tax program that is fun to play.
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In January, David was ousted from his position as a taxpayer helpline operator for creating a game called I Get This Call Every Day, where you play the role of a frustrated call operater. Honest to its name, the ironically humorous troll game, which by the way is impossible to win, laughs-out-loud at the cretinous stupidity of callers and the monotony of his outsourced day job.
"One of my goals is to explore ways to demystify taxes, and possibly even make the act of completing a tax return enjoyable, through games."
On his current financial situation, David is candid. “Still jobless, and I'll be honest; I haven't really begun the search in earnest. I Get This Call Every Day is selling well, but only well enough to pay the bills and the rent for a few months.”
As for where he’ll work next, David isn’t positive what the future has in store. “I'm pretty sure I'm going to need a job soon to make sure my finances are secure for the rest of the year,” he says. And while you’d think his negative experience with the Revenue Agency would have jaded him towards the federal tax system, instead it has inspired him to help make paying taxes an easier and entertaining experience.
“Since the main thrust of my last job was to answer questions about income taxes,” David says, “I’m now very knowledgeable on the subject. One of my goals is to explore ways to demystify taxes, and possibly even make the act of completing a tax return enjoyable, through games.” A noble cause, to be sure.
In the long run, David’s excruciating boring job may help all of us be a little less bored doing taxes. For anyone who has ever sat on hold with the tax department to find out some small but extremely pertinent detail, or for anyone who has been completely baffled by a program like TurboTax’s brevity of explanation, this would be a godsend. It’d also be nice for people who just generally hate doing taxes, like me––especially in spring!