P3: Reflection

For my project I did the systems game Tax Hero, which modeled the system of the United States Tax system. It was meant to show how the rich and powerful manipulated the system to evade taxes. From using asset-based loans, to having the luxury to invest in properties as well as appraise artwork to get increased charity benefits, the system seems rigged against the poor. The ecosystem was modeled through the UI elements of the game and as well as some of the narrative and story elements in it. The game offered a challenge type of fun in the way each round challenged you to find the best way to save taxes.

Before doing the system game I thought the tax system was very rigid. In the sense that if you make a certain amount of money , you’re almost guaranteed to have to return a certain amount of money back. This is not true. As we explored the tax system, a lot of it came down to the subjective opinions of appraisers, and your access to expensive assets and charity systems. This means that the tax system is less of a stem field and more of a humanities type system. Less a science, and more a art. It was very fun to watch players play it, and I learned a lot about how to implement my ideas about complex systems into small games as well as work within a team to achieve these goals. It was a very rewarding experience overall.

Going forward, I intend to take all of these tax lessons to heart when I become a super rich and wealthy individual off of my Stanford education. Joking aside, understanding simple misconceptions like how a progressive tax system works has really changed the way I see the world.

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