Beyond the criminally underplayed Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion, there aren’t too many games that involve tax fraud as a plot point.
There’s a good reason for that: there’s not likely to be a happy ending, as frauds face massive fines and some serious consequences when (not if) they’re found out. That’s not exactly a fun thing to play out in a game, let alone real life.
While it’s easier than you’d think to make mistakes on your return and unintentionally commit fraud in the process — especially since your crypto exchanges are under the watchful eye of the ATO — some people, on the other hand, are just scammers.
Inspired by Turnip Boy, we’ve ranked seven beloved (and hated) video game characters by how likely they are to be scammers who commit tax fraud, from least to most likely.
Kim Kitsuragi, Disco Elysium
The oil-painted world of Elysium may be filled with criminals, dangerous unionist gangs and drug-addicted techno heads, but the one shining light of morality throughout is our hero’s partner-in-crime-solving, Lieutenant Kim Kitsurag. Committed to justice and doing right in the world, Kim would never commit tax fraud. Be like Kim.
Master Chief, Halo
If you don’t do your taxes in space, can anybody hit you with evasion? One person who probably doesn’t know the answer to that question is Halo hero Master Chief John-117. He is possibly more likely to commit tax fraud than Kim Kitsuragi, if only because he might miss the deadline while fighting the Flood — though this king does put time in his calendar at the end of each FY to make sure he’s dotted the i’s and crossed the t’s of his taxes.
Ashley Graham, Resident Evil 4
If there’s one thing we learned from Resident Evil 4, it’s that the US president’s daughter is hopeless. Absolutely hopeless, which makes me think that there’s no way in hell she’s doing her tax properly and calculating her crypto earnings correctly. Even with the Oval Office’s help, she’s going to owe a lot of money. Of course, she’ll be fine, as there’s always a Leon S. Kennedy to break her out of jail.
Melina, Elden Ring
Every Tarnished has a maiden to help them on their quest to become the Elden Lord, and Melina is indispensable on your journey. The Lands Between is a little far gone for anyone to worry about taxes, which makes me think that Melina, should she be transported to our reality by strange fate, would adopt a kind of “delusional girl persona” á la Lena Dunham where she lives in Northcote, and spends most of her time posing in a Maroske Peech cloak on Instagram for her 40,000 followers. She doesn’t really work but has a love of crypto money that she doesn’t report to the government because “it doesn’t matter” because she’s “not real”.
Red, Among Us
Okay, now we’re getting into the more nefarious scammer territory. Red would absolutely commit tax fraud on purpose, and gaslight his way through the courts. And why not another colour? Well, Red is clearly just the most immoral of all Among Us astronauts. You either get it, or you don’t! I rest my case.
Tom Nook, Animal Crossing
A businessman who lures people to an isolated island and then springs a ridiculous mortgage on them without a contract or lawyer present? A creature who cares only about money? You just know he’s doing some shady tax shavings, whether that be off-shore accounts, cash-in-hand payments or a fake charity. Do not trust this man!!!
Waluigi, Mario series
There is no greater evil than Waluigi. Born a copy of a copy, rendered only so Wario has someone to play doubles tennis with, Waluigi has little purpose or direction in life. It makes sense, then, that he leans into the meaninglessness of his own existence, acquiring coin and living lawlessly.
He is a man who lives at the edge: I don’t doubt he owns 52 NFTs and has them displayed on a loop in an art gallery within his mansion, in the wing he never visits. Without a social security number or birth certificate, and presumably having burned off his own fingerprints, Waluigi spends his life evading government in all forms, which is why he’s never had his own solo game. This dude lives off fraud, and one day, we will catch him. Justice will be served. We shall be free.
Honestly, don’t be like them. If you struggle with taxes or you have certain investments that rhyme with schmypto, hit up specialised services like Koinly during tax time to prevent a full-blown Turnip Boy situation and drawing the ire of the ATO.