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Robert Brenner

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Doom And Taxes

Posted: 11/09/11 03:08 PM ET

Video game developers receive such a rich assortment of incentives that even oil companies have questioned why the government should subsidize such a mature and profitable industry whose main contribution is to create amusing and sometimes antisocial entertainment. - theNew York Times.

AUDITOR: Name?

DOOM: Doom.

AUDITOR: First name or last?

DOOM: Just Doom. And it's pronounced DOOM.

AUDITOR: Alright, Mister, uh, DOOM. Social security number?

DOOM: 666-66-6666.

AUDITOR: Occupation?

DOOM: Video game.

AUDITOR: I see, video game.

DOOM: Not just any video game! I'm the most popular first-person shooter of all time! I created the whole category! I've crashed entire networks with my death matches and caused millions of dollars in lost productivity!

AUDITOR: I see. They don't allow us to play video games here at the IRS.

DOOM: What about when you're off duty?

AUDITOR (eyes glowing malevolently): A good IRS agent is never off duty. Maybe if you could describe what you do in a little more detail.

DOOM: Sure. You're a nameless Marine assigned to guard a research facility on Mars. Some egghead scientists are experimenting with teleportation. Something goes wrong and they accidentally open a gateway to Hell. Your task is to fight your way to the gateway and shut it down before first Mars, then Earth, are overrun by demons from Hell. There was a bad movie based on me starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson in 2005.

AUDITOR: I see. So basically you're in toxic waste management.

DOOM: Uh, not exactly. Although exploding barrels of toxic waste are part of the game. If you get good, you can learn to use them to blow s*** up.

AUDITOR: Why would I want to "blow s*** up?"

DOOM: Well, you can use them offensively to kill monsters. Or you can just blow s*** up for the hell of it.

AUDITOR: I thought you were trying to shut down this gateway to Hell.

DOOM: Poor choice of words. Anyway, you've got a lot of other weapons to choose from -- shotguns, rocket launchers, chainsaws...

AUDITOR: I'm glad you brought that up. Some of your deductions for business expenses here are a little unusual. What do you need so many chainsaws for -- do you also run a logging operation?

DOOM: Nothing better for cutting a bloody swathe through a horde of flesh-eating zombies.

AUDITOR: I see. What's a "BFG 9000?"

DOOM: It's a big f***ing gun. It's the most powerful weapon in my arsenal. You could kill a Boss cyberdemon with that thing! One shot, no problem!

AUDITOR: What's the "BFG" stand for?

DOOM: Big F***ing Gun.

AUDITOR: Isn't it a little redundant to call a "big f***ing gun" a "Big F***ing Gun?"

DOOM: Not if you're fourteen. Believe me, that's a laugh riot.

AUDITOR: Perhaps we should move on. Your medical deductions are also a little unusual. It says here you consumed 365 million stimpacks, 858 million medikits, and 563 million supercharges.

DOOM: I try to provide my players the best possible healthcare at a reasonable cost.

AUDITOR: What is "berserker mode?"

DOOM: That's great! Not only does it restore a player's health to 100%, but it temporarily multiplies his strength ten times. He can kill a demon with one brass-knuckled punch!

AUDITOR: So you provide your players with artificial stimulants that increase violent tendencies -- like crystal meth, or "crank."

DOOM: Not exactly. You see...

AUDITOR: You were banned until recently in Germany.

DOOM: Those krauts have no sense of humor. They never forgave me for Wolfenstein 3D.

AUDITOR: What's Wolfenstein 3D?

DOOM: My immediate precursor. You're an American soldier of Polish descent named William "B.J." Blazkowicz during World War II. Some Nazi scientists are experimenting with genetics. Something goes right and they deliberately breed super-powered monsters. Your task is to fight your way through Castle Wolfenstein and shut down their laboratory before Earth is overrun by mutants from Nazi Germany. Plus kill Hitler.

AUDITOR: Sounds fascinating. You were also implicated in Columbine...

DOOM: That was a bum rap! Adults are always trying to blame pop culture for juvenile delinquency. You might as well blame Hamlet for teen suicide.

AUDITOR: That's an interesting theory. Although I don't recall Hamlet including any chainsaws. I couldn't say for sure -- I wasn't an English major. But like Shakespeare, these days you're considered something of a has-been, are you not? You've been supplanted by other, gorier first person shooters like Dead Space 2, haven't you?

DOOM: That's a damn lie! I'll eviscerate the first imp who says so! I'll frag him with rockets, then ventilate him with my plasma rifle. I'll --

AUDITOR: Settle down, Mr. DOOM.

DOOM: At least I don't have T & A like Duke Nukem.

AUDITOR: I think that's enough for this initial interview.

DOOM: Initial interview?

AUDITOR: I'm sorry. Reviewing your responses, I'm afraid I have no choice but to recommend a full audit.

DOOM: You mean... ?

AUDITOR: That's right (removes glasses, stands up). There's no escape (transforms into a giant, flaming, one-eyed skull dripping blood from its severed spine). From the IRS (swallows DOOM in one gulp)!

The End...Or Is It?



 

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