Monday, April 15, 2013

VIDEO: Protesters battle corporate tax evaders virtually with Wii, Kinect for Xbox

Protesters in 10 cities are using video game technology to battle corporate greed. Forbes reports that giant projections on the sides of corporate buildings like Citibank let the protesters use a Wii controller or Kinect for Xbox 260 to play the Tax Evaders video game.

Today is the last day of the five-day protest in cities including New York, Baltimore, Seattle, New Orleans, Milwaukee, Tampa and Gainesville.

Forbes reports:
Tax Evaders, which is also available to play for free online at, is a humorous take on Space Invaders that offers more than just the chance for a high score. With the nation busy making last-minute preparations for the IRS tax deadline, this original game is literally shedding light (through projection technology designed for Occupy Wall Street) on one of the problems this country faces because of corporate loopholes and a government controlled by special interest groups. 
Gan Golan, coordinator of the national project, talks about what’s wrong with our current tax loopholes and how gaming can be used to raise awareness for important issues in this exclusive interview. 
Where did the idea for a video game come from? 
I like to use popular culture to help get a message across, particularly sports and games, where the issue of fairness and playing by the rules are ever-present for the viewer. This underscores the incredible unfairness of how corporations have distorted our economic and political systems. Last year I was working within Occupy Wall Street and created a fake baseball team to go after super wealthy corporations who did not pay taxes, called The Tax Dodgers, where every player was a corporation, like GE, Verizon or Boeing. We showed up to corporate headquarters and did performances for the crowds on the street. That became popular to the point where we were actually contacted by the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown and one of our uniforms was then put on display. That actually happened. After that, I was trying to figure out a new way to bring these same issues to light and that’s when I realized that maybe the only thing as popular as sports, were video games. (Read the rest here.)
Tax Evaders tells us:
The wealthiest, most powerful corporations are stealing hundreds of billions of dollars from our treasury every year by dodging their taxes – while the rest of us pay the bill and accept austerity. So the folks at Tax Evaders went where they live. 
None of these actions would’ve been possible without: Overpass Light Brigades across the country, Occupy Wall Street, The Illuminator, Luminous Intervention, San Francisco Projection Department, US Uncut, Citizen Engagement Lab, Yes Lab, and The Other 98%.
Play the game itself here.