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01/31/2013

CRA Fires Employee Over Satirical Game

Call centre workers at the Canadian Revenue Agency may have a sense of humour, but their bosses certainly don't. David S Gallant, a lowly cog in the vast bureaucratic machine that processes your tax dollars, was just fired after creating a Windows game highlighting just how bad his job really is.

Gallant programmed the game, called I Get This Call Every Day, as "a personal tale of unwinnable realities." He worked at the CRA, taking calls from the confounded, confused, and the just plain dumb. The game gives you a chance to relive his grim existence as a "meat popsicle", dealing with people who call in with all manner of bizarre queries. Gallant recorded over 250 lines of dialogue replicating conversations that he has had with callers to the CRA. Players choose how the conversation goes by selecting different options at key points.

"I'm hoping the proceeds from this game will get me a few steps closer to less day job and more game making," said Gallant, who was working part-time at the CRA. He was more right than he knew, because his high-ups of the CRA disapproved. "I was fired," said Gallant in a Twitter post yesterday.

He doesn't seem particularly bothered. The publicity surrounding the game and his firing has driven people to the website. "Monthly take-home was around $2400 and I made that in about a day," he said on Twitter yesterday, adding that this is rent for March and April.

What now? Gallant isn't sure, according to his Twitter feed, although he is working on a Mac version of the game. One thing's for sure - a little publicity never hurt anyone trying to make money with low-cost downloadable games - and it has to be better than staffing the phones at the CRA, right?

Danny Bradbury, MSN Tech & Gadgets

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Danny BradburyDanny Bradbury

Danny Bradbury is a technology journalist with 20 years' experience. He writes regularly for publications including the Guardian, the Financial Times, the Financial Post, and Backbone magazine. Danny also writes and directs documentaries.

Maurice CachoMaurice Cacho

Maurice Cacho is a Toronto-based journalist mixing his love for tech with a passion for news. He's also CP24's Web Journalist and appears daily on CP24 Breakfast and weekly on the channel's tech show, Webnation, discussing tech news and trends.

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