Miquel Camps Orteza made the Californication Game

Miquel Camps Orteza, the author who made the game Californication in just two days. It was a challenge for him, so don't expect anything spectacular.

Still, the game has seven levels, and each has different gameplay mechanics. The whole thing is free and can be downloaded at Itch.io. Of course, the Red Hot Chilli Peppers music itself isn’t included, but you can always play it yourself in the background.

Here's what the game looks like:

I'm a child of MTV - a program that used to play more music than reality shows. And nothing on MTV in the nineties left me so wide-eyed more than the video for the song Californication, by the American band Red Hot Chilli Peppers. This video is one of the most famous videos made in the form of a video game that never really existed.

For those who weren’t born while Californication aired on MTV, you can watch the video here. For some reason, RHCP does not allow the embedding of videos outside of YouTube. 

Californication Game

In short, Californication is a song about the illusion of Hollywood and rot that lies beneath promise, glamor, and spectacle. The video evokes this by four members of the band witnessing various bizarre and oxymorons on their journey through different parts of California to downtown Los Angeles.

At the time the Californication video was released, there was no game on the market that could graphically offer what was shown in the video. This is a clear thing - because the "game" from the video was not real. However, when I watch this video 21 years later, I still have the impression that the games so far have not given me the full experience of the idea of "California".

I mean, here are some things that are part of the "gameplay" in the video for Californication:

  • surfing on a shark
  • grinding on a bridge in San Francisco
  • flying on insects, unicorns, and DaVinci devices
  • fleeing an earthquake in the middle of Los Angeles

I’m not mistaken that any of the above would result in a meaningful game, but I still dream of a game that would offer similar craziness in some sort of sequence, almost like in the endless runner genre.

It should be emphasized that the video itself was inspired by some existing games. The section where Flea drives a car is inspired by Crazy Taxi, and an interesting feature is that in 2000 the band grabbed the PlayStation 2 console from Japan just to have a vision of what was then achievable in the field of virtual dreams.

We can freely say that the "Californianization" was brought to us by later games from the GTA series, primarily San Andreas and GTA 5, which take place in the area of imaginary California. But the vision of the game they had at RHCP with this video is closer to the arcade roots of the 90s games than anything else that followed.

Californication Game 2

It is for this reason that today I have the impression that we have not yet received "Californication: The Game". The games have moved away from their arcade roots, and although in the meantime they’ve delivered even crazier things than the ones we could once see on MTV, I still think the Californication spot would be a great template for a fun game.

After all, when you listen a little to what RHCPs are singing about, not much has changed in the last 20 years. The California-themed game would be even more topical now than ever before.

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