Philip K. Dick: The Video Game

Illustration for article titled Philip K. Dick: The Video Game

We’ve all seen movies, read books and played games inspired by the works of sci-fi author Philip K. Dick. Californium is different. It’s not a game about his worlds. It’s a game about Dick himself.

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While unable to actually use his name, Californium is a first-person title that mashes together various aspects of Dick’s life and has you play through them (as writer Elvin Green), from his failed marriages to drug use to some of the stronger themes that run throughout his stories.

Illustration for article titled Philip K. Dick: The Video Game

Tying everything together is the incredible art of Olivier Bonhomme, chosen because developers Darjeeling and Nova Productions wanted to get away from the dreary, now-clichéd presentation of Dick’s stuff you normally see in works like Blade Runner.

The game’s coming in early 2016. There’s a couple of trailers below, and you can read an interview with Californium’s creators at Ars Technica.

DISCUSSION

abort_user
abort_user

This I’d like to play!

I’d never thought about it till now, Dick’s story have been very difficult to adapt into films. But I think games might be better suited to portray the strangeness (among other things) of his works. And despite how brief he’s works tended to be (even his books were usually brief), he crams them full of imaginative worldbuilding. That sort of stuff could incorporate into a game much better, both in setting and in game mechanics. Plus games would be better at portraying the nuances of his stories, like that subtle comedic yet terrifying undercurrent in many of his stories. Or how he likes to juxtapose the bizarre with the mundane, and even sometimes swapping the two. In film’s that stuff is hard to get working right. I think that’s why film makers change his work so much for the screen. His stuff would seem to farcical to be taken seriously.