What's Missing From Car Games? The Nutty Drivers And Nuttier Cars.

Cars aren't just about the cars. They're about the colourful characters that buy them, customise them, and drive them.

This is something that beautiful driving simulators sometimes seem to forget, but something that hellaflush doesn't.

Hellaflush is a car culture movement that didn't start in Japan, but rather, it was coined by San Francisco's Fatlace. It refers to cars that have their wheels flush with the fenders.

Japan has its own version of hellaflush, called "tsura-ichi" (ツライチ), so the country's car enthusiasts took to last year's Hellaflush event at Fuji Speedway like ducks to water.

The music and culture element of hellaflush are solely missed in gaming. Sure, both Forza and Gran Turismo have thriving communities, filled with custom paintjobs and parts.

There are those who say hellaflush sucks, but the amount of crazy customisation is something that realistic car simulators cannot even become to touch. They're just scratching the surface.

Car games let us experience the thrill of driving a wide variety of cars and driving them fast — something that they've been focused on for years. In-game customisation is always about making your car better — levelling up. But sometimes, "better" might just mean "cooler". For those who want to trade drivability for expression, look elsewhere.

Some people, you know, are happy with a P.O.S. 1988 Mitsubishi Lancer with an amazing stereo and magnificent spoilers. Or, you know, something like this. Video games' inability to replicate this overlooked experience is somewhat depressing!

In the video here by iPhilms, the world of hellaflush in Japan is brought to life. Depressing, it's not.

HellaFlush Japan from iPhilms on Vimeo.

Culture Smash is a daily dose of things topical, interesting and sometimes even awesome — game related and beyond.

Comments

    In-game customisation is always about making your car better — levelling up. But sometimes, “better” might just mean “cooler”. For those who want to trade drivability for expression, look elsewhere.

    Or look to NFS Underground, Underground 2, Most Wanted, Carbon, Shift, Juiced and so on and so forth.

    Ashcraft has to be the least informed "games journalist" ever. Unless it involves spank-bank jap crap he has no idea.

      What are the quote tags for Kotaku?

        I'm still trying to figure out how toget an avatar.

          Akra is right. It's via Gravatar. Be nice if Kotaku offered an FAQ on this stuff since they support gravatar and that tags can be used :S

    Owning and/or driving a very fast race car on race tracks all over the world is completly beyond my means, these cars costs hundred of thousands of dollars then there is maintainence, transport, tyres and comsumables etc etc etc. Not to mention I'd probably kill myself.

    Gran Turismo (or any racing game) can barley scratch the surface of what it is like to drive a car like this around a racetrack but, it costs $50.

    I can buy an old toyota corolla or a nissan silvia and a nice set of wheels for $5000 and have a useless and impracticle Hellflush car.

    No one wants a simulator for having to stop your car and get out wooden boards to place on the ground to get over a speedbump because your car is too low.

    Because all I really want when playing a racing game single player is to have to "socialise" with code buckets instead of RL waste of oxygen.

    Awesome article Brian, keep up the good work and ignore the whingers, because there's a lot of us that really enjoy reading your articles.

    awesome. simply awesome.

    What's missing from driving games?

    Better physics. Better AI and more customisation.

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