The newest version of EA Sports madden NFL 12 will add concussions into the game play to provide a more realistic experience and also be a teaching tool.
With concussions in the NFL and all sports getting more attention in the press, EA Sports and John Madden have decided to incorporate concussions into the game play for the upcoming Madden NFL 12 release. The game will depict players receiving concussions and leaving the field. It will then have the in game announcers state a few plays later that the player sustained a concussion and will not be returning to the game. The aim is to reinforce that concussion injuries should be taken seriously and to teach that when a concussion is sustained you should come out of the game and stay out of the game. These new game play entries coincide with the NFL adding even stricter guidelines to concussion injuries in the real field of play.
John Madden said, “Kids used to learn football in the playground, but now they learn the game more by the video game,” Madden said. “Strategy is probably a bigger part. But also as graphics get better, we can be better about showing proper tackling techniques. And to show that concussions are really serious: if we show players playing through them, then kids won’t understand. We want it handed off to the next generation. There was a time when someone would get a concussion and you’d say he just got dinged, take some smelling salts and get back in the game. Those days are over.” Both EA and Madden want to make the game realistic and the new rules and the way the NFL treats concussions is just one of the ways to do that.
Some Madden NFL players disagree and think that it is too much of real life intruding on what is considered to be “just a game.” Given how many young game players there are for this game, it is definitely an opportunity to teach at a young level. The NFL and sports in general has a long way to go in addressing and trying to prevent concussions, but any step in the right direction is the right way to go in my opinion. Any opportunity to educate is a good opportunity.