EA‘s Madden series is getting even more realistic, with the news that the next version of the game will properly acknowledge the risks of player concussion. This update is designed to highlight an issue that has become a bit of a big deal for sports associations around the globe – including the NFL – and the players taking part in the games.
NFL Players Association assistant executive of external affairs (phew!), George Atallah, [surl=https://twitter.com/#!/GeorgeAtallah/status/53130817014206464]tweeted[/surl] today:
Good for EA Sports. Concussed players in NFL Madden prevented from returning to play. Culture change is important.
The (real-world) NFL is currently considering implementing further policies and rules to protect players from the risk of concussion. Since late 2009, the league has prevented concussed players from returning to the game since. The changes were a reaction to pressure from fans, players and even journalists, concerned about the long-term damage that can be caused by playing with a head injury.
Earlier versions of Madden featured bone-breaking injuries shown in real-time, through stylised X-rays. Madden NFL ’10 overhauled the injury system, and introduced “career-ending” injuries to the game. EA Sports also added information about the risks of re-injury if a gamer opted to return a player to a match.
I was just reading earlier today about an Australian footballer who is suing his former club over brain damage he sustained through multiple concussions on the field, so this really is a Real World issue – and it’s quite wonderful to discover that video games are taking these things so seriously.