The next iteration of the long-running Madden NFL football franchise will seek to educate gamers about the seriousness of concussions.
In light of the NFL's crackdown on hits to the head and concussion injuries, the newest Madden game will emphasize the severity of head injuries like no other video game before. The game will adopt the concussion rules currently employed by the NFL that prevent a concussed player from returning to the field and the game's commentators, Cris Collinsworth and Gus Johnson, will also discuss the serious nature of any sort of damage to the head.
EA Sports has even made some aesthetic changes to the Madden engine. The developers have tweaked some of the tackle animations so you won't see any helmet-to-helmet hits, nor will there be any tackles where a player leads with his head. The goal is to teach young football players what clean, legal tackling looks like, and John Madden fully supports the new direction for the franchise.
"Concussions are such a big thing, it has to be a big thing in the video game," Madden told The New York Times. "It starts with young kids -- they start in video games. I think the osmosis is if you get a concussion, that's a serious thing and you shouldn't play. Or leading with the head that you want to eliminate. We want that message to be strong."
The Madden games are almost as popular as the NFL itself, so using it as a tool to teach the masses about the dangers of concussions is not only a smart thing to do, it also seems like the right thing to do.