EA cracking down on concussions in Madden 12

Concussions are one of the most dangerous injuries a football player can sustain, and EA is seeking to drive this message home by tweaking its Madden NFL series to treat concussed players in a dramatic new way.

In Madden 2012, players who receive a concussion during a match will be sidelined for the remainder of the game with zero hopes of returning to the field. In addition, the in-game announcers - Gus Johnson and Chris Collinsworth - will comment on the injury, making special mention of its symptoms and serious implications.

"Concussions are such a big thing, it has to be a big thing in the video game," said John Madden in an interview with the New York Times. "It starts 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."

Madden said EA's decision to alter its treatment of concussions was born of the publisher's desire to inject more realism to the franchise and to educate players on the real-life (and sometimes fatal) dangers associated with head injuries. As expected, the changes are being well received by both the NFL and the sports industry in whole.

"It’s a great approach to teach kids in a way that no one else can reach," said Chris Nowinski, a former Harvard footballer and the co-director of the Sports Legacy Institute, adding, "Considering how hard it is to reach young kids and expose them early, this is brilliant. You’re training kids from the cradle to play sports more safely. If you get a concussion, come out of the game. You can’t unteach that."

Sports injuries are rarely treated with the gravitas they deserve in games, so good on EA for taking the lead. That being said, we wouldn't be too taken aback to see an option for players to miraculously heal themselves for a small micro-payment to EA Online...

[Source: NBC Sports]

April 4, 2011

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  • Zels77 - April 5, 2011 7:44 a.m.

    And while EA are at it, why don't they have Collinsworth remind kids not to take drugs and to stay in school!? Pathetic.
  • corndog501 - April 5, 2011 3:12 a.m.

    I'm actually proud of EA right now, a lot of people don't realize how dangerous concussions are in football. If you get one once, you're likely to get one again, which can make a player feel uncomfortable. As someone who got a concussion once, its not a pretty experience. I was almost knocked out cold, they had to have the other players carry me off the field as I couldn't move under my own power. It felt like I was in this extremely intense daze, my vision was blurred to the point where 1 finger seems like 2 or 3, and I had trouble speaking at first. I also think I blew chunks on either a ref or another player, don't remember which. Its not a pretty experience and more people should know about the risks that the game carries...not to mention its bullshit in Madden where someones star QB gets a concussion and comes back the next quarter, that shit ain't possible.
  • chilarome - April 5, 2011 2:52 a.m.

    And even though this game will sell millions and probably a billion people will play it, how many will actually care about this? like 6?
  • D0CCON - April 5, 2011 2:28 a.m.

    Interesting that they do this during the same season that I had to adjust to the fact that our quarterback (Rodgers) could get them. He went through a few of them this past season (and we still won it all!)
  • BlitzIzDaShitz - April 4, 2011 11:44 p.m.

    Why don't they FIX the game instead of trying to throw some injuries from a tackle that you've see 50 times a game.
  • ThatFanInThePeacoat - April 4, 2011 11:03 p.m.

    AHAHAHA "Cracking down on concussions!"
  • Brutalicus - April 4, 2011 10:20 p.m.

    I've never played Madden (or IRL football) but I do watch my share of NFL games and I've noticed big changes with regards to concussions of late. Legal reasons or no, I have to say this is a good call by EA. And come on, micro-transactions to heal your players? It's not Activision! Good read, thanks GR!
  • WillisTron - April 4, 2011 10:13 p.m.

    I feel like this is more for legal reason than EA Sports wanting to send a safe heart-warming message

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