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Madden 12 Will Double as a PSA for Concussions

According to The NY Times, concussions are an issue that our pigskin-playing youth don't take seriously enough. Efforts have been made to teach kids about head injuries, but it's still a problem. Madden 12 could be the answer.

The new game will properly simulate the NFL procedure for concussions, benching players for the rest of the game if a head injury occurs. The hope is that the serious treatment of the injury within the game will encourage safety during actual play. Millions of people buy Madden every year, so players will be exposed to the severity of concussions and how these injuries should be handled on the field.

John Madden himself even weighed in on the issue: “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 believes the game has the ability to be a strong teaching tool for kids: “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.”

It seems like a noble goal, and something subtle enough that kids may actually take note. However, if they really want people to take injuries seriously, they should have gone with the Blitz the League-style “zoom into internal organs and watch them explode” approach. Then again, that scared me into never wanting to play football at all, so maybe it was more than effective.

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Joe Donato Video games became an amazing, artful, interactive story-driven medium for me right around when I played Panzer Dragoon Saga on Sega Saturn. Ever since then, I've wanted to be a part of this industry. Somewhere along the line I, possibly foolishly, decided I'd rather write about them than actually make them. So here I am.
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