Sports Biz with Darren Rovell

Playing Video Games Good For You?


You've heard the complaints over and over again.

Kids playing video games instead of playing the real version outside. But the folks at Electronic Arts are here to say that there's some value in playing one of their most stalwart franchises, "Madden."

EA commissioned the University of Oregon's Warsaw Sports Marketing Center to survey average NFL fans versus those that played "Madden."

The survey revealed that those who played "Madden" were 60 percent more knowledgeable about the game than those who just classified themselves as non-gaming fans of the league.

"This proves that our game is doing a tremendous service to the real sports," Peter Moore, president of EA Sports, told me. "Playing the game creates a better educated and more involved fan. And that means that all the people say gamers are wasting time while playing games on the couch are wrong. We've suspected it for years, but this proves that playing "Madden" helps create a deeper knowledge of the game that just watching on television."

Moore said he recently saw that first hand when he asked how his son knew how to recognize something on the football field. He told his dad that he had seen the play in "Madden."

The survey found that those who played Madden were 79 percent better in their general knowlege of the game, 54 percent better when being quizzed about game situations and 28 percent better on the rules of the game.

The survey also revealed that there was a correlation to the hours of play — the more a player said he or she played the game, the more knowledgeable they were in the survey's questions.

"We found what we thought we'd find," said Paul Swangard, the managing director of the Warsaw Sports Marketing Center.

The survey asked 36 questions. Madden players, on average, answered 22 of those questions correctly, while NFL fans who didn't play the game, on average, only got 14 right.

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