The Sports World

Football's Video-Game Revolution

Here’s an alternative to another helping of Super Bowl hype: In the new issue of Wired, Chris Suellentrop shows how football-based video games—what anyone under the age of 35 knows as Madden—have become the NFL’s chief performance enhancer. More than 50 percent of NFLers now play video games, according to one former running back, who says games “make you a better football player.” Young footballers arrive at high school or college having seen more blitz schemes and off-tackle plays than their elders could have imagined. Suellentrop identifies a moment from this season in which an NFL wide receiver performed a move perfected in the digital realm. “Games have moved beyond just imitating the action on the field,” Suellentrop writes. “Now they’re changing it.”