The Houston Chronicle has a story this week about football players who can’t get enough. When they’re not playing it on the gridiron, they’re playing onscreen: Texans addicted as anybody else to video-game craze. NFL players have the benefit of seeing themselves playing in the computer game. As you can imagine, they take great interest in how well their virtual proxies do. My favorite quote was this one from the Electronic Arts PR firm that publishes Madden 2002 NFL Football.

The first thing players look at is what their rating is… If they see John Madden during the season they’ll ask him, “How come I’m not faster?” They take it real seriously.

I’m not surprised. The faithfulness of the simulations that can be achieved these days is really breathtaking, from the creases in the uniforms to the stadium lights to the end zone dances. Take a look at one of the promotional videos from the Madden site. If Virtual You kept chucking interceptions, you’d be pissed too. I spotted this on Boing Boing; read Cory Doctorow’s riff on the same topic.

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