February 3, 2017

...AND CHEAPER...:

HOW MADDEN GOT SO SILLY GOOD AT PREDICTING SUPER BOWL WINNERS (JULIE MUNCY,  02.03.17, Wired)

FOLLOWING AN IMPRESSIVE but not altogether unexpected rally in the fourth quarter, quarterback Tom Brady led the New England Patriots to victory in Super Bowl LI on Wednesday, beating the Atlanta Falcons 27-24.

Well, OK. Not the real Super Bowl. The simulated one. The Madden one. Every year since 2004, EA Sports has used their NFL-sponsored videogame franchise to predict which team will take the Vince Lombardi Trophy home. Equal parts marketing ploy and artificial intelligence experiment, the digital bowls showcase an intriguing side of sports videogames--and the Madden franchise in particular. They're not just entertaining games to play with friends over beers in the off season. They're rigorous, exacting recreations of real-life athleticism. Simulations that might, in fact, run better without gamers than they do with them.

Let's take Super Bowl XLIX, for instance. In that game, the New England Patriots faced off against the Seattle Seahawks. In real life, the Patriots won, 28-24. In Madden '15, the most recent title in the series at the time, the Patriots also won--28-24. While that may be the most striking success of these annual simulations, it's not the only one. Not counting this year, which is yet to be determined, Madden has correctly predicted the Super Bowl's winner an impressive nine out of 13 times.

A simulated NFL would solve the concussion problems.

Posted by at February 3, 2017 8:57 AM

  

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