Madden ’12’s Weird System Of Racial Profiling In Its “Create-A-Player” Feature
Madden '12, like many Maddens before it, will offer you the option to create your own player when it comes out on August 30th. Inevitably, the game will ask you to assign your little virtual guy a position. But there's something interesting about this year's "create-a-player": according to Shutdown Corner, when you switch the position of your player, the game will sometimes switch your created player's skin color along with it.
For example, say you set his position to "quarterback," he's white.
When you set him to "halfback," he's black.
Offensive linemen? White. Defensive backs? Black.
I'm not ready to say this is some terrible affront to America's racial sensitivities. I'm saying it's a terrible affront to creativity.
Sure, a lot of quarterbacks are white, and pretty much all halfbacks (except for the guy on the cover of Madden '12, ironically) are black. And yeah, there are certain positions that are oft-associated with certain races, whether we want to admit this or not (why else would you write about a kicker, other than to note that he's an outlier?).
But it's weird that EA would include something like this in the game. Is it a foregone conclusion that the player wants his middle linebacker to be white, or his cornerback to be black? If he's trying to create a mirror image of the NFL, then maybe. But half the fun of creating players is making them into something you'd never see in real life: a 325 pound running back, maybe, or a safety who is 7 feet tall. When Madden suggests that these players fit into some sort of predetermined demographic that reflects the real-life NFL, then it makes "create-a-player" way less creative.
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