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Shaun Alexander, Gaming Analyst

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Okay, I love this item. Everyone from out of town, this is why Seattle loves #37:

As we all know, Shaun Alexander's the cover boy for EA Sports' upcoming Madden game. The New York Times reports that #37 appeared last week at a Manhattan gaming convening (not really a "convention"), with some EA Sports executives in attendance.

Normally at functions like this the spokesperson, in this case Shaun, is supposed to extol the virtues of the product. Many players, in fact, stick to a prepared script in these cases.

Shaun indeed proclaimed how great a game Madden is (which it is). But he also took a slight detour from the Sugarcoat Express:

"Madden has always been great," Alexander said. "But it's always been one-on-one, just you and another person, and real football is a team game... You should be able to make a team and play together with your friends. Like if you have 10 friends, you could all play different positions and be in 10 different houses and play together over the Internet. Or maybe you just have like five people, and you control the skill positions and the program controls the other guys."

The EA executives in the room practically blanched when they realized that Alexander was offering constructive analysis of what is missing from Madden rather than merely parroting bullet points about this year's new features, like a revamped rushing game.

But Alexander's concept seems powerful and exciting because it dovetails with the way the Internet is facilitating new sorts of collaborative, rather than merely competitive, entertainment."

Just on the basis of Shaun's very insightful, rational, forward-thinking assessment, I insist that the Madden Curse be lifted. Immediately.

Update [2006-7-7 14:38:14 by Shrug]: Some supplementary commentary on Shaun's vision thing, and group gaming in general, from Jeremy Reimer of ARS Technica.