Just how far is EA Sports willing to take its commitment to realism?

Electronic Arts is ushering in a brave new era of Madden football. According to Sports Illustrated:

This year’s version goes a step further toward reality as the attention to detail gets more precise. San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is featured in the first screenshot released Wednesday night, and as you can tell in the photo, his infamous tattoos are as well.

“We want to be as authentic as possible, so we were pleased that Colin was able to secure the rights to the tattoos,” Madden senior producer Seann Graddy told ESPN.com. “There’s a ton of buzz around this. In this game, we only have Colin’s tattoos, but we’d love to secure the rights to the tattoos of other players in the future.”

This was actually a process to make this a reality. Kaepernick had to get the permission of artists Nes Andrion and Orly Locquiao, and then file the rights with the NFLPA who eventually brought it to EA Sports.

That is quite the process, indeed, as well as an admirable commitment to realism. I imagine that, eventually, the video game will be hardly distinguishable from watching a real one on Sunday (a development no doubt eagerly anticipated, I have speculated, by NFL execs concerned over the long-term brain health of their players).

But in the meantime, I wonder whether EA will take this simulacrum to its logical conclusion: by depicting in-game Kaepernick with just one eyebrow.


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