The New York Times recently put together an interesting article that tracks the popularity of each team in the Madden 11 video game based upon real-life events. Here is an excerpt with an example of real events that changed the way teams were used in online play:
For example, game players seemed to follow Randy Moss’s high receiver ratings from team to team. And as some teams fizzled out of playoff contention, they saw their popularity in Madden disappear. The Cincinnati Bengals and the Dallas Cowboys peaked in popularity the first week the game came out, and decreased steadily as the real teams accumulated losses.
The Lions should have seen an increase in their usage among Madden gamers, right?
Doesn’t look like it happened.
The four game winning streak to end the year may have impressed us and lead to increased enthusiasm surrounding the Lions but it seems to have had little impact on the guys that play around with the digitized version of the Honolulu blue and silver.
A graph that shows the ups and downs (or lack thereof) of the Lions popularity of a team in Madden games is shown in the New York Times article Gamers Mimic the Season’s Ups and Downs.
The Lions finish the year as the 24th most popular Madden team for online game play. It is interesting to note that their popularity remained rather constant over the course of the year, despite the injury to Matthew Stafford to start the year and the four game winning streak to end it.