News: Game simulation takes its place besides film study as important tools to prepare for game day.
Louisiana State University quarterbacks Matt Flynn, Ryan Perrilloux and Andrew Hatch take their Madden a little more seriously than other college students. That's because they use a heavily modified version of Madden NFL 07 known as the XOS PlayAction Simulator to practice their playbook against an opposing team's virtual defense, such as the Ohio State team they will play tomorrow in the BCS Championship Game.
The XOS PlayAction Simulator was developed by XOS Technologies in conjunction with EA Tiburon. Running on your basic laptop PC, the "game" allows quarterbacks to practice reading defenses, picking up blitzes and hitting their receivers.
Flynn, LSU's starter, makes more extensive use of the PlayAction Simulator than either of his backups. The game can also be customized for each individual player by making the defense faster or limiting the number of plays available.
The game was brought to LSU by their offensive coordinator, Gary Crowton. Crowton has long used technology to assist his players including "a little Tandy computer from Radio Shack that helped me get a job at New Hampshire." The only other college using the XOS PlayAction Simulator this year was Tennessee.
XOS also offers a more advanced version of the game, the XOS PlayAction Simulator VR, that adds a head-monted display and motion capture lab to "empower athletes to literally look around, run and throw in a virtual environment."
Crowton is thrilled with how the XOS PlayAction Simulator has worked out for LSU so far. "The thing is pretty realistic. It's in position right now where we can really take off with it through the winter, going into spring ball and for next year. It's still in its infant stages for us... but it's been kind of fun for our guys," he said.
source: Associated Press