Recent study shows sports video games can boost game IQ

The Georgia State Panthers football team develops team chemistry by playing Madden together, with Quad Brown taking a front-row seat on the action. Photo by Matt Siciliano-Salazar | The Signal

Who would have ever thought that you could be a football expert for just $60 and access to a game console? 

Cornelious “Quad” Brown, quarterback for the Georgia State Panthers, can attest to this.

Brown’s first season as Georgia State’s starting quarterback was unforgettable, leading the Panthers to their first bowl victory since 2017 with a 39-21 win against Western Kentucky in the LendingTree Bowl. 

Brown’s efforts and exceptional talent brought him the opportunity to receive his first MVP award in a bowl game.

“I was able to gain a lot of experience and play with a lot of talent, which is something that is a blessing, so it was a fun experience,” Brown said. “It was [also] a learning experience for sure.”

Since he stepped foot on the field, Brown continues to work his way up the conference statistics ranks. But where did this talent come from?

It all started when Brown was a kid with sports video games such as Madden NFL and NBA 2K in his early days and continues to play them.

But could indulging in sports video games play a role in Brown’s success? He believes it certainly has. 

“It does. I feel like [Madden] directly correlates to my game, especially with me playing quarterback,” Brown said. “There are so many realistic route concepts and different offensive sets that are on Madden that correlate to our offense at Georgia State.”

A James H. Warsaw Sports Marketing Center at the University of Oregon survey of over 15,000 NFL players and fans found that people who played Madden had a 60% higher football IQ than people who don’t play Madden. 

“I do believe that [Madden] does correlate with my IQ. It has gone up,” Brown said. “The defensive coverages are pretty accurate on Madden, so being able to digest and breakdown defensive coverages, and also memorize and learn and get familiar with different route concepts and offensive schemes, has been able to help me in my football game.”

Learning defensive coverages and offensive schemes is a must for quarterbacks, and they usually acquire these skills through studying film. 

“I’ve referenced Madden as interactive film,” Brown said. “It’s like film study, except you interact as you go.”

Madden’s accuracy makes learning from and mimicking star players in the league, such as Patrick Mahomes and Russell Wilson, so much easier. He not only watches them but plays them and studies their ways on the digital football field.

“On Madden, the skillset that is placed on those [quarterback] players is pretty accurate, and they do what they do well in real life on Madden,” Brown said, “So I definitely use different [quarterback] players because they have different attributes and different strengths and weaknesses.”

Not only has Madden helped with Brown’s football IQ, but it has also played a role in team chemistry.

“I do play with a couple of my teammates,” Brown said. “We get pretty competitive. We’re football players, so we all kind of have pride in our madden skills. It’s something that we do as a hobby, and it’s something that we do to bond as well.”

Overall, Madden’s accuracy has led people to believe that it can play a vital role in someone’s football knowledge and tremendously benefit players.

Brown has taken advantage of this knowledge, along with his skills, to help guide and motivate him to lead the Panthers to another successful season in 2021.

“I think that a Sun Belt Championship [win in December] is definitely attainable for the Georgia State Panthers in Atlanta, and that’s what we’re striving for each and every day,” Brown said. “That’s our goal [and] that’s what we will fight for.”