As New York and New Jersey play host to Super Bowl XLVIII, Museum of the Moving Image and EA SPORTS look back on 25 years of the groundbreaking video game franchise Madden NFL in a new exhibition that opens on 1/9. On view and available for play are five editions of the game ranging from the original John Madden Football (1988) on Apple II to the latest Madden NFL 25 (2013) on Xbox One. Those who can’t attend in-person can visit a special website for an inside look at the exhibit.
The exhibition Madden NFL: 25 Years and Running explores this landmark franchise, highlighting its aesthetic evolution, cultural legacy, and enduring focus on simulation. Featured are five playable games that span the 25-year history of the franchise. In addition to the original John Madden Football (1988) on Apple II, they include Madden NFL ’94 (1993) on Sega Genesis, the first game with NFL licensed teams; Madden NFL 99 (1998) on PlayStation, which showcases breakthrough use of graphics and the first with Franchise mode; Madden NFL 2005 (2004) on Xbox, featuring defense mechanic and use of “Hit Stick”; and the new Madden NFL 25 (2013) on Xbox One showcasing Human Intelligence, True Player Motion and Living Worlds. Madden NFL 25 will be presented as a large-scale projection, while others will be shown on period consoles. All games will be available for multiple players except for the earliest game, John Madden Football. In addition to the games, the exhibition features a dynamic timeline showing milestones in the development of the franchise highlighted by gameplay footage from every year. The exhibition will be on view through February 23, in the Museum’s Nam June Paik Room / HBO Production Lab on the third floor.