Fans of Madden NFL 10 know that the game goes on sale across all platforms on Aug. 14. But an exclusive playable demo for the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 offered through GameStop is causing a stir.

For all those Madden fans who were hurling expletives at Electronic Arts for limiting the demo to those who pre-ordered the game from GameStop stores, chill.

I know this may be hard to believe, but it wasn't their fault.

GameStop advertised the demo as an exclusive, and it is, sort of. The GameStop demo features the last Super Bowl matchup, the Arizona Cardinals versus the Pittsburgh Steelers.

However, the demo that will be available for most consoles features the Dallas Cowboys and the New York Giants.

Now agreed, the Cowgirls and the Gnats is pretty whack for Eagles fans, but at least you will be able to check out the new bells and whistles of the game.

GameStop customers who reserve their Madden copies in stores or online will receive a special code. Codes are scheduled to be in stores by July 15 and the demo is slated to go live by the end of July on Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network, according to Gamespy.

Teen sentenced this week

This is a topic we have debated several times, yet the battle for truth about crime and video games continues.

In 2007, Ohio teen Daniel Petric shot his father and fatally wounded his mother after they took away his copy of Halo 3, a game they had specifically forbidden.

Defense attorneys argued that Daniel was "blinded" from reality when playing Halo 3 and that an 18-hour binge of playing the game caused him to snap.

Though the prosecution sought a sentence of life without parole, Judge James Burge said violent video-game addiction was a concern when considering sentencing on Tuesday. He gave Daniel life in prison with the possibility of parole in 23 years.

"I feel confident that if there were no such thing as violent video games, I wouldn't know Daniel Petric," Burge said.

I don't know how any sentence is harsher than having to live with the fact that you shot your own parents, but it seems like a fair sentence.

But time and again, psychologists have said that unstable people prone to violence need only a trigger to act violently and that violent video games alone don't make people violent.

In this case it seems the judge is saying that because the game is violent, Daniel had no choice but to shoot the people who took it away from him. That makes no sense given the psychologists' findings.

Speaking of game addiction

MTV's

True Life

series is looking for hard-core gamers (

hard-core addicts

are the network's words) for the new series

True Life: I'm Addicted to Videogames.

If you've seen this series you know the network won't rest until it finds the most socially regressive and mentally skewed gamers to basically reinforce what I have just been arguing against. Sigh. Told you . . . this debate never ends.

Best of E3

Next week, we'll learn who won the Game Critics Best of E3 2009. Followers of E3 already know titles like Uncharted 2, Modern Warfare 2, Brutal Legend, and Halo 3 ODST are bound to get additional recognition. What's interesting is that Nintendo still has a serious problem in the number of game and hardware nominations that will be available on the Wii. It's eight nominations. Yup, eight. The PS3 and the Xbox 360 are virtually tied with 39 and 42, respectively.

Contact Bare Knuckles at knuckles@phillynews.com.