From “Game Changers: How Videogames Trained a Generation of Athletes” in Wired:
Players are using videogames in increasingly innovative ways. Lauren Silberman, a 25-year-old graduate student in MIT’s comparative media studies program, wrote her master’s thesis on athletes who use them to enhance their physical play—on the football field, on the baseball diamond, on the basketball court. Of the athletes she interviewed who could play as themselves, more than 90 percent did so regularly. More and more, players at even the college level are able to practice with virtual versions of themselves. (The sims are so realistic that a class-action lawsuit has been brought by amateur athletes who want EA to share a portion of the revenue with them.) Briscoe, the University of Kansas wide receiver, told me that NCAA Football 10—the college-football equivalent of Madden NFL—had successfully imported “a majority” of his team’s plays into its virtual playbook.
Baseball players have gotten in on the act, too. When Vladimir Guerrero, All-Star outfielder for the Los Angeles Angels, began his Major League career with the Montreal Expos, he would spend hours playing a PlayStation baseball game as himself.