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Video: Sony engineers capture Red Sox star Dustin Pedroia's movements for MLB 2009 the Show

February 23, 2009 |  7:07 pm

Dustin Pedroia, the second baseman for the Boston Red Sox and the reigning American League MVP, recently visited Sony's San Diego studio to help engineers bring more reality to his video game persona.

For MLB 2009 the Show, a game due out on March 3 for PlayStation systems, Pedroia suited up in spandex and had 55 sensors attached to him. He fielded imaginary grounders, turned fake double plays and went through his elaborate batting ritual to create data the engineers could use to make him look more lifelike in the game.

As we explain in this story about the sophisticated motion-capture process used to create games:

Sports-related video games now generate around $3 billion in annual sales, and enthusiasts have come to expect near-perfect fidelity. That means replicating a professional athlete's every tic and nuance.

The genre has benefited tremendously from computing advances that enable developers to render games that feel like the real deal: the angle of the sun shining into the stadium, the reaction of the crowds, the athletes' movements and facial expressions.

Check out the video above to see engineers put Pedroia through his routines. Motion capture is the latest subject in our Work of Play series, which looks at music composers, lawyers and other interesting professions created by the multibillion-dollar industry.

-- Chris Gaither

Video credit: Alex Pham / Los Angeles Times

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