Ever wonder what it would have felt like to effortlessly plunk a penalty kick as easily as Lionel Messi did against the Netherlands this year? Or relive the terror of Roberto Baggio’s botched rocket to lose the 1994 World Cup against Brazil? (I distinctly remember screaming “BAGGGIIIIOOO NOOO” at every missed shot during summer camp that year.)
For the inauguration of Universidad Argentina de la Empresa’s VR Lab in Buenos Aires, Nicolas Cortez put together Penalty Rift so that you too can pin your hopes and fears on a single moment. It makes use of the Oculus Rift and a Kinect to track movement, you are alone in Maracana Stadium, the wind at your back, and a host of soccer balls at your feet. And true to Cortez’ porteño leanings, you are wearing Argentina’s Albicelestes, the white and sky blues.
Yes, you may as John Cassidy of the New Yorker wrote, feel that penalty shootouts are “to any soccer purist, coronary-inducing abominations,” but at least they’ll be your abominations. And thank goodness there’s no tall Dutchman like keeper Tim Krul to prevent your shot at glory.