I’m not capable of breaking anybody’s ankles with my basketball dribble. But for a fleeting moment last month, I felt like I was.
The moment came at the end of my demo of The Professor Presents: #GotHandles, a virtual reality game starring street basketball star Grayson “The Professor” Boucher. After completing an increasingly complicated series of combos with varying degrees of success, I was tasked with trying to pull off the Professor’s famous “spider-dribble.” (You can see that back-and-forth tapping dribble at the start of this “Spiderman Basketball” video, which has 32.8 million views on YouTube.)
I did it, and it was awesome.
That disappeared quickly, since the game does a very good job of modeling the physics of a basketball’s spin and bounce. Eric Shamlin, managing director and executive producer at Secret Location, acknowledged that the developers use “light cheats” to keep the game fun. But the most crucial part of this kind of experience is that the virtual basketball behaves the way you’d expect it to, and that holds true here.