Penn State

Fans experience Penn State athletics through virtual reality before Ohio State-Penn State football game

psheehan@centredaily.com

Anyone who missed the Penn State football game against Ohio State on Saturday night might have the chance to get behind-the-scenes footage through virtual reality.

Penn State in partnership with EON Sports created a virtual reality subscription service called Lion Vision VR available on Android or Apple mobile devices.

It provides customers with 2-D, 3-D and virtual reality footage from all Penn State athletic events, Assistant Athletic Director Michael Cross said.

It comes in a cover the shape of glasses, designed to fit on a person’s face, with an area to clip on a device similar to the size of a phone.

And new footage will be updated just about every day, Cross said.

“It puts them in a part of the action they normally wouldn’t have the chance to see,” he said.

People can purchase the service Monday.

But on Saturday, the public was able to test the product for the first time at FanFest along Curtin Road near the Bryce Jordan Center.

FanFest is part of pregame activities during every Nittany Lions home football game, and hosted by Penn State Sports Properties, which General Manager Doug Nelson said is designed to be an interactive fan experience. It features partner companies like Nissan, Geico and AT&T.

But the feature attraction was the Lion Vision VR.

“The reactions are really positive,” Cross said. “I think it was a lot of fun for people.”

It was for the Langstaff siblings, of Ogdensburg, N.Y., and something they called a “perfect experience” before being part of the actual crowd.

“This is our first game so it was so cool to use that thing,” River Langstaff, 10, said.

River held the device up to his eyes. He waited a few seconds, and then navigated his way around a virtual Beaver Stadium by just turning his body and moving his head in the direction he wanted to see the stadium.

His sister Rayah, 7, brother Rainer, 9, and stepbrother Jordan McCallus, 9, also tried the contraptions, which they said were easy to use.

“It was just really cool to see the players right in front of you,” Rayah said.

Jordan’s been to a Penn State game before Saturday, but for the Langstaff siblings, this was their first.

Their Penn State fandom stems from their father who said he grew up a Penn State fan.

“I’m pretty excited,” River said enthusiastically.

Saturday’s game against the Buckeyes was deemed the White Out game, and fans were encouraged to wear white.

According to Penn State Athletics, 107,280 guests were in attendance at Beaver Stadium.

“This is huge for us,” fan and season ticket holder Logan Kerstetter, of York, said. “Ohio State is always the biggest game of the year, and it’s just a good rivalry and good time whether we win or lose.”

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