Collegiate athletics, particularly football, provide tremendous value to schools through branding, revenue, and publicity. As a result, extensive effort is put into recruiting talented students. When recruiting, home games are exceptional tools used to show a school's unique game-day atmosphere. However, this is not a viable option during the offseason or for off-site visits. This paper explores a solution to these challenges by using virtual reality (VR) to recreate the game-day experience. The Virtual Reality Application Center in conjunction with Iowa State University (ISU) athletics, created a VR application mimicking the game-day experience at ISU. This application was displayed using the world's highest resolution six-sided CAVETM, an Oculus Rift DK2 computer-driven head mounted display (HMD) and a Merge VR smart phone-driven HMD. A between-subjects user study compared presence between the different systems and a video control. In total, 82 students participated, indicating their presence using the Witmer and Singer questionnaire. Results revealed that while the CAVETM scored the highest in presence, the Oculus and Merge only experienced a slight drop compared to the CAVETM. This result suggests that the mobile ultra-low-cost Merge is a viable alternative to the CAVE TM and Oculus for delivering the game-day experience to ISU recruits.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/vijay_kalivarapu/15/