Immersive Media at the Super Bowl

Immersive Media at the Super Bowl


☞ Death defying stunts on snowmobiles!

☞ Waffles on a stick!

☞ Animals (albeit kittens) in cages!

The Super Bowl Experience is essentially a state fair writ small, and the NFL 360 Experience, an immersive Omnimax®/Planetarium-style animation, was part of the whoopla. Despite 5º temperatures, people waited in long lines, outdoors, at this Minneapolis festivity, and by all appearances, they were wowed.

The show was unencumbered by a plot, so I won’t try to convey the sense of it. But it was quite the ride. A thumbnail of the scenes: it started with all the team logos; then a patchwork of flat screen TV footage from previous Super Bowls – and then – a “wormhole” effect – well known for creating vertigo in immersive environment audiences. The wormhole took us to a football game, a coin toss (where we followed the coin into outer-space), then back to the football field, where old-school “video-game” animations of generic football players, would run directly at us. That is, until giant pine trees burst up in front of the goal line and we ended up flying through a dark, hallucinogenic, full-moon lit pine forest, populated by frozen football white walkers.

Despite the white-walkers, this was not HBO.

Despite the football, this was not NFL Network.

This wasn’t even ESPN.

It was a 40-foot high arcade game/amusement park ride. A simulation of a roller coaster using the customary vertigo-inducing effects: the aforementioned sci-fi “wormhole” tubes; fly-throughs (through branches, under fallen trees); and sudden shifts in directions (down a frozen waterfall). No effect was so severe as to create VR sickness (nausea), according to one volunteer. All good fun.

My only complaint is that I didn’t have a waffle on a stick while watching. It would have made the event even more tasty!


Copyright 2018, Craig Sinard. All Rights Reserved.

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