Iconic Times Square NYE Ball Drop Is Turning Into An AR Video Game This Year

Justine Golata Justine Golata

Iconic Times Square NYE Ball Drop Is Turning Into An AR Video Game This Year

New York’s NYE celebration is going on without the crowds this year, but they’ve thought of quite a creative solution to make it feel like you’re there in person.

And, it involves a first-of-its-kind virtual experience packed with games and augmented reality…

This Near Year’s Eve, the ball drop is taking on a different kind of party. Starting December 19, people can download the NYE app by Jamestown, the owner of One Times Square, and start celebrating early in a virtual world of Times Square.

“In a year of cancellations, there’s one party that can’t be postponed. We were inspired to create a place for everyone, everywhere to gather safely to celebrate as we welcome in the New Year,” said President of Jamestown, Michael Phillips.

According to a recent press release, the virtual world is “a gamified New Year’s Eve experience to bring the look, feel, and iconic celebrations from Times Square to you.” Users can explore the virtual world of Times Square with their own customizable avatar! The more you explore, the more avatar upgrades you can access.

@bbt_iphotos / One Times Square

The experience provides a way to still enjoy Times Square “in a year when you can’t be there in person.” The area will be closed to the public due to COVID-19.

Through the app, you can head to the ground floor of the One Times Square Building, home of the ball drop, and take an elevator up to join game rooms, view the observation deck and more! See the iconic billboards transformed into digital art with work from Shyama Golden, Jeanette Getrost, Molly Soda, and Ines Alpha.

The Ultimate Gamer Lounge allows esports fans and gamers to easily watch streams, find exclusive content, and partake in fun giveaways.

Dance with friends at the virtual Dance Floor. Not into dancing? Try the Zero Gravity game and slide to collect power-ups and points or enter the Nature World and collect pieces of the Times Square ball.

Courtesy of Blair Dawson

You can see also emerging artists perform in the square. Artists include Alex Boyé, Armani White, and Chloe Gilligan, each of whom created their own personalized avatar! Every artist will have a three song set.

And on the night of NYE, you can even bring the ball drop into your living room! In the app you can select your broadcasted camera view during the NYE Livestream. With advanced VR, watch a show of fireworks and the ball drop as if you were right in the plaza. You can even take a selfie in Times Square wearing virtual hats and NYE glasses to share on social media.

“As time ticks on, the Ball Drop Celebration remains a symbol of hope, reflection, and connection, all which couldn’t be more important as we come to the close of 2020 and ring in 2021,” said Phillips.

Check out VYNE for more information and download the NYE app starting December 19.

featured image source: Courtesy of Blair Dawson

In other news: A Giant Clock In DUMBO Is Counting Down The Seconds Until 2021

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