By: Amy Rosner By: Amy Rosner | December 20, 2021 | Culture
The world’s biggest New Year’s Eve party is returning to the metaverse this year with the relaunch of VNYE, an immersive virtual experience set in the epicenter of New Year's Eve: Times Square.
Through the VNYE app and website, people from across the globe can explore the virtual world of Times Square, play games, and Livestream New Year’s Eve celebrations in Times Square and around the world.
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Jamestown, the owner of One Times Square, which is the site of the New Year’s Eve Ball Drop Celebration, launched VNYE last year as a new way to celebrate New Year’s Eve amid the pandemic and cancelation of in-person celebrations.
In total, VNYE reached more than 3.7 million people worldwide in 2021.
“We created VNYE to amplify the New Year’s Eve experience and keep the world connected to Times Square when physical access was limited,” said Michael Phillips, President of Jamestown.
“In its second iteration, VNYE will both complement the return of in-person celebrations and serve as a destination in its own right—an immersive virtual world where people from across the globe can gather to celebrate the New Year.”
“Times Square New Year’s Eve is a global celebration that connects the world as we collectively say goodbye to the year past and look with hope to the year ahead,” said Tom Harris, President of the Times Square Alliance.
“Jamestown has deepened those connections through this innovative VNYE technology allowing people from around the globe to interact with Times Square and this iconic celebration in ways that we never imagined.”
In the VNYE metaverse, users can create personalized avatars, explore the Times Square Plazas, collect confetti to earn points for additional avatar customizations, and visit the observation deck at One Times Square to view the virtual world of Times Square from above.
Inside One Times Square, users can discover three unique and immersive games: Dance World, where users show off their dance skills; Nature World, where users can take in various nature landscapes and engage in a scavenger hunt to collect pieces of the iconic New Year’s Eve Ball; and Zero-G, where users can travel around the globe through a slide experience, visiting an array of the world’s landmarks while earning power-ups and points along the way.
Starting December 31, 2021, users can choose from 11 live camera feeds in Times Square and seven EarthCam live streams of New Year’s Eve celebrations from around the globe, including in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and Budapest, Hungary.
At midnight on New Year’s Eve, users can ring in the new year in the Times Square metaverse with a virtual Ball Drop Celebration and fireworks show.
The VNYE app will be available to download in app stores now, with live streams starting December 31, 2021.
For more information, visit VNYE.com and follow along at @onetimessquarenyc.
Photography by: Courtesy Jamestown