I have a fondness for New Year’s Eve that I find hard to explain. When I drank, the appeal was absolutely the drinking, which makes sense. After experiencing my first non-drinking New Year’s Eve last December, though, I realised there’s something more to the night before the calendar rolls over than just partying. It’s about who you party with. The Sims 4 demonstrates what I like about the holiday near perfectly.
If you have the Seasons expansion for The Sims 4, then you also have holidays. During a holiday like Harvestfest, which is The Sims’ version of Thanksgiving, your Sims will have to complete a certain number of tasks in order to have a nice holiday. They’ll have to decorate the house, or maybe cook a grand meal, or do a particular holiday social interaction in order to get into the spirit.
On New Year’s Eve in The Sims 4, Sims have to decorate the house, make a resolution, get in the party spirit and watch the countdown to midnight in order to have a successful holiday. Getting in the spirit of New Year’s is the most interesting of the four. On some holidays, like Love Day, being festive is easy. It’s Valentine’s Day; you flirt. But what is the spirit of New Year’s, anyway?
The way that The Sims 4 portrays festive New Year’s activities is actually very sweet. Sure, you can drink alcohol and dance, which counts towards completing that part of the holiday. But you can also sing and joke with people. When I look back on my very best New Year’s Eves, I don’t remember the wildest parties I ever went to. Most of those stories involve calling a drug dealer at three in the morning and/or someone throwing up on my shoes. Those times were not the best. I prefer to remember the times I said goodbye to the year with close friends, the ones who always make me laugh and will always sing Auld Lang Syne with me.
At last year’s New Year’s Eve, a friend of mine took molly and changed into three different hair metal jumpsuits as the party progressed. Most of my friends were wasted, singing and screaming and dancing as we watched Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve on mute. My two friends throw a themed New Year’s Eve party every year, which is all the more fun because they take the theme extremely seriously. It’s about the only place where I can stand to be around people who are drunk and crying about how much they love you, because I know it’s true. Inside that apartment I am filled to the brim with the spirit of platonic love.
Last year, when the clock hit 11:50, all of us crowded into the living room to await the countdown. In The Sims 4, Sims will autonomously crowd around any available television at the same time to count down and watch the ball drop. At midnight, just like I did with my real-life boyfriend last year, all of the Sims couples kiss.