Keke Palmer is about to be a mother. To prepare, she’s embracing the immersive world of the metaverse by way of the childbirth simulator from The Sims. Yes, baby, that’s Keke Palmer in her gamer era.
“The way that I’ve been getting my game together, girl,” she told BuzzFeed News in an interview. “Don’t even get me started on that.”
It’s not just The Sims, though the simulation game is a large part of Palmer’s life right now. She’s fully immersing herself in the metaverse. She’s the host of a new metaverse interview series from Meta called Are We There Yet? In the show, she speaks with creators and industry leaders like NFL pro Andrew “Hawk” Hawkins and immersive media creator Brenda Chen about their experiences in the metaverse, including playing simulated football and attending virtual concerts.
Of course, this all comes after the 29-year-old actor delighted fans on social media (as she is known to do) in January when she livestreamed herself on Instagram playing The Sims 4, a computer game in which players develop their own worlds and create storylines between characters. Her stream was a huge hit, and viewers called on her to create a Twitch account for regular gameplay livestreams. She graciously obliged last weekend, and she’s now a bona fide streamer — in addition to her roles as an actor, a singer, and a meme machine.
It’s kismet, then, that Palmer’s partnership with Meta is coming at the same time as she’s preparing for motherhood. In the last trimester of her pregnancy, she’s spending more time at home, so she’s returned to her childhood love for The Sims and taken it a step further by connecting with other players in the metaverse.
“I’ve been thinking, What can I do right now? What can I get into?” she said about passing the time. “I would absolutely recommend that other people who are pregnant see what kind of skills they can develop by playing games and going into the metaverse.”
When she was younger, she spent a lot of time playing Second Life, a virtual life simulation game, because she loved being able to connect with other people online. That’s what she gets now in her Sims metaverse.
Palmer said she has all 12 expansion packs for The Sims, which are paid additions that the developer sells to make the game livelier. Her favorites have added seasons, a simulated high school experience, and more jobs for her to choose from for her characters.
One of her favorite things to do in the metaverse right now is simulate childbirth. She uses a third-party mod that allows her Sims character to explore different methods for giving birth (like home birth and C-section), as well as simulate ultrasounds and partner interactions.
“I’m really connected to [that] right now,” Palmer said of the childbirth mod. “It’s more realistic than what actually happens in [The Sims] where, boom, a baby just appears.”
Still, Palmer’s favorite aspect of the metaverse is connecting with other creators online.
“People know who I am when I play online, but they’re not like, ‘Oh my gosh, that’s Keke Palmer!’ They’re trying to get me up on my game,” she said. “I’ve got a typical theater kid mindset, because whenever I feel embraced by a community like this, I’m like, Hello, I’m home!”