One of My Hobbies

One of the things I like to do when taking a break is play video games. I tend to pick one I like and get really invested in it, playing for hours and hours and exploring all it has to offer. It can be really relaxing, a great way to recharge after a stressful day at work. I tend to play a lot on Friday nights, sometimes bleeding into Saturday, and spend the rest of the weekend on writing-related activities after I’m feeling refreshed and energized again.

Lately, the game I’ve been playing is The Sims. I have the base game and a few add-ons, which I’ve justified the purchase of by telling myself that I’ve played the game for so many hours that other forms of entertainment would end up being more expensive for how long they’d hold my attention. My favorite is the Get to Work expansion pack, which lets you follow your sim to their job, as long as you pick one of the ones introduced with the pack. It also introduces aliens!

I’m not a fan of ghosts, as I prefer my sims to pass away more realistically, and I decided plant sims aren’t for me after turning one of my sims into a plant creature for a short period of time (it was just too difficult to keep them alive and happy with the needs for sunlight and water), but I have been really enjoying the aliens in the game. As part of the scientist career, you can invent a lot of devices, several related to aliens, and when you reach level ten, you can attend a party on the alien planet of Sixam and introduce yourself to all the aliens at once.

I had one of my sims do this, then brought back two inventions: one that acts as a gateway to the alien planet and another you can use to prevent alien abductions. I love this, as I wanted my sim’s daughter to marry an alien but I really don’t like the alien abduction aspect of the game. It’s kind of fun that they get beamed up in the middle of the night, but the fact that they can come back pregnant makes the whole thing way too creepy and disturbing for my taste. I much preferred having my scientist sim’s daughter visit Sixam, fall in love with an alien, and get married and have children that way.

It’s a little disappointing that the alien planet is so barren–after the party is over, there’s really nothing there but plants and rocks to collect–but half-alien sims look really awesome. I had my sim marry a second one after her first husband died so her two half-alien children could have a cute little half-alien half-sibling.

Full aliens look like this, with skin in blue, green, or purple. They all wear outfits like this one as well, with green glowing lights on a jumpsuit colored white, gray, or black.

A purple alien from The Sims

My sim’s first husband was blue, so his children look like this:

And the new little one is purple like his father.

A purple half-alien from The Sims with dreadlocks

Full aliens have the option to “disguise” themselves as humans, but I really prefer them to just be themselves, so I love that the half-aliens are happy just the way they are, a perfect blend of the two worlds. I take them on family trips back to Sixam and pretend that there’s actually stuff for them to do there. I make sure their fathers spend/spent lots of time with them, pretending they were sharing all about their culture. And there are some alien-specific interactions, like a secret handshake and the ability to use brain power to analyze the humans around them and learn about their personalities. That’s a lot of fun as well.

Other than that, they do all the same things humans do, but oh well, at least the game is open enough to let the sims do lots of different things where I can have my imagination fill in the gaps. I love telling little stories as I play and helping each one of the characters reach their goals. The mother is an astronaut who’s also doing everything she can to help her kids succeed. The father is stay-at-home and dreams of cooking out-of-this-world dishes. The oldest son just started his career as a super spy. The daughter is nearing the end of high school and is trying to learn and develop as much as possible before her upcoming birthday. And the youngest one just became a toddler and is learning how to walk and talk and get along in the world.

I love my little fantasies, whether in my books, inside my head, or played out in the form of video games. If you decide to try out the same one, I hope that you enjoy it!

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