Process Post #8: Why I Love Among Us
I’ll just put it in simple terms, I wish I knew about Among Us sooner.
For those who don’t know, Among Us (2018) is a multi-player game based on the party game Mafia (sometimes called Werewolf) where the 4-10 players are tasked with figuring out who the ‘imposter’ is among them.
Depending on the amount of players, there will be 1-3 imposters who only know who each other are, and the rest of the players are crewmates. The crewmates must work to complete their tasks while the imposters work to sabotage and kill the crewmates in secret before the tasks are finished. There’s no communication during the game, but when someone calls a meeting or a crewmate discovers a dead body the chat opens up and everyone must discuss who they think the imposters are, working to eject people from the game with the goal of getting rid of the imposters before everyone is killed. Of course, the imposters must conceal their identities and act as if they are just crewmates during discussion.
TLDR: Among Us takes some of the best games I played in drama classes in school growing up and puts it into an easy to play group video game with lots of lying to your friends.
Let’s talk 5 simple reasons why I think Among Us is becoming a cultural phenomenon.
1: The characters are so cute
First, it’s design works so well with today’s social media ecosystem. I don’t want to say the little characters are cute, but they’re cute okay? I cannot stop thinking about when the game creators are going to launch merch because I WILL be buying.
2: Watching people play it is hilarious
It’s so fun to watch other people play. I’ve never been someone to watch video game streams, but I cannot stop watching people play Among Us. Not only are some really funny streamers playing it, but so are politicians. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar (congresswomen from New York and Minnesota) sat down to play with some popular streamers one day and garnered the attention of many, many members of generation Z. Some politicians have tried and failed to effectively reach the attention and gain the vote of young adults today (notably, hosting a “zoom roast” where instead of gaining any votes you got one of your candidates cancelled, not naming any names of people who did this… in BC.. or anything).
3: It’s from a small gaming company
Among Us was created by an Indie gaming company called Innersloth. When I first found out about the game, not understanding gaming culture at all, I didn’t know where or who Among US came from, but I’m really glad they’re getting the attention they deserve. The game concept is really clever.
4: Covid-19 Safe!
It’s virtual, allows for decent sized groups to play at once, and accessible. All factors pointing to it making such a great Covid-19 safe way to engage with your friends online. Although it’s essentially full of lying and gaslighting, there’s few opportunities to have genuine fun online with your friends without resorting to group Zoom calls or Netflix party. Although it’s been out since 2018, I think 2020 was a perfect year for it to go viral.
5: Teamwork but with people you probably don’t know
This game works great with on of PUB101’s first topics of discussion about engaging with strangers. As I mentioned in point four, playing this game with friends is super fun, but it’s also a really easy way to engage with people from all over the world. In some ways this random game joining function reminds me of Omegle (in the good ways, not the gross ones). In fact, some Tiktok’s have gone viral of people wanting to find a stranger who they were playing Among Us with after the game was over because they got along so well. Although there are definitely negative sides to this “strangers on the Internet” thing, I think it’s also a very interesting phenomenon and the game itself only encourages people from different backgrounds to work together on a common task.
Overall I think Among Us is a really unique game that has become really popular, quite fast due to the social and cultural circumstances of 2020. I’m not too sure of the social consequences it will have in the long run, but I think it’s open to some really cool possibilities. I’m looking forward to see what the creators over at InnerSloth add to it now that there’s so many more players taking part in their game!