by Tanvi Rao (’22) | November 16, 2020
Among Us, the “modern-day mafia simulator,” has taken the world by storm. Originally released in 2018, this online multiplayer game seems to have become popular almost overnight. One of the many reasons for its sudden fame may be its engaging and interactive online environment, allowing those in quarantine to keep in touch with their friends through the game’s eclectic choice of virtual tasks.
To start, what exactly is Among Us? The game takes place in one of three maps, The Skeld, Mira HQ, and Polus, that range from a wide layout of a space shuttle to an intricate laboratory on the surface of a foreign planet. A maximum of ten players are allowed in each game, with players divided into two major groups. The first are crewmates, the “good” members of the team. The second category are the impostors, the infiltrators of each map. There are usually seven to nine crewmates and one to three impostors per game. In order to win, crewmates must determine who the impostor(s) among them are by voting off members of their team one by one. While doing this, crewmates must complete a series of tasks distributed throughout their map. If all their tasks are completed, they automatically win the game. On the other hand, the impostor(s) must eliminate all the other crewmates through strategy and careful planning. Once a certain number of crewmates are voted off, the impostor(s) can steal a victory. There is an exciting tension in deciding who to trust, turning players against one another, or getting away with murder.
Among Us has received an immense amount of attention and is regularly played by famous streamers like PewDiePie and Disguised Toast. The game has even caught the attention of famous politicians, such as United States Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar. Not only does Among Us provide a great, socially distanced way of interacting with friends, but it also helps build important logical skills and puts players through rigorous psychological exercise. In Kevin John Siazon’s “Today’s Parent” article, he mentions how the game allows players to collaborate and learn the value of teamwork. This helps “hone” players’ logical and social skills, which are especially vital during quarantine when most individuals are deprived of socialization.
When asked about the perks of Among Us, Melissa Paz-Flores (’22) said that the game “provides a little bit of an escape from the pandemic world and even feels nostalgic and homey because of its not too flashy game layout… the multiplayer option really emphasizes a sense of community that we’re all yearning for during these difficult times.” Melissa made a great point, once again highlighting the importance of social interaction during quarantine.
Yuna Liang (’23) added that Among Us “became popular so quickly because it’s really easy to understand and you don’t need a PS4 or Xbox to play. It also connects you with friends, and because the rounds aren’t very long, you can play so much in a short amount of time.” Yuna makes another interesting point — Among Us is an extremely accessible game, available on app stores and software such as Steam, which makes it all the more enjoyable for everyone.
Dealing with the pandemic is hard; however, games such as Among Us bring a silver lining to these dark times. It helps connect and bring together people from all over the world and brightens their isolated lives through its treasured interactions.