Among Us is an online multiplayer social deduction game that was initially released on June 15, 2018 by video game company InnerSloth. This game, however, has only recently taken the gaming world by storm.
Among Us players are assigned one of two roles: imposter or crewmate. The goal of the crewmates is to identify and eliminate the imposters while completing tasks around the map. The imposter’s goal is to covertly sabotage and kill the crewmates before they complete all of their tasks. Through a majority vote that can be called from an emergency meeting or when a dead body is reported, players can debate the identity of the imposters and vote them out of the game. If all imposters are eliminated or all tasks are completed, the crewmates win the game; if there is an equal number of imposters and crewmates or if a critical sabotage goes unresolved, the imposters win the game.
Among Us isn’t the first social deduction game to blow up in the gaming community. It is very similar to other traitor games such as Town of Salem, Mafia, and Werewolf that challenge players on their ability to deceive the other players and work together to detect when others are lying.
Among Us can be downloaded on a device for free from Google Play or the Apple App Store. PC users must purchase the game from the games store Steam for five dollars.
Many popular gamers in the Youtube and Twitch community stream their online Among Us games while playing on the computer. One of the reasons why Among Us has become so popular two years after its initial release is because many well known streamers started playing it and introduced the game to their audience. Some popular youtubers, streamers, and influencers who have collaborated to play and stream the game are PewDiePie, Dream, GeorgeNotFound, Disguised Toast, Valkyrae, James Charles, and Corpse Husband.
On October 22nd, 2020, the U.S. Representative for New York’s 14th congressional district, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, joined a crew of online gamers to play a live streamed game of Among Us on Twitch. The live stream peaked at over 400,000 viewers, making it the third-highest peak on record for the game-streaming platform. Aimed specifically towards gamers and the younger generation, Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez’s goal was to use the stream to spread the message of the importance of voting in the upcoming 2020 presidential election.
Junior Morgan Pustilnik said that when she plays the game she gets “excited but also nervous because it can be stressful at times.” Physics teacher Mr. Jeremy Booher said that a reason for this excitement is because of how “fast paced [the game is] and the feeling of running away from the imposter or trying to kill a crewmate can really get the adrenaline going.” However, Mr. Booher believes the game will fade out quickly. He said that “the more that people play a game and the more popular it becomes, the more they find ways to troll other players. Trolls ruin every game.”
Mr. Booher has only played a few rounds of Among Us with the Freeman PRISM club. Out of the four games they played, Mr. Booher was the imposter three times. He said “I had no idea what I was doing. I got caught venting, taking out the crew… it was just obvious that I was the imposter because I didn’t know how to lie about a defense.” For this reason, Mr. Booher wishes that some improvements could be made to the game, such as “forc[ing] a tutorial and includ[ing] scripted example conversations to help give new players an idea [of how to play].”
After becoming one of the most popular online games within the span of a few months, Among Us has introduced many inexperienced game players to the gaming community and has given Youtube and Twitch streamers millions of views on their Among Us content. Morgan said “not only is Among Us a fun game, [it’s also] addicting, funny, and exhilarating.”