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Why Teens Are Obsessed with "Among Us"

Posted by Axis on October 06, 2020

(Header image via Google Play.)

If your teen is a gamer, it’s likely they’ve heard of the game Among Us, which was originally released in 2018 as a $5 indie game. Though the game is two years old, it’s only recently become popular with major Twitch streamers and YouTubers like sodapoppin, xQc, Shroud, Ninja, Pokimane, and PewDiePie. With gaming influencers going crazy over this game, their fans quickly hopped on the bandwagon. Meme accounts like “Official Among Us Struggle Tweets(language) also add to the game’s hype as they actively make memes of others’ gameplay. 

 

Originally the developers, InnerSloth, intended to release a sequel to the game. This was eventually canceled so that the developers could focus on the current game’s improvement and keep their new fans interested. Among Us is rated “E” for everyone and is available through Steam, Itch.io, and mobile devices (free for Android and iOS). As parents, it’s important to better understand what our kids’ interests are and why they’re drawn to things like Among Us. Here’s everything you need to know about the hit new game and why Gen Z loves it! 

How to play Among Us

This game draws influence from popular games like Mafia and Werewolf where there are anonymous killers in a group of “good guys” who try to eliminate people without getting caught. Similarly, Among Us is a sci-fi murder mystery game where astronauts on a spaceship try to figure out which players are the impostors among them. The game starts off with 1-3 people as impostors, depending on how large the group is (up to 10 people can play at once). The regular crewmates have to complete tasks around the ship and call meetings if they see any suspicious activity or witness someone being killed. In these meetings, crewmates try to determine who the impostor is while the impostor tries to cover their tracks. Meetings require everyone to vote on their next move. You can either vote to eject someone off the ship, or skip voting when there isn’t enough evidence to eliminate someone. 

 

The goal of the crewmates is to guess who the impostor is before they’re killed and lose the game. If you do end up dying, you can come back as a ghost; however, as a ghost, you’re no longer allowed to speak with the still-living players or reveal who killed you. You’re also invisible to everyone who’s still alive, so no one will be able to see you move around on the map. Ghosts who were crewmates can still do tasks, but imposter ghosts cannot help kill any more crewmates.

The impostors have the ability to kill crewmates, hide in vents, and call emergency meetings. As an impostor, it’s important to be as sneaky as possible so you don’t get caught and lose the game. Ways to do this are to pretend you’re doing tasks like a regular crew member, hide in vents when no one is around, and use your persuasion skills to psych everyone out. You can also fool others by calling an emergency meeting, and claim you found a body without revealing that you’re the guilty party who did it. If you’re in a big enough group, you can collaborate with other impostors and form an alliance to trick the crewmates into thinking you’re all innocent. 

Another way to connect with friends

“Although some have categorized Gen Z as anti-social, it seems more so that socialization has evolved and communication has been digitized to mediums like text messaging, social media and, now, gaming.” —AAAA.org 

For Gen Z, the negative stereotype that once came with the term “gamer” has evolved into something much more positive. Someone who is a gamer is no longer seen by peers as a lazy, lonely person who sits in their room all day. More often, the term now suggests membership in an active community that bands around games to hang out with their friends. As long as in-person hangouts remain subject to restrictions and COVID awkwardness, playing video games like Among Us can be a great way for teens to keep up their social lives.

Although a lot of people are playing with established groups of friends or family, there’s an additional option to play with random people online. With the app, you can go to Online > Public: Find Game to play with a random group of people. There are also Among Us Discord servers where your teen can connect with others who enjoy playing and talking about the game as well. If you’re interested in playing this game with your teen, download the app (it’s free!) and play Among Us for a family game night! 

Discussion questions

  1. Do you play Among Us? Why or why not? 
  2. Do you follow Among Us meme pages on social media? If so, which ones? 
  3. Do you watch Twitch streamers or YouTubers who have played Among Us? If so, who? 
  4. Did those streamers influence your decision to play Among Us?
  5. What do you like or dislike about the game?
  6. Do your friends play this game? Has this been a way for you to spend time with them?
  7. Do you play any other video games as a way to connect with friends?

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