Among Us and its impact during the pandemic


In September 2020, the game, Among Us, saw a surge in popularity. Some possible explanations for the app’s sudden popularity may be because it is free on almost all streaming services (except for Steam, which makes the player pay $4.99) and it is such an engaging multiplayer game. Popular creators all over Youtube and Twitch are playing the game. Many people have started to play more video games and have become more involved in their electronics because of the worldwide pandemic, but Among Us has brought more kinship into everyone’s lives, gathering players from around the world. The creators of this game have made it fun to play alone and with friends. This game was published by Innersloth and was released to IOS and Android on June 15, 2018. It was released to Steam, which is a video game digital distribution service and PC on August 18, 2018. 

Among Us is a murder-mystery game set on either a spaceship (The Skeld), above-earth base (Mirah HQ) or planetary base (Polus). Before each game begins, the players are placed in a waiting room where they have 12 colors available to them. These colors are possible choices for the color of their avatar. Some popular colors include red, pink, orange and cyan, however there are many others to choose from. Choosing red definitely makes the player seem more suspicious! Players also have the option to choose from a variety of hats to alter their appearance.

 There are two categories of players: crewmates and imposters. In each game, there are four to ten crewmates. The first goal of a crewmate is to complete all of their tasks, while not being killed by the imposter(s). The second goal of the crewmates is to find the imposter(s) and vote them off of the ship. Some of the crewmates’ abilities include the “use” button and the “report” button. The “use” button is mainly utilized for activating and completing the tasks they are given. Some of their tasks include fixing the wiring, fueling the lower and upper engines, emptying garbage, shooting at asteroids, downloading data and much, much more. The “report” button is used to report any dead bodies. When a crewmate is killed, their bodies drop to the ground and are split in half. They then become ghosts that can roam around and finish their tasks to hopefully still have a chance of winning the game. Ghosts are not visible to the remaining players.

In each game, there are one to three imposters. The main goal of an imposter is to kill as many crewmates as possible and retain their fake identity. They are supposed to do this before the crewmates finish their tasks. Unlike the crewmates, the imposters are unable to complete tasks, however, they are given fake tasks to help them fake the appearance of a crewmate. Imposters are also given the ability to sabotage, making the crewmates’ tasks harder. Effective usage of sabotages is crucial to winning for an imposter. Imposters are also given the ability to vent. Venting allows the imposter to hide and wait (in a vent) for their next victim or easily move around the map by crawling through the vents. The imposters are also able to use the report button. If the imposter is careful of the surrounding players, reporting a dead body can be a very good disguise. This tactic is commonly referred to as a “self-report”. When a body is reported, the chat and voting room is opened. This can also be opened by calling an emergency meeting with the “use” button. 

The chat and voting room is where the players discuss who could be the possible imposter(s). This is where the term “sus” comes into play. Players may use the word “sus” when they are calling out an imposter or discussing who could be the imposter(s). This is an abbreviation for the word suspicious. Blaming others in the chat room, with no proof, definitely makes you “sus” and it may reveal your identity. It is comical to watch other players be completely wrong and for them to get voted out of the game. 

Even though it came out in 2018, this game has had a huge surge in popularity since September 2020. It has made numerous appearances in today’s culture; there are memes all over social media about this game. People are doing makeup looks based off of the different characters and there are others who are creating Among Us inspired outfits. This game may have had a slow start because it probably had not found the right audience. Now that it has, people all over the world are playing this game. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (AOC), a congresswoman and a popular Twitch streamer, played Among Us on one of her recent streams. This was one of the biggest streams on Twitch with over 435,000 viewers. It was ranked in the top 20 biggest streams of all time. In this stream, not only did AOC play Among Us, but she also encouraged the viewers to vote and participate in the 2020 election. 

All in all, Among Us will most likely become a genre of games that people want to start seeing more of. Since this game became such a sudden sensation, people will be wanting to see more of what Innersloth has to offer in the future. This will definitely keep the spotlight on them for a little bit longer. This game will eventually trend downwards, but that does not mean that it will never be remembered or no one will ever play again. Among Us has had a very positive mark on 2020.