In a time of uncertainty and turmoil, there is nothing more comforting than murdering your friends as a jelly-bean person in space.
Among Us is the latest craze in mobile gaming. While initially released in 2018 to little mainstream attention, it received an influx of popularity in Sept. 2020 due to many well-known content creators and the COVID-19 pandemic.
The games are made up of four to ten players, and the goal of the “Crewmates” is to identify the “Impostors,” eliminate them, and complete tasks around the map before the Impostors kill the Crewmates. Through a vote, players believed to be Impostors can be removed from the game. If all Impostors are eliminated or all tasks are completed, the Crewmates win; if there is an equal number of Impostors and Crewmates, or if a sabotage goes unresolved, the Impostors win.
Among Us doesn’t appeal to the demographic of children with their parent’s credit cards which back franchises like Fortnite or Call of Duty. So how does a game which had a 30 to 50 player base upon release, acquire 100 million downloads within two months?
Matthew Sullivan, senior, is one of many students who are trying to find ways to work around the limitations of the pandemic.
“Over the summer, I hung out with a select group of friends–typically outside–in order to respect COVID guidelines and to lessen the spread of the disease. However, during the fall when it’s colder and people are busier, it’s difficult to hang out,” Sullivan said.
Same goes for Gianna Piazza, senior. She has occasionally met up with a few of her friends during the pandemic, although Among Us has become a source of social interaction.
“Most of the time I play Among Us on my phone while on FaceTime with my good friend Ellie Von Duyke. It’s a great way to have fun and connect with friends without having the risk of exposure to COVID-19,” Piazza said.
What made Among Us stand out amongst other games was its emphasis on communication.
“Among Us is special because of the environment it creates. The group chats connect you with the most random people. The dynamic of the group chats keeps it entertaining because you don’t know who is lying or who is telling the truth,” Piazza said.
Sullivan and his friend group took the social aspect of the game to the next level.
He and his friends created a Discord call that could hold up to 16 people. Heated arguments, outrageous laughter, and lots and lots of yelling have become daily occurrences in Sullivan’s schedule.
“We play every other night after we’ve all finished our school work and practices. It’s a way for students to talk with each other while also being safe during the pandemic,” Sullivan said.
This phenomenon is not limited to just seniors.
Drew Geiser, junior, plays Among Us with friends in and outside of HHS.
Whether it is the quickness of games, a chance to talk to friends or being a source of entertainment, Among Us has many qualities that make it accessible to those who are not “sweaty tryhard gamers.”
“I think Among Us is a good way to interact with people during the pandemic. We aren’t able to be very social right now, but Among Us gives people, who are quarantined, an opportunity to interact with others online,” Geiser said.