What is “Among Us”?

The social-deduction party game that has taken over Generation Z

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If you’ve been on the internet or talked to anyone from Gen Z lately, you’ve probably heard whispers of a new, intensely popular mobile game called Among Us. What is this game, and why has it become such an integral part of Gen Z culture in the previous months?

 

History and Popularity

The game was released in June of 2018 by an indie game company called Innersloth, but it has only begun to gain traction in the recent months. This rising popularity can be attributed mostly to content creators on YouTube, Twitch, and other platforms: when they began playing the game in videos and livestreams, their audiences followed. The game now has more than 100 million downloads. 

 

Gameplay 

Among Us is essentially a social deduction party game. Players are divided into “Crewmates” and “Impostor.” No one is able to know what role another player has been issued. The “crewmates” have to complete tasks and try to figure out who among them is the impostor. The “impostor” must maneuver through the ship, aiming to quietly kill the crewmates one by one without garnering suspicion. He can also press buttons to sabotage certain features of the ship, such as the oxygen.

 

When a crewmate reports a dead body or presses a button titled “Emergency Meeting,” all players must discuss in an online chat feature and vote to eject whoever they believe is the impostor (or vote to skip voting entirely.) At the end, if any one player has garnered a majority of the votes, the player is ejected.

 

For the crewmates to win, either all tasks must be completed, or they must successfully vote to eject the impostor. For the impostor to win, he must kill all but one of the crewmates; the impostor also wins if he has sabotaged the oxygen or reactor and no crewmate responds in time to fix the situation.

 

There are three maps for players to choose from: The Skeld, Mira HQ, and Polus. Each one has a different size, and different benefits/drawbacks. 

 

To play, you can host or join a public server. You can also join or create a private server to play with friends.

 

Character Customization

The adorable masked figures that users play as in Among Us have gained immense popularity among fans and artists. Each has the same design, but there are ten colors to choose from. Players also have the option to choose from a wide variety of small hats! As an in-app purchase, players could also buy clothing or pets.

 

Players of Among Us are usually very devoted to a particular color and hat. Across the internet, different colors have already begun to represent different personality traits and stereotypes. You can tell quite a bit about a person by how they choose to present themselves in the game, looking at the combination of username, color, and hat. 

 

I’ve asked some players of Among Us from around Magnet to tell us what their character looks like and why they chose these settings.

 

Casey Matthews (12): *author*

“I go by the username ‘goose,’ a nickname bestowed upon me by my cruel younger brother. My color is purple and my hat is the antenna, just because I liked how it looked.”

 

Anonymous Magnet Student

“I choose purple cause it’s my favorite color, the head mirror cause it gives me mad scientist vibes, and I go by either “the doctor” or “dad” most of the time.”

(*Note: This quote has been consensually paraphrased to preserve anonymity.)

 

Molly Tippey (12): 

“So PapaNacho: orange [with] the wet floor sign. I chose them all [because] they’re all stupid. I chose orange [because] it’s a happy color that made me smile, the wet floor sign [because] it was the stupidest hat, and Nacho matches [with] orange so that’s why I did Nacho. It’s PapaNacho [because] it was funnier.”

 

Anonymous Magnet Student:

“My name is usually just Oats, and I use the pink player model with the snorkel mask. My name comes from a nickname a couple friends gave me after I spent an entire day moping because I spilled a tub of oats all over my kitchen. I just think the pink model looks fun, and the snorkel matches the color.”

 

Elias McCall (12): 

“[My username is] Elias, [because] it’s my name. [My color is] orange, [because] go tigers. [My hat is] the ram horns, [because] they looked dope.”

 

Zach Matthews (9): 

“[My] username [is] Plankton, color Dark Green, hat Leaf thingy, because one day I thought I should make myself look like Plankton and then I did.”

 

Bryce Getsinger (11):

“My name is Bryce, and that’s usually my name in-game. I use the crown hat because I’m obviously the crewmate king, and yellow because it blends into the crown well.”

 

Leah Heineck (12):

“My name is geg and I play as black, but I change my hat up a lot. I picked black [because] I blend in better, so if people catch a glimpse of me after I kill someone it’s harder to identify me.”

 

Pilar Florez (12):

“Hello, I am pink sxy. I am pink and I use the flower hat. I chose these settings to be pink and sexy.”

 

Anonymous Magnet Student:

“[My name is] FriedFries, [my color is] red, [my hat is the] top hat. No reason.”

 

Lily Bluestein (12):

“Honestly, I switch my name up all the time to keep it interesting, but I’m usually teal with the little hat so I look like Perry the Platypus.”

 

Future of the Game

 

The developers were planning a sequel, but they have cancelled it in the hopes of improving upon the original game. They are currently “going deep into the core of the game and reworking several parts of it” (Innersloth). They are working to correct glitches and server issues, and to make the game more accessible. 

 

If you’re still new the the fascinating world of Among Us, I hope that you have learned more about the cultural phenomenon. And, if you’ve already played before, remember: don’t be sus.

 

Sources:

InnerSloth. “The Future of Among Us.” itch.io, 23 September 2020. www.google.com/amp/s/itch.io/devlog/181107/the-future-of-among-us.amp