Among Us game experiences rise in popularity over summer

Online game streams largely responsible for surge

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Screenshot by Eileen Tran.

Among Us: the opening screen of the game shows the player’s role in the game, and how many imposters are waiting for the chance to strike.

Autumn Kong and Dominic Navarro

Among Us, the space adventure game where players go about murdering their friends while simultaneously trying to fix the spaceship, has grown tremendously more popular these past couple of months as the imposters attempt to kill the crewmates in order to not only stop the ship but to end the game with a win.  Students are spending hours playing it, either with friends or on public servers. 

Sophomore Mariane Sagna said she plays Among Us “Two to three times a week and literally the whole weekend.” 

Originally released in June of 2018, Among Us suddenly found its user rate rise in August of this year.  Basically, 4-10 players are split into two teams: the murderous imposter(s) and the innocent crewmates.  The goal: survive. 

Imposters have the ability to sabotage areas of the ship and kill crewmates with the quick swipe of a knife.  The crewmates dedicate their time to doing their allotted tasks and watching each other, paying attention to who is doing what and where, information that will later prove handy in between rounds, where the players can discuss and vote to throw someone off the ship.  The crewmates win if they either finish all the tasks or vote out all the imposters, while the imposters win if they kill all the players until there is an even ratio of imposters to crewmates.  

Download: A crewmate performs a task that involves downloading files onto their tablet. Screenshot by Eileen Tran.

According to a report by Steamcharts, the number of Among Us players has significantly increased since its release in 2018 when it averaged only 2.3 average players per day; today,  that number is 150,000. Youtube creators, Twitch streamers and other public figures have used their high profiles to aid the game’s explosive popularity, includingYoutuber Pewdiepie, streamer Sykkuno and Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. 

Sagna said she discovered the game when her “favorite [Youtube] gamer was having a livestream for Among Us.”

Sagna is not the only one to have been introduced to the game through content creators; most students started playing after seeing content from their favorite streamer or gamer on Among Us. 

“Content creators I follow started playing the game,” junior Teresa Ducusin said. “I finally played it when I saw other people make media out of it.” 

Another factor for the game’s rapid growth in popularity is its easy, multiplayer gameplay that is easy for players, even newcomers, to learn.

“It’s a pretty simple murder game,” Sagna said. “I think the only hard part is lying.” 

Additionally, starting a game with friends is straightforward:  players simply share a code.  No need for accounts, no need for payment and no need to be in the same place — giving Among Us an edge against other games.   

“[Among us] is a really good multiplayer game because you can have easy access through your phone,” senior Brian Gamino said. “It’s also free, [which] makes it easy to play with people.”

The Beginning: players gather in the waiting room, where they can choose their avatar color and hat, before the game begins.  Screenshot by Eileen Tran.

While there are public servers that allow users to play with strangers, most students use apps such as Discord to play with their friends. 

Sophomore MJ Montez-Virgil said that playing Among Us not only helped him meet new people, but also helped him become closer to the friends he has. 

“I met new people through the game,” Montez-Virgil said.  “We got to know each other better; [the game]  gave us a better reason to hang out with each other through discord.”

Montez-Virgil is not the only one to find that Among Us has kept him in close contact with his friends during this pandemic, where normal socialization at school has become rare.

“It kept us close cause we haven’t really seen anybody,” Gamino said, “but this game allows us to continue to talk to each other and stay close.”

Though the excitement may be starting to die down, Among us will go down in internet history as one of the most iconic trends of 2020.

Contributors: Beautiful Armstrong and Eileen Tran.