7 Things Parents Should Know About ‘Among Us’

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This is one of those occasions where I saw the memes before I saw the game. It’s called Among Us and it is insanely popular right now. In the latest meme-war with my 14-year-old son, I was “Rick-Rolled” and “sussed” at the same time. While I am a bit proud of my geek-parenting, I also realized this is probably a good time to bring my fellow geek-parents up to date. 

Among Us Rick Roll'd meme

1. What Is Among Us?

Among Us is a multiplayer game from indie developer Innersloth. It is available to play online or in a closed group of friends via wifi or LAN. It requires 4-10 players to become your Crewmates, with one to three Imposters among you. This is the most important part to remember: Crewmates and Imposters. Crewmates have to finish various tasks on board your spaceship and figure out who the Imposters are. Imposters are doing everything they can to sabotage the mission and kill off your Crewmates. When someone finds a body or a player calls an “emergency meeting” (allowed twice per game), everyone comes together to discuss and vote on who the Imposters are. And thus it becomes a game of deduction, betrayal, and misdirection. 

2. Crewmates vs. Imposters

The first thing to note: you do not know if you are Crewmate or Imposter until the game actually starts. As soon as you know, it will change how you play the game.

Crewmates: The goal for Crewmates is to finish all of your tasks, find the Imposter (or Imposters), and survive. Seems pretty simple, right? Yeah, except for the Imposters part. The tasks are important because they are part of keeping the spaceship working. Now, if you find a dead body, you can opt to report it immediately and trigger a team meeting to identify the murderous Imposter… OR you can at least finish the tasks and hope you are not next. If you are the one killed, you can still complete tasks as a specter but you can’t talk to anyone. 

Imposter: The gameplay for Imposter is a bit different. You will start with fake tasks to help you blend in with the locals. You can even use these fake tasks to sabotage the ship. You also have an additional ability to “vent,” which allows you faster travel around the spaceship via the ventilation shafts. Of course, if anyone notices you, they will know you’re an Imposter. You can, of course, kill any witnesses, but that leads to the next Imposter rule: there is a cooldown timer between kills. Use your skills wisely because you need to kill everyone (either directly or indirectly when they falsely accused as Imposters). 

3. Is Among Us a New Game?

No, it was launched in 2018 and is experiencing a surge in popularity right now. According to Twitch Tracker, Among Us is the second most popular watched game, behind League of Legends, which is no real surprise there. What is a surprise is how it knocked Fortnite down to 4th place (behind Call of Duty: Modern Warfare). It was picked up by some popular streamers and let’s face it: treachery is always a popular sport. Add to that the need to “kind of socialize” during a pandemic when we should not be socializing, and you have the perfect breeding ground for a game like Among Us.

4. Is It Child-Friendly?

Among Us is really popular with teenagers. Back in 2018, the game received a 16+ age rating for Strong Violence, but it has since changed a 9+ age rating with Fantasy Violence and Mild Blood. 

To be perfectly frank, the animation is done in a cutesy style for laughs. There has probably been more graphic violence in Star Wars animated episodes than this game. The more important issue to consider is how your child feels about lying and deception. Some kids simply cannot handle the level of betrayal that comes with this game; you have to trust your friends to not make the deception personal and not make it personal yourself. While I have no issue with my 14-year-old son playing this game, I do not think it is a good idea for my 11-year-old son. The latter is far more literal in his approach to games and is less capable of this kind of psychological gameplay from real-life behavior. 

Among Us is absolutely a personal choice for each parent. Before you set them free on the spaceship, I strongly suggest you check out the game yourself and find out who your kids would be playing with. If you are still unsure how your kid would feel playing Among Us, do a test run with a different game. A good example would be the tabletop game Antidote, similar in artwork and deduction. If no-one flips the table, then they are probably ready for Among Us

5. Is Among Us the Imposter?!?

Yeah, funny thing about that. Among Us is not the first game in this style. If it looks familiar, it was inspired by Mafia (AKA Werewolf). The easy platform-play for the game creates a lot of similarities with both tabletop and video games: Antidote was mentioned above, along with Secret Hitler, Town of Salem, and Project Winter.

What makes Among Us stand out against these other games is the artwork. The graphics are comedic and light-hearted, in a way that softens the sting of betrayal and ensures the game stays in the realm of “FUN.” 

6. Do Players Talk to Each Other During the Game?

This is always a good thing to check before letting your kids play any online multiplayer games. 

Among Us does not have a built-in voice chat function. Remember, the game was originally designed for mobile-gameplay. When players start to discuss who the Imposter is, they can use the written chat function via the in-game chatroom or use a separate voice chat app like Discord. Most players prefer the voice chat because of the ease in defending yourself before your crewmates yeet you out the airlock. Either way, make sure you and your kids practice cyber-safety. Know who they are talking to and how to recognize the warning signs when talking to strangers online. 

Sidenote: you can activate “Censor Chat” in the settings if you are concerned about swear words for your kids. And there are a few explicit usernames which simply cannot be avoided. 

7. Any Accessibility Issues?

This is a question I have been hearing more often of late and something I will keep in mind for future games: are there any accessibility issues to consider? 

The general gameplay in Among Us can be tricky for players who experience color-blindness. While the avatars are dependent on color identification, you can manage this with easily distinguished usernames. 

You can also adjust the time to discuss and vote on Imposters, adjust the difficulty for killing other players, the speed of various players, and visibility within the map. Each of these variables can make the gameplay more equitable and subsequently more accessible for players of all levels. 

Currently, Among Us is available for iOS and Android for free and Steam for about USD$5.25/AUD$7.50. There are additional bundles to purchase, which give you costumes for your avatar, mini avatars, and pets. Personally, the joy in playing comes from the friends you are playing with, not the additional features.   

For short and quick games with friends, Among Us can be hella fun and super entertaining. It’s also a game I enjoy watching my kids play without plucking my eyeballs out and ripping off my own ears. It is the kind of game we can pull out on the phones and catch-up with friends… if they are still talking to us afterward. 

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32 thoughts on “7 Things Parents Should Know About ‘Among Us’

  1. Thank you for this fulsome review. I told my 9 YO son he cannot play this game, even though some of his friends play it and he is angry he can’t and that his nearly 13-YO sister plays lately. She is not much into video games, or violence, and likens Among Us to the old board game, Clue, which we have played as a family. Also, she has the game Werewolf for parties, though we never have enough people to play it at home, as we are only 4. I didn’t let my son play Fortnite either, when others his age and older were, and he eventually got over it. He enjoys Minecraft, which I allow because even though there are zombies and such, it is creative and more strategic than violent, I think – and also is obviously heavily reliant on solving problems/building. He is not much fazed by fake violence, and has watched the Jurassic Park movies, Pacific Rim, and more when he was younger, thanks to his dad’s different parenting than mine. BUT, he does have ADHD, and is easily obsessed with things he finds engaging, especially video games, so I limit them regardless of content. He’s also emotionally somewhat sensitive, and literal – but very, very smart and I think smart enough to understand that the violence is comedic and that the game play is strategic. Do you think I should let him play? My concern is primarily that he would not be gaming with friends, but strangers. I read your note about the filter for adult language, and I would probably put that on. I will ask my daughter if she can show me how to play, and watch the game a bit before I decide if my son should be allowed to play. Thanks for any input.

    1. Thanks for the comment, Alli. Your experience is EXACTLY the reason why I wrote this article because I was in the same situation. My 11yo is smart, funny, and picks up video games really easily (similar to your 9yo). However, we only just recovered from a “disaster” when his group of friends set up a Minecraft server and two kids went around blowing up everyone’s house. And while “Among Us” can be a lot of fun, if you have a couple of friends gang up on one or two, it can be hard for some kids to process. Playing with strangers can soften this blow a bit, and to be totally honest the games are short enough to prevent any major interaction with strangers.

      I strongly recommend playing with both kids for a few rounds. I have played with our 11yo son for a few rounds and he is now far more relaxed with the psychology behind it. He has learned not to take it personally nor literally. So long as he can detach for the “suspicion”, it sounds like he might benefit from the cold deduction side of things.

      If you want to chat further, feel free to send me an email: evilgeniusmum@hotmail.com

        1. its called: letting your child have F-U-N ever heard of it? if your kid is under 7 years old just don’t let them play instead of acting like a karen

    2. Yes of course you should. It is pretty fun but you should make sure that you use the censor chat because some players can say swear words and also remember that the violence is not something to be bothered bcs it is very cartoonish and if your child is not mature enough to understand that is something to be taken as funyou should not probably let him play the game

    3. I feel like you should have your son have more freedom. He is 9 I think that is when we start making permanent. I remember when I was nine and all the people were talking about Fortnite. And as a thirteen I play with people in other states. I know that your the parent, but giving your children that sense of freedom is very good for them

    4. As a parent of a 9 y/o as well I’d be very careful of obviously not only what games they are playing, but who they are watching play these games.(Not just your child’s friends at school or in real life but the very large world of eSports and live streaming) Amazon owns a website called “Twitch” (www.twitch.tv) where people of all ages can live stream a variety of things. (Console games, PC games, painting, playing guitar, singing, drawing, people opening vintage packs of Pokémon cards and opening them in front of thousands of people, etc.
      .basically any kind of hobby their is someone live streaming it) and then on the right hand side of the screen is the “chat”. With anywhere from a few people to upwards of 200,000 people who are all watching a selected streamer and can type in this chat room as they watch their favorite streamer. There can be literally be some God awful things that people say to each other in some streamers chat, even though there are “moderators” that block or immediately delete any racial slurs or offensive words but if your children are interested in video games I guarantee you they hear and see and are heavily influenced on what they see some kids (and adults) do, say, or play on their twitch stream. You have to be 13 or older to physically stream on the website, but you don’t have to be a certain age to watch a stream. For example, “Among Us” has been a very popular game for kids, teens, and much more in their early 20’s. So depending on who the streamer is they could be playing among us, but they are 24 years old cursing like a sailor and drinking shots of whiskey as well. (Which that’s what the restrictions in the settings of twitch can prevent like the ability to block viewing of streamers based on age or explicit content (don’t worry their’s no nudity or anything like that), mature language filter, etc. But remember just because it blocks these “mature language” words in the chat doesn’t mean it can filter what the streamer is saying. So that’s up to the parent to decide who is suitable to watch (but there are many large streamers who play popular games like Fortnite and Among Us that are family friendly) Also many kids feel the need to have approval of his/her favorite streamer on twitch/YouTube and sometimes the only way to communicate or get the streamer to “notice” your child (especially streamers with a large viewership like 40,000 people at any given moment) with the streamer is to donate money so that they see your message that pops up on their screen. Which is completely fine as that’s how these streamers make a living (along with subscribing to the streamer which is either $5 for a month or with Amazon prime you can subscribe to 1 of your favorite streamers every month for free) but definitely something to take note of if your child has access to your credit card and/or is not yet taught responsibility and value of money.

      Long story short I wasn’t trying to imply that Twitch or even this profession ( live streaming) is bad or anything as its a great way to find/express creativity and even create a career as many of these kids are making hundreds of thousands (sometimes millions) of dollars a year depending on sponsorships, popularity, and if they play video games competitively for a living, but to make sure you utilize the Amazon child account / twitch content filtering options if you have an Amazon prime account and your child wants to create an account and watch their favorite hobby or game on Twitch and you don’t have to worry about what kind of content they are viewing because of these features.

  2. This game is pretty funny but the age group here is under 12 years old. My son is 14 years old and his favorite game is Dota2. The point is not even that it was done as a team game. Dota2 has many examples of the commercial success of a teenager as a pro player. This led to the fact that he is quite serious about his chances now and even ordered a boost here – https://legacy-boost.com/ He says this is important when you want to try your hand at really strong players. I see that he is passionate about it and support him.

    1. I gotta admit – I haven’t heard of Dota2 so that is now on my list of games to check out this weekend! More importantly, I love the fact you are supportive of your son’s interests. That gives our spawnlings more room to explore their interests and talents in their own ways! Go the geek parents!

  3. Hi Gene. Boosting is when a person plays another player to increase their rank for them (this is against the game rules and is very frowned upon). He is not trying to improve, he is trying to trick others into thinking he is good at the game by lying.

    1. chill out they were talking about there school friends probley 13-17 so this is not a parent trying to keep there kid from learning curse words and u can turn on the censory chat as a teen myself i would say this to you and to kinza Y IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD WOULD U EVER CARE IF U LEARN A CURSE WORD. i mean they go to school at my school kids are shouting curse words down the hall nobody cares. NOBODY CARES EXEPT FOR U SO NO U SHUT UP.

  4. i disagree i think amog us is violent and you can talk to bad guys (strangers) and they talk about in approprite anime that makes my eyes hurt…. BAD! among us has violent kill thgta has shaken me to the very core of my being. good gaME 10/10

  5. Actually, Among Us is a friendly game. The problem isn’t the blood, and it’s not even gory. The problem is the people, like toxic people, people who swears and more. If people won’t communicate with your kid, that’s where problems will begin. But if your kid is patient enough. Then the fight won’t start. I think you are seeing Among Us in a different way, because that is not Among Us. It’s the players fault for being toxic. I really hope Innersloth will work on a report system, I am a big sister, and I have played with my little sister with a lot of toxic people but it isn’t really a problem. The games’ goal is to make people have fun. And strangers can be nice too! But you’re just seeing them in the wrong way. And if they get mad, of course they will get mad. It’s because we aren’t communicating properly. Please think about their feeling… they’re human too.

  6. chill out they were talking about there school friends probley 13-17 so this is not a parent trying to keep there kid from learning curse words and u can turn on the censory chat as a teen myself i would say this to you and to kinza Y IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD WOULD U EVER CARE IF U LEARN A CURSE WORD. i mean they go to school at my school kids are shouting curse words down the hall nobody cares. NOBODY CARES EXEPT FOR U SO NO U SHUT UP.

  7. Among us is not for kids at all.People on there send dick pics and have young girls.zoom with them so that they can jerk off for the girls.And guys on here jerk off put there there hand down there pants and smell there hands after there sweaty ball sack has been all over there hand .Amoung us is a dating app we have reported guys on here to the police numerous times.Guys anywhere from 11 to 80 send inappropriate pictures i think it needs taken down

    1. People do not send d**k pics, you can’t send pictures in among us. The worst that happens is swearing and inappropriate words.

  8. Was playing Among Us with my son last night and discovered that teens are using the text chat function as a dating app, basically. They give their character a name like “needaGF,” “need a bf” or “hronygirl” (spelled wrong on purpose maybe?), then ask in the chat “yellow are you a boy or a girl?” “Red do you want a date” and “purple, what’s your Snap?” So they can contact one another on Snapchat. And while the censor function helps to put asterisks over curse words, kids of various ages can deduce meaning from a sentence that contains a word or two bleeped out. Supervision and finding the right group is important.

  9. I keep seeing this reference and have to ask, what is comedic about violence in any form? As an adult I can see when things are fake or real and it doesn’t specifically bother me to see either but how is it that anyone thinks a child 8, 9, 11 ,13 is developed enough to appreciate and properly process those nuances? Our 8 year old is very smart and has no social or emotion limitations, and we are sure he can ‘understand’ it is fake. Nonetheless there is no way to predict how the cartoonish “funny” violence will affect him later. Maybe I am overthinking this. Let’s face it, I grew up watching road runner, tom and jerry, etc which were all riddled with aggression and violence. I didn’t grow up to shoot my classmates or become a serial killer. So I get that. Something tells me our son doesn’t really ‘need’ this. He is quite social and popular among his peers. Nothing draws me in for this.

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