There’s An Impostor Among Us!


Full graphic on Instagram @enloeeagleseye

The current climate of the country is a scary one. With all that’s going on with the pandemic, the election, protests, and so much more, now more than ever Americans need a beacon of hope. This fall, that beacon of hope has arrived in the form of little astronauts running around killing each other. That’s right, the 2018 indie-murder mystery game “Among Us” is the internet’s newest gaming craze. Enloe Sophomore Leilani Gilchrist sums it up perfectly: “Among Us is a game about betrayal and trust where you play as astronauts as either a crewmate or an impostor. As a crewmate, you have tasks you can complete to win the game. As an impostor, you can kill the crewmates and sabotage them to avoid getting caught.” But why is this little dumpy 5 dollar game from 2 years ago suddenly the number one most streamed game? To find out, let’s talk to some people who play the game.

So how do you play? First, you join a waiting room either online with strangers or using a game code from a friend. “[it’s] A game of 10 people where two people can be imposters similar to mafia.” says senior Ben Sutton. “People have to vote out the imposters and the imposters have to try and kill all the crewmates to win.” That’s the basic objective of the game. As a crewmate, you can also complete tasks on the ship before anyone is killed to try and win, but usually, you’ve got to guess who the impostor is. But enjoying among us doesn’t just take knowing how to play the game. You need your wits about you. A big part of the game is knowing your alibi, and lying your way out. “I like it ‘cause I get to lie to people,” says Wesley Newby, a sophomore. “I get to clap them and they don’t even know it was me. I also like calling people out for being dumb.” You need to have your head in the game to successfully not get caught if you’re the imposter, or figure out who it is if you’re a crewmate.

After 2 years of being in the shadow of the video game world, with less than 50 monthly users at one point, Among Us is now hugely popular. It has even become the number one most streamed game on many websites, including Twitch, a popular platform for gamers. So how did it blow up so recently? Why now? “I think it got popular mainly because it’s a fun pastime during quarantine. Not to say that it only got popular because of when it came out, of course, but I do think it’s a huge factor,” says Leilani. “Another reason would probably be because so many YouTubers/twitch streamers were playing it so it got more attention that way.” Youtube and Twitch definitely played a role in the game’s virality, but other social media platforms played a role too. “TikTok definitely helped the game a lot, once the creators of the game got the word out it was treated like a hidden gem of sorts,” says Salla, an eighth-grader at Moore Square. Such a viral sensation like this one could only be a product of the social media age.

It’s not hard to see why this might be a good way to connect with friends over quarantine. All it takes is a text from a friend with a game code and you’re in! Freshman Jonah Yinger tells us, “One of my friends texted a group chat with me and some other people, and asked if we wanted to play that night on Facetime, and I got hooked!” Wesley agrees, saying, “I got into it because I saw a YouTuber play it, and then the boys said to hop on.” It’s extremely easy to access because just about anyone can play it. That’s part of the reason it’s so hugely popular right now.

But of course, this raises the question of how it could possibly maintain this level of fame? It could stay a video game mogul for months to come, but it could die out again as another video game fad. “I think it should stay pretty popular especially since they are going to be adding a huge update that I know a lot of people are going to be looking forward to,” says Salla Jallow. She thinks as long as the game is able to keep itself fresh and interesting, it’ll have a fan base. Jonah Yinger considers it a different way. “It’ll probably die out as quarantine ends but I hope it stays popular for a while because I really like it.” It’s hard to say how long it will stick around – it could very well be a product of its time, but this game has brought joy to a tough time in the world and we are down to enjoy it while it’s here.