‘Among Us’ Brings a New Meaning to Social Distance Play

2020 was a year for the history books, and not in the most positive way. In the last year, life has shifted drastically for about every single person in the world as the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread and thousands of lives are affected. The effects have travelled globally, causing millions of people to remain in lockdown for months, for businesses to shut down, for working from home and remote learning to become the new normal, and for the feeling of social isolation to grow. Friends and families have remained distanced from each other, and with the coming holiday season, that feeling of loneliness will only escalate. But thanks to technology, there are ways in which to be with each other without physically being with one another. Technology and gaming have allowed us to explore ways in which to converse, play and hang out with friends virtually.

Among Us, is an online multiplayer game that can be played directly from a smartphone. This game has flown under the radar since its release in the summer of 2018, but as thousands began searching for entertainment during the second lockdown in September 2020, the game gained immense popularity. Players can join the online rooms and play with their friends, people within their area and all over the world. They can communicate with each other through a group chat and enjoy a game of murder mysteries together.

This space themed online game allows for between four and 10 people to enter into a designated room where they will then be transported to one of three spaceship designed arenas. In each arena, players will be designated a role chosen at random. They can be either a “crewmate,” where they must complete certain tasks located throughout the ship or they could be the “impostor” who must be incognito and secretly kill the other crewmates without causing suspicion to themselves or their partner. As the game goes on and dead bodies are discovered, the crewmates must discuss and work together to figure out who the impostor is and vote them out. If someone appears suspicious though, they can be voted out as well until either the impostor or the crewmate win the game.

Not only is this a game that requires critical thinking, skill, and teamwork but it also allows for friends to play together virtually when they can’t be together in-person. As the pandemic continues and stay-at-home orders have been extended, Among Us has helped patch up the missing social interactions between friends and gives people the chance to online social distance.

Kids, teenagers and young adults have taken to playing this game in order to connect and socialize with each other. My friends have taken to playing this game together and it really helps curb the isolation from one another. We tend to get together on Houseparty—a video chatting platform—and talk with each other while we are playing the game. Its thrilling when you’re chosen to be impostor and you go around discovering new ways to remain secretive while killing your friends or when you have to maneuver your way out of being chosen during the voting process. You don’t have to be a hardcore gamer to play this game, all it takes is a little bit of skill and a strong desire to have loads of fun.

Among Us is a game I have come to throughly enjoy throughout this pandemic. It has helped me feel less alone while we are all spending more time at home and social distancing guidelines continue to be in place. With the holiday season coming around, being distanced from loved ones will be hard but with virtual games such as this, it helps mend that feeling of being alone. I would recommend this game to everyone that is looking to have a little fun and connect with some incredible people during these hard times.

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