While kids have long loved playing video games, a new multi-player online game has become increasingly popular among kids of all ages in Coronado — it’s called Among Us.
Contributing to the appeal of the game is that Among Us is free, simple to play, requires limited skill, and is usually finished within 10 minutes. Game developer, InnerSloth, created Among Us to include 4 to 10 simultaneous players who are randomly and privately assigned to play the role of either a crewmate or the impostor on a spaceship. The imposter tries to sabotage the spaceship to eliminate all of the crewmates while the crewmates complete tasks on the ship and try to avoid getting killed by the impostor. Players get voted out of the game if the other players think they are the impostor.
The game originally launched in 2018 but surged in popularity in the fall of 2020 with over 100 million global downloads in September. Coronado kids ramped up their play of Among Us in mid-September and interest has remained strong throughout the fall.
Among Us is unique in that the game appeals to players across a wide range of ages, from kids to adults. It’s even attracted politicians, such as Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, who played the game to attract a following among younger voters. The Apple App Store age rating is 9+ for “infrequent/mild cartoon or fantasy violence, and infrequent/mild horror/fear themes.” Among Us censors out most negative language to keep the game youth friendly. Coronado Middle School student Grant Adams shared, “Among Us is for everyone,” and he said he knows many kids from elementary school through high school that play the game regularly.
Social distancing guidelines mean students can’t be together physically so playing Among Us allows Coronado youth to stay connected remotely. Coronado High School student Aidan Bayless said, “I play with friends online when I can’t interact with them in person.” Players talk to each other in a casual and friendly environment. While Aidan shared that he has played with people from all over the world, he “prefers to play with Coronado friends and siblings.”
Coronado students participating in distance learning enjoy breaks throughout the school day which some kids use to play a quick game of of Among Us. Coronado Middle School student Logan Craig shared, “I started playing Among Us with some friends after school, but now learning from home has given me more free time to play a game during breaks.” Games often last less than 10 minutes so can be completed before students return to online classes. However, it should be noted that it is recommended that students use the time between online classes to actually take a break from a screen.
While COVID continues to upend social life, Among Us offers a fun and easy way for friends to stay connected virtually.