If you’re looking for a new game to test your intuition, teamwork and betrayal skills then Among Us, a multiplayer game by the independent studio InnerSloth, should be your first choice.
It’s been 2 years since the game has been officially released and people are wondering what is the cause of the sudden popularity. Well, like typical indie games, it took a while to build a following.
However, during the Coronavirus lockdown, popular streamers on Twitch started to broadcast while playing the game together. As a result, their audiences quickly took to the social deduction game.
How to play?
4-10 players are aboard a spaceship on its way back to Earth. However, among them, there is one alien impostor (can be up to 3), whose sole job is to prevent the crew from completing their tasks to return to Earth.
The impostor does this by traveling through the vents to different parts of the ship, sabotaging the ship’s power, electricity, communication and oxygen, as well as killing the crew off one by one without being caught.
Members of the crew, called crewmates, who are not impostors, have to quickly try to complete their designated tasks to ensure a safe return to Earth.
If all crewmates finish the tasks before the impostor kills them, then they win, however, if the impostor/s kill everyone before the tasks are completed the impostors are victorious.
When a dead body is found, it’s reported and crewmates, including the impostor, have to discuss and try to deduce who the impostor is based on whether they saw anyone close to the body or not doing tasks.
After the discussion, players can either choose to vote a player they think is the impostor off or skip and try to gather more evidence on who it could be.
The impostor has to lie and frame innocent crewmates, in hopes that he isn’t voted off after every discussion. This is where the fun part of the game comes from, trying to figure out who is lying.
If the Impostor is not voted off, then the game continues and crewmates carry on with their tasks in maintaining the ship while the impostor/s carry on killing.
Dead crewmates can still carry out their tasks but unfortunately, they can’t communicate with the living.
If the impostor is voted off, or the crew completes their tasks, then they win. But, if the Impostor is the last man standing, then he wins. Impostors and crewmates are chosen randomly.
The new way to connect
Since most of the world has been in lockdown, many celebrities have been unable to connect and interact with their fans.
From the likes of James Charles, to Pewdiepie and even Julius Bjornsson, who played “The Mountain” on HBO’s Game of Thrones, have started live streaming and playing with their fans.
With the US elections around the corner, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (Representative for New York), also known as AOC, has also taken to the streaming platform Twitch, to play Among Us to encourage people to vote.
— The Recount (@therecount) October 21, 2020
Her debut on the platform reached a viewership of 435,000 placing her among the top 20 biggest streams. Even though it was her first time playing, she succeeded in killing half the crewmates, with her fellow impostor before being caught.
Multiplayer gaming has always been there, however, with more people being at home with nothing to do, its popularity seems to be on the rise.
Is gaming the new way to rally?
With the rising popularity of Among Us, hackers have taken to the game for their own personal gain.
One hacker, a college student who supports Trump, has taken to the indie game spamming it with messages, telling persons to subscribe to their YouTube channel, as well as, voting for Trump in the upcoming 2020 election.
The game is broken down into three servers (North America, Europe and Asia), and the hacker has only disrupted games on the North American server. This is only fair because of the political statement she is trying to make.
The hacker has stated in an interview with Eurogamer that, “… I support Trump with the election and this hopefully [is] getting the publicity wanted to add that.”
The three creators of the game at InnerSloth have stopped development on Among Us 2 and have placed all of their focus on stopping the hackers, as well as, making the original Among Us better.
We’re are super duper aware of the current hacking issue and we’re looking into it. We will be pushing out an emergency server update so people who are in game will get kicked from games. Please play private games or with people that you trust!!! Bare with us!! 😰
— InnerSloth (@InnerslothDevs) October 23, 2020
Similarly to the hacker, other players of the game have taken to naming their characters such as “Trump2020” and “Biden2020”. Has political warfare now gone to the simulated world?
Gamers and hackers have always been present, but is this a new way to reach them to gain more votes?
Words: Kenya Best | Subbing: Yuan Luo