Among Us: What Parents Need to Know

Few parents can go more than a day without their kids talking about their favorite online games. Fortunately, there are many positive benefits to kids playing online video games in moderation, including improving problem-solving skills and cultivating social cooperation. And many gamers (and their parents) believe that one particularly popular game does both quite well—Among Us.

One of the most popular games available today, Among Us, is an online murder mystery game played by millions worldwide. In today’s blog, we’ll give an overview of this game, focusing on what parents need to know before deciding whether it is suitable for their families.

The Background and Basics of Among Us

Set aboard a spaceship in outer space, Among Us is a “social deduction” game in which one team of players needs to bluff and deceive their competitors into thinking they are not “the bad guys” (and then eliminate those now-deceived competitors), while the “good guys” tackle each game’s tasks and/or eliminate the enemy first—if they can figure out who the enemy actually is before it’s too late!

To survive—and win—the “good guys” must use their deductive reasoning and shrewd reading of social cues to determine who is their true ally and who is their enemy. Conversely, the “bad guys” try to win by outwitting—and eradicating—the heroes through cleverness and outright deceit. 

Among Us is free to play on Android and iOS, though players will view ads on the app. To play the game on a laptop, a PC version costs $5.00.

At a minimum, four players are needed, and as many as 15 participants may play in any one game. Thus, your kid will either need to play with at least three other friends (or siblings) or play it in public mode with other people on the internet.

A Truly Global Phenomenon

First released in 2018, Among Us largely flew under the radar among gamers until the Covid-19 global pandemic sent most of the world inside and hunkered down in relative isolation. Perhaps the game’s considerable social emphasis was the cause of its explosive growth in popularity during the doldrum days of 2020.

Whatever the reason, there’s no doubting its massive worldwide following today! Even a few years after reaching its peak monthly player record, Among Us still regularly clocks in at over 45 million total monthly players.

Gameplay Overview of Among Us

In Among Us, players divide into two teams: “Crewmates” (the game’s heroes) and “Impostors” (the game’s villains). The two primary goals for the Crewmate team are to tackle and finish each game map’s tasks and begin to identify—and eliminate—the Imposters attempting to sabotage the Crewmate’s mission. As the game’s baddies, the Impostors’ singular goal is simply to hunt down and kill all the Crewmates while “hiding in plain sight.”

The tricky part is that, on the surface at least, Crewmates and Imposters look exactly the same! Imposters don’t just run around rampantly like monsters in other games. Their sneaky, clever ways of infiltrating the Crewmates make these villains exceedingly hard to identify and capture.

If the Crewmates finish all their assigned tasks for a game’s particular map, or catch and eliminate all the Imposters before that happens, the Crewmates win. On the other hand, if the Imposters kill all the Crewmates first, the Imposters win.

Age Appropriateness and Parental Considerations of Among Us

Like with all other games (and just about everything else in parenting), the age-appropriateness for Among Us will vary based on the individual child and the discretion of the parent.

The Apple Store (for iPhones and iPads) rates the game suitable for ages 9+, while the Google Play Store (for Android-based devices) puts it at 10+. Some commentators, like Common Sense Media, suggest that Among Us is most appropriate for children aged 10 and older. 

Common Sense Media cites the Among Us theme (it is a murder mystery, after all), some violence (though, as discussed below, this is relatively “cartoonish” in nature), and the deceptive elements all rising to a more mature level than other games younger children may play. 

Additionally, as with just about any game that includes in-game chatting, the chat feature can also get problematic, as some players employ foul language or even engage in occasional bullying during gameplay.

In terms of violence, it’s worth noting that the Imposters will hunt down and kill the Crewmates as part of Among Us’ game-winning goals. That said, the characters do not appear to be human. They’re almost jelly-bean-shaped, or sometimes likened to Teletubbies. Even the characters’ “deaths” are depicted as simply floating out into space (though some blood appears).

The Benefits of Among Us

Many children love Among Us simply because it’s fun. Fortunately for parents, it also teaches some valuable, real-life skills!

The game forces players to look below the surface, both for achieving the goals of each map, and more importantly for discerning who is an ally. Players cannot take anything at face value and must learn to think critically and practice deductive reasoning.

Among Us also provides opportunities to practice cooperation. Team building and collaborative communication are crucial elements of the game, just as they are in real life.

As with anything else, you’ll want to consider the maturity level of your own kids before letting them log on to play—but if you do, maybe join them for a game or two. You just might find a fun way to bond with them over a newly shared love for the game!

And with high-speed internet from DE Fastlink, you’ll have all the bandwidth you need to enjoy the game together—or to get some work done on your own devices while your kids play in the other room!

Visit defastlink.nettoday to ensure your household has the speed you need to enjoy your favorite games, work and learn remotely, and more. We’re honored to keep you connected!

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