“Red is sus.”
This is what a typical conversation looks like in the Among Us chat. Among Us is a video game that has recently gained popularity within many spheres, although it was initially released in 2018.
In the game, players play as either a crewmate or an impostor. Each player is a different color.
Crewmates complete tasks in one of three maps, the most common being on a spaceship. Impostors try to sabotage and kill the other players.
After a player reports a kill or calls an emergency meeting, players discuss who they think the impostor is and can vote someone out. The game ends when the impostor gets voted out or is one of the last two people standing.
Up to 10 people can play in a game with one to three impostors. Players can join a public lobby to join a game with strangers or create their own private room with a code to play with their friends.
The game is available on PC for $5, but there is also a free app.
Junior Mackenzie Rutherford started playing the game a month ago after seeing many videos about it on YouTube. She really liked it and encouraged her friends to download the game as well.
“I was the first to download it, and then I was like “Guys, you actually need to download it and play it because it’s addictive and it’s so fun,”” she said.
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During her first week playing the game, Rutherford joined a public lobby and all the people she played with kept rejoining the same lobby. The group of strangers played several rounds together and enjoyed it so much that they created a Discord server where they could continue to talk and play together.
“It’s so interesting to see that this game is able to bring such different people together,” she said.
The people on Rutherford’s Discord server are all different ages and from all different places. She also sometimes plays with her roommate and friends. Recently, she suggested playing Among Us as a way to connect and have fun with people in her organizations, Sigma Tau Delta and Miami University Geological Society.
Sophomore Claire Fisher started playing the game two weeks ago after seeing videos about it on TikTok and YouTube. Her favorite part about it is the strategic aspect.
“I like how you have to trick people,” she said. “Despite it being just this fun game, there’s a million different strategies you can do to win and you really have to pay attention to everybody.”
When she plays as a crewmate, Fischer’s strategy is to complete her tasks as fast as possible to help the team. When she plays as the imposter, her strategy is to replicate how she plays as a crewmate so she doesn’t seem “sus” (suspicious).
Fischer is trying to get a group of her friends to play together because as she continues playing the game, she notices things she doesn’t like about its online culture.
“People will play the game in a lot of different ways,” she said. “It becomes frustrating to figure out how people are going to react and how they’re going to vote in every round you play.”
For example, some people will vote a player out just because someone else said so but without any evidence. Fischer thinks that defeats the purpose of the discussion. She has also seen people in the game spamming the chat with slurs and harassing messages to get a response.
Sophomore David Gudin said he has been lucky enough to not have seen any rude or inappropriate chats since he started playing the game three weeks ago when his friend urged him to. The discussions are actually his favorite part of the game.
“My favorite part is the little trial things they have when someone’s murdered or calls a meeting,” Gudin said. “You just try to convince people that you’re safe or that other people are the killer. Or if you are the killer, you have to get everyone off your back. I think that’s really fun.”
Like many online trends, Among Us has its pros and cons. Although some people take the opportunity to be rude in the chat, others use the chat for its intended purpose and may even find community.
Rutherford, Fischer and Gudin also all noticed a learning curve but didn’t struggle much with learning how to play.
“Because the game is still gaining popularity at a really large rate, it’s really easy to just jump into it because there’s a lot of people that are just now starting,” Rutherford said. “It’s another way to waste time, but a fun way to waste time.”