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PewDiePie. Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. James Charles. At the beginning of this
year, I don’t think anyone could have anticipated that these three would eventually have something in
common, but that is the power of popular online game Among Us. Despite its initial release over two
years ago, Among Us is just recently rising to popularity. In July, Chance Morris, better known by his
online username Sodapoppin, began streaming the game on Twitch to his millions of followers, possibly
kickstarting the movement that has now taken over the world. Now, from online creators like PewDiePie
all the way to political figures like AOC, Among Us has captivated everyone imaginable, but I think the
real question is why? Among Us has been around for a while and it’s not some groundbreaking
gameplay, so why exactly has this simple game from a small indie company launched to fame?
Before looking at why Among Us has become so popular, what exactly is it? The game has
become such a well-known term and has found itself into almost any teen and young adults’ vernacular,
but if you’ve been living under a rock, let’s break it down. Among Us is an online, multiplayer game
similar to the popular childhood game Mafia or Werewolf. Players choose between three different maps
and once the game begins, 1-3 players are chosen to be the Imposter while the rest of the players are
Crewmates. The Imposter’s job is to sabotage the Crewmates and kill as many of them as they can
without getting caught. The Crewmate’s job is to complete several tasks across the map and figure out
which of their fellow “Crewmates” is the Imposter. Each round of the game ends either when a body is
discovered, or an emergency meeting is called. Once either of these happen, all players are gathered
into a meeting where they must discuss evidence they’ve collected and ultimately vote on which
member they believe is the Imposter. Overall, the game is very simple, although some players develop
complex strategies to either be clever Imposters or insightful Crewmates.
Now the real question comes into play. Why has Among Us become so popular in just the past
three months? I believe several factors have played into Among Us’ success, the main one obviously
being quarantine. With isolation and social distancing, the appeal of communication and connectedness
provided through online gaming platforms such as Discord and Twitch were bound to skyrocket in
success, and many were simply waiting for the right game to come along. In this case, Among Us took
the charge. Another reason behind Among Us’ recent launch to fame is the pure nostalgia it brings to
players. Along with the state of isolation and quarantine many of us have been in for most of the year, a
lack of new and exciting things has brought about a longing for nostalgia. Personally, I member as a kid
playing the game Mafia at summer camps and youth groups. Those simple games played with childhood
friends left me with some of my happiest memories from my youth. With the chaos of 2020, I’m not the
only one who has been overcome by nostalgia and longs for the happy memories of the past, and
Among Us simply fulfilled that longing for everyone. Finally, I believe a big factor influencing Among Us’
launch to fame is its simplicity. Gaming and the streaming of gaming have been around for years, but
Among Us does something revolutionary, it creates a simple game with no commitment. Popular games
such as Minecraft and Fortnite require, even if mild, some sort of skill factor to play and you typically
save your progress, hoping to advance your skills and ranks. If you decide to play one of these games for
the first time, you might not be met with open arms as “newbies” can sometimes be a setback for more
advanced players. Among Us eliminates all of this. As an eighteen-year-old girl who hasn’t played video
games past the limits of my Wii, I can log on and play Among Us and win round after round. When I first

started playing Among Us, I was amazed at how easy it was to pick up the rules of the game. After a few
rounds, I was a pro. I didn’t have to be a pro gamer with an expensive PC set-up who has been practicing
for years. I simply pulled out my phone, downloaded the app, and suddenly I too was able to be part of
the ever-expansive gaming community.
Among Us has allowed anyone, whoever they are and wherever they might be, to be part of an
inclusive community where they can bask in the nostalgia and simplicity of a game that has allowed us
to, even if for a moment, forget about the intense and drastic issues surrounding our society today. It
has allowed people in a time of isolation to stay connected and form everlasting bonds. Communities
have been generated, friendships created, and an area of pop culture has been forever revolutionized.
Among Us could possibly lay the path for more games like it, allowing people of all skill sets and
experience levels to come together and connect through a fun and simple environment. Gaming could
even become a solution to the loneliness and seclusion that has manifested itself in our society as a
result of COVID-19, and Among Us might just be the prototype.

University of Indianapolis Professional Writing and Creative Writing Major
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