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Viral game alleviates stress as Westminster students near end of semester

The Among Us loading screen, where players can choose options of local, freeplay or online play, or navigate to settings and leaderboard. After players choose their type of gameplay, they can start the game and are assigned as the impostor or the crewmate. (Lauren Shoughro)

Society has faced adversity in 2020: Struggles with the COVID-19 pandemic, issues with racial injustice and uncertainty surrounding the presidential election. 

To ease their minds of the madness, some students have turned to the viral mobile and PC video game “Among Us.”

What is “Among Us”?

“Among Us” is a mobile and PC game produced by the American game studio Innersloth.The game was released in 2018, but it’s gained popularity just recently.  

“Among Us” takes place in spacecrafts where players are given the role of either crewmate or impostor. 

If you’re a crewmate, it’s your job to finish your given tasks to make sure the ship is running smoothly. If you’re an impostor, you must kill the crewmates and not get caught. 

After a player is found dead, all of the players come together in the chat and decide who to throw off the ship.

By mid-September, the game hit mainstream culture with popular YouTube stars, TikTok influencers and streamers playing it. PewDiePie, James Charles and Dr. Lupo have played the game for millions of viewers, according to The New York Times.

Popular video game streamers took “Among Us” to Twitch and other platforms to play in an attempt to keep viewers entertained during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Chance Morris, known online as Sodapoppin, began streaming the game (created by InnerSloth) to his 2.8 million followers on Twitch in July,” according to the New York Times.

A break from 2020

Dwain Worrell, a junior at Westminster College majoring in finance and accounting, said playing “Among Us” feels like a healthy distraction from his schoolwork and extracurricular activities.  

“I think it’s helped a lot because I feel more connected to my friends, especially some of my friends who live out of state,” Worrell said. “And it’s helped create bonds between us, and we all have a lot of fun.” 

Douglas Fajardo, a sophomore studying business marketing and finance, said that in ways, “Among Us” could be a healthy distraction from his studies.

“Especially when midterms were around I feel like when I needed a break and people would be like ‘hey anyone want to play ‘Among Us’?’ I’d be like you know what, why not?” Farajdo said.  

Playing the game

Fajardo is a resident advisor at The Draw. He said that for floor socials, he and his residents like to play “Among Us.”

“A lot of them had a lot of fun, I found out some of them are very sneaky, and very good liars,”  Fajardo said.

With a max of 10 players in a lobby, games can have one, two or three impostors — while the rest of the players are crewmates. 

“To be honest a lot of people like playing impostor but I like playing crewmate just because I like the challenge of finding who it is,” Fajardo said . “Using strategy and finding who isn’t actually doing tasks, and seeing where they go.”

Fajardo who is originally from Pasto, Colombia, also likes to play with his friends who are in South America. 

“For me, when I play with really good friends we have a really fun time because of the fact that it’s an interaction,” Fajardo said. “In my personal opinion, it brings people that may be far, pretty close. I don’t think I’ve had the chance to talk to as many of my friends from South America in such a long time.” 

Fajardo said that he thinks this game made its viral debut at the right time. 

“It’s really brought a ton of people together, especially in quarantine and this weird time,” Fajardo said.   

Heated conversations

A vital part of the gameplay is the debates between players on who the impostor is. While this can be fun, it has been known to start some arguments between players. 

“The best part about the game is when an emergency meeting is called, or a dead body is found, and everybody’s going at everyone’s neck,” Dwain Worrell said. “People are disrespecting each other, I think that’s hilarious because we get the best comedy out of that.”

Worrell said that when he and his friends start to argue they take it to personal levels.  

“Me and a couple of my friends were going back and forth because we were getting personal,” Worrell said. “And one of our friends was like ‘that’s why your girl broke up with you, because you’re a liar’ and that was peak comedy.”

Leo Poliakoff, a first-year psychology major, started playing “Among Us” with his teammates after soccer practice in the locker room.

“Arguing in the locker room with the boys about who’s the imposter and who isn’t,” Poliakoff said. “At times it can get pretty heated, but that’s part of what makes the game so fun.” 

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Lauren Shoughro
Lauren Shoughro is a junior communication major at Westminster College. She specializes in visual communication in media with a focus on graphic design, video production and public speaking. When she isn’t editing, you can find her on Dumke Field playing for Westminster’s Women’s lacrosse team. She is excited to bring her own flare to The Forum’s newspaper and website.

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