What do space travel, impersonating an astronaut, and fancy hats all have in common?
They’re part of the massively popular video game Among Us!
If you were busy parenting a child or teen during the COVID-19 pandemic, you’ve likely heard about Among Us. It’s no secret that the game is extremely popular, but is Among Us safe? Is Among Us kid-friendly? Let’s find out!
What Is Among Us?
Before we explore if Among Us is age-appropriate or not, let’s learn a bit more about the game itself.
Among Us is an online multiplayer video game released in 2018. It’s available on most platforms including Android, iOS, PC, and gaming consoles like the Nintendo Switch.
While the game has been around since 2018, it didn’t become the viral sensation that it is until the COVID-19 pandemic. When we were all stuck at home, online video games like Among Us emerged as a popular way for friends and family to stay connected while social distancing. Many Twitch streamers and YouTube celebrities caught onto the trend and started posting Among Us related content, which only catapulted the game further into online popularity.
As a result of its sudden virality, Among Us inspired all sorts of Internet songs and memes. In fact, the game’s popularity got so great that during the 2020 presidential election, political leaders in the United States even streamed themselves playing the game on Twitch to raise election awareness for young voters!
How Do You Play Among Us?
The premise of the game is simple. Players take control of a group of space explorers stranded on a broken ship that they must work together to fix. There’s a catch, however: not all players are on the same team.
At the beginning of a round of Among Us, players are assigned one of two rolls: Crewmate or Imposter. Crewmates are regular members of the space force who complete tasks around the ship to repair it. The Imposters, however, must sneakily stop the Crewmates from accomplishing their tasks. To do this, they must eliminate every single Crewmate without getting caught.
The game ends in one of three ways. If the Imposters eliminate all the crewmates and escape, they win. The Crewmates, on the other hand, win by either fixing the ship or working together to figure out who the Imposters are and vote them off the ship.
So how do Crewmates determine who the Imposter is? Through conversation, of course!
Every time an eliminated player’s body is found, the game calls an emergency meeting. In these meetings, Crewmates and Imposters alike share information about what they’ve seen or heard. After a set amount of time, players then vote on who they believe to be the Imposter. If they guess correctly, the Imposter is out of the game. If they accidentally eliminate a Crewmate, however, the game continues as before.
Among Us is a perfect example of what’s called a “social deduction game.” In these games, players must use their social skills to deduce each player’s hidden role or team allegiance. Other examples of social deduction games are popular party games Werewolf, Spyfall, and Deception.
Among Us and Strangers
Like many popular video games, Among Us is usually played online. As such, there are two ways kids can play: privately with friends and family members they know in real life, or publicly with complete strangers. Obviously, one method is safer than the other.
When players decide to play privately with friends and family members, they create a special game that requires a password to access. This is the safest and most secure way to play Among Us, because it ensures that only players who know each other in real life can join the game. It’s also the most fun because you get to play with friends!
When players go online, however, the game automatically connects kids with other players from all over the world. While your child may end up playing with others their own age, there’s also the chance that the game connects them with hackers or cyberbullies that pose a serious threat to security.
This leads us to an important question: Are there child predators on Among Us? Unfortunately, there are. Predators can take advantage of the anonymity and unrestricted chat that Among Us provides to meet and groom kids and teens. The consequences of this can be dire. As such, it’s crucial that parents sit down with their kids and go over key safety rules when gaming online. We also recommend encouraging your children to play Among Us only in private games with known friends and family for an added layer of security.
Is Among Us Safe for Kids?
So, what’s the verdict? Is Among Us safe for my child?
Among Us is appropriate for ten-year-olds and up—as long as they don’t play with strangers. In fact, playing Among Us with friends and family can be a great way for kids to practice socializing while simultaneously putting their problem-solving skills to the test.
However, there are some potential dangers to be aware of:
- Among Us features grisly animations. When an Imposter eliminates a Crewmate, the Crewmate gets treated to a pretty grisly death animation that features cartoon blood and gore. As such, the game certainly isn’t suitable for younger players. Unfortunately, there’s no way to turn these animations off yet.
- Among Us can be addicting. Among Us is fun, exciting, and changes with every round. As such, players may get so into the game that they develop video game addiction. Help your child avoid video game addiction by enforcing a time limit and encouraging them to explore other, non-screen related interests.
- Among Us contains in-app purchases. As with many video games, players can use real-life currency to purchase cosmetic items in Among Us. Some kids may accidentally purchase these items, so double check that your credit card information isn’t connected to Among Us before your child plays.
- Among Us connects kids with strangers. When kids play Among Us online, they risk the game connecting them with hackers, bullies, and child predators. Help your child avoid these threats by encouraging them to play only with real-life friends and family.
Protect Your Child with Troomi
Among Us is one of the most popular video games out there—but is Among Us safe?
As long as players only join private games, Among Us is safe for kids ten and up. When played with friends and family, the game is fun, engaging, and a safe way for kids to practice valuable life skills like problem-solving and socializing. It’s a pretty great way to bond together as a family, too!
If you’re worried about your child spending too much time on their phone playing games like Among Us, however, check out Troomi! Every device from Troomi Wireless is designed with your child’s safety in mind. This means contact SafeListing™, high-end security, and a collection of vetted KidSmartⓇ Apps and games that inspire kids to learn and grow. Click here to learn more!