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Among Us is an app/video game that has seen a rising fan base since its release. It is popular with gamers of all ages. Its cutesy characters and simple gameplay make it appealing to even the youngest children. To get your home set up for cooperation and screen safety, watch Dr. Bennett’s weekly parent and family coaching videos on the GetKidsInternetSafe App! We cover all of our GKIS parenting course content in this inexpensive, easy 6-month program. In today’s GKIS Sensible Guide, you will be learning all the information you need to make an informed decision on if this game is appropriate for your child.

How long has Among Us been around, and how popular is it?

Among Us was released by a small development company called InnerSloth LLC in June 2018. According to Steam, the number of users began to rise when COVID lockdowns started. This peaked around October 2020 with an average number of 170,000 players.[1] It should be noted that this does not include players on Apple or Android devices. The true player count is likely much higher.

Among Us is available for purchase on Steam for under $5. On mobile devices, Among Us is a free download. However, users on mobile devices will be shown ads between games and will have their data collected. To stop this, the user is allowed to purchase an ad-free version of the app. This prevents any ads from playing and their data from being collected by the app.

If your child is interested in games like Among Us, we recommend parents download our GKIS App. It features tons of exclusive videos, tips, and advice for handling your child’s internet lives.

Getting Started on Among Us

To play Among Us, the player must confirm their age is over 13. This is done with a simple birthdate selection and can be easily bypassed by children younger than 13. Among Us can be downloaded on Steam, along with the Apple app store and the Google Play store.

Before letting your child play Among Us or games like it, we recommend the Connected Family Course to help inform you and your child about the dangers of screen use. It also provides a large number of tips to help your child stay safe online.

Features of Among Us

  • Basic Gameplay
    • During the game, groups of 4 to 10 play together. One to three of those players are selected as the imposters, the rest of the players are crewmates.
      • Crewmates will have a certain number of tasks to complete as a group around the map. These tasks are usually simply mini-games such as connecting wires or swiping a keycard. This group wins when either all of the imposters have been eliminated through voting, or all of the tasks are completed.
      • Imposters have a much simpler task. They want to eliminate the crewmembers until the number of imposters is equal to the number of crewmembers. If this happens the imposters win. Imposters have extra abilities such as using vents to teleport around the map. Imposters always know who the other imposters are.
    • When a dead body is reported or the emergency button is pressed a meeting is called. During this meeting, all players discuss who they think the imposters are. This discussion may be over a text chat or a voice chat. At the end of the meeting, they have the option to vote off a player. They may skip voting if they aren’t confident. Once a player is voted off, it is revealed if they were a crewmember or an imposter.
  • Cosmetics
    • A various number of cosmetics are available for direct purchase for Among Us. They can range in price from one dollar to up to five dollars. While not a loot box, some people do worry that microtransactions like this can lead your child to develop a gambling addiction. For more information on this, please visit our article on gambling in gaming.

Benefits of Among Us

There are numerous benefits from playing Among Us. It is a fun way for friends to interact or to meet new friends online. Its simple gameplay allows for everyone to enjoy, not just dedicated gamers. Plus, the game is easily accessible because it’s extremely inexpensive or even free. Finally, it teaches players to detect deception from other people. This can be considered a good life skill.

Risks of Among Us

There are a few big risks that come with children playing Among Us. The first is that it does expose the child to violence. While it is cartoon-like, there are some graphic deaths including stabbing, snapping necks, and eating heads off. It also teaches children to lie. To be a successful imposter, one has to lie and plant deception in the crewmates’ heads. This might lead the child to lie in other aspects of their life, particularly younger children. Another risk for anyone playing the game is they may be exposed to cyberbullying by others. Other players may be muted to prevent this, but it is still a risk of playing an online game. Another big risk is talking and interacting with strangers. Though it hasn’t been reported, predators could potentially use Among Us to find victims and groom them into talking outside of the game or offline.

Due to risk potential for child players, GKIS rates Among Us as a yellow-light app due to the cartoon violence and potential exposure to cyberbullying. This means that children under the age of 13 are not recommended to play this game.

If your child wants to play Among Us, GKIS recommends that you:

  • Add it to your free GKIS Connected Family Agreement (Available if you enter your email on our GKIS home page.)
  • Discuss the risks of chatting with strangers with your child. For tips and advice on how to do this, check out our Connected Family Course.
  • Consider downloading our GKIS app for parenting and family coaching videos that provide information, extra support, and exclusive tips for helping your child stay internet safe.

Thanks to CSUCI intern Dakota Byrne for researching Among Us and co-authoring this article.

I’m the mom psychologist who will help you GetKidsInternetSafe.

Onward to More Awesome Parenting,
Tracy S. Bennett, Ph.D.
Mom, Clinical Psychologist, CSUCI Adjunct Faculty

GetKidsInternetSafe.com

Works Cited 

[1] https://steamcharts.com/app/945360

Photo Credits

Photo by Kelly Sikkema (https://unsplash.com/photos/PgToaHfQjq0)

Photo by Luis Villasmil (https://unsplash.com/photos/ITFwHdPEED0)

Dakota Byrne
Dakota Byrne
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