Among Us (Rated 9+, Multi-Player Game)
Apple’s App Store description: Play online or over local WiFi with 4-10 players as you attempt to prep your spaceship for departure, but beware as one will be an impostor bent on killing everyone! Crewmates can win by completing all tasks or discovering and voting the Impostor off the ship. The Impostor can use sabotage to cause chaos, making for easier kills and better alibis.
What us Among Us, and why are kids dying to play it?
Among Us is an online multiplayer game with players working together to fix their crumbling spaceship while figuring out who the imposters are. At the start of each game, you’re randomly assigned the role of the bad guy (a.k.a Imposter) or the good guy (a.k.a. Crewmate). The Imposters know what role each player was given (i.e., they know who the other bad guys are), while the Crewmates are none the wiser. For Imposters to win, they must kill all the Crewmates without getting caught. If the Crewmates want to win, they must either discover who the Imposters are, vote them off the ship, or finish repairing the ship by doing little tasks (which present as simple mini-games) before the Imposters can kill everyone. Sounds like fun, right? It is, as long as parents set up safe parameters.
What are the risks?
Each game can have between four and ten players. If your child decides to play a public game online, they will likely be playing with people they don’t know. However, there is no voice chat function within the game itself, so unless your kid connects to an external voice chat service like Zoom or Discord, they won’t be directly chatting with strangers. We advise parents NOT let their children use/have Discord.
If your kid is playing with a specific group of friends, they should play in a private game that requires a code to enter so that no strangers can get in.
Among Us vocabulary that you should know:
- Crewmate – a player.
- Imposter – you’ve been tagged as one of the “killing” crewmates who tries to kill the others without being suspected.
- SUS – “suspicious,” or maybe one of the imposters.
- Vent/vented – we use it as a noun, but in Among Us, it’s a verb. “He vented.” A move often used by imposters, trying to move from room to room to take out crewmates.
- AFK – “away from the keyboard,” which is more common in the PC version.
Safe for children 13 years or older (with parental supervision).
Allow your child to only play private games will people they know in real life and trust. Public games or playing with strangers is not allowed under any circumstances.
Among Us can be downloaded on Steam via a PC, which will help you monitor gameplay if you set the computer up in a public area of the house. There is a cost ($4.99) to the Steam version. It is also available on the Nintendo Switch for $4.99, which also eliminates ads.
Among Us is available on Apple and Android devices too. If you allow your child to play it on their phone or tablet, I suggest buying them the ad-free version and restrict in-app purchasing on their device if you haven’t already.
Topics to discuss with your child about playing Multi-Player Games:
- Online chatting can have real-world consequences. Although playing online FEELS far removed from the real world, it doesn’t mean the things you say there can’t come back to hurt you. Threats, bullying, or racists comments can get you banned from the game, school discipline, or criminal charges. Everything you chat in a game is being recorded by the game platform (PS, XBOX, etc.) or by another player. It is not a private conversation.
- Chatting with strangers (people you don’t know in real life) is not allowed. Predators are in the places kids are hanging out, and they are good at manipulating good kids into making bad choices.
- Children do not have an expectation of privacy from their parents. Tell your child you will be checking in on them and their gameplay to check if they are following the safety guidelines. I suggest going over the Internet and Mobile Device Contract with them.
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