So much has happened to us as a country since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic: the 2020 election, the TikTok explosion and a new season of “Stranger Things.”
All of these pale in comparison to one of the most popular games of this decade thus far.
A popular online multiplayer murder-mystery game similar to the game, Mafia, Among Us peaked in popularity in late 2020. Gen-Z online culture was experiencing a renaissance during the quarantine period.
My soul has transcended ever since Among Us rode the crests and troughs of internet stardom.
Although the game was released in 2018 on Android and iOS by Innersloth, Among Us took off in the summer of 2020, or the elusive quarantine period.
Streamers on the platform Twitch formed lobbies and played the game for hours at a time — boosting the game’s popularity. Some of the most famous streamers included Corpse Husband, Valkyrae, Disguised Toast and Sykkuno.
A large content creation collective — known as OfflineTV— dominated the Among Us scene. These creators consistently attracted around 30,000 concurrent viewers each, including Sykkuno and Disguised Toast who were the face of the Among Us streams.
Among Us grew so much that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez played alongside Twitch streamers in order to encourage the 435,000 concurrent viewers to vote in the 2020 general election.
This game amassed a fandom and player base like no other indie game has ever before. Even after 2020, I still find so much Among Us branded merchandise in stores like Five Below, Target and even Claire’s.
That brings us to the present day.
Nothing has held a candle to the innocent, jubilant era of the mobile game. I would play Among Us with my cousins, my online friends and even alone. It marked a period of my life where I — like many others — was trying to make it through unsure times due to the pandemic, the lack of toilet paper in stores and the fear of our futures as young adults.
I would spend hours everyday on Discord with my internet friends that I made when I just graduated high school.
Summer 2020 was defined by liminal spaces. I wasn’t going to BU in person for my freshman year and felt isolated from my high school friends. I drifted away from and worried about how I was going to face the stress of college.
However, Among Us gave me a source of comfort. It was just a silly detective game with multi-colored marshmallow astronauts with a premise that never changed: kill the crewmates as the imposter or finish all your tasks as a crewmate.
In a way, my life paralleled the game quite accurately. I had a singular objective, which was fairly easy. At that time, all I had to do was stay at home and do my online schoolwork. Life felt too easy compared to the rat race of college admissions, work and school.
I’m grateful for that time in my life. Now, it feels like quarantine was a lifetime ago, and I’m back in the race. There’s so much to worry about with not enough hours in the day to complete all my tasks. I feel like an Among Us crewmate who’s running around in the dark with an imposter on my tail most days.
However, if Among Us had any sort of silver lining, I learned how to relax and take things less seriously. I used to be so uptight before coming to college. All I needed was solitary confinement in my room with a children’s mobile game to sort myself out.
Talk about an iPad kid.