In an era it is needed most
games can offer us a brief respite and a better sense of community with each other. Sometimes, that community can be found in the oddest places.
Gaming has always had a difficult relationship with the general public, many often associating it with not going out, playing in a dark room with nobody but yourself. However, gaming is much more than that, and through the years gamers have proven time and time again that playing games isn’t something that is done alone. Not only have games created one of the largest communities on the planet, they also have created esports: the culmination of gaming, community, and competition.
Games have the ability to bring people together that have never even spoken before. In 2016, Pokémon Go took over the world by allowing players to go outside and catch Pokémon in the real world, exposing the public eye to something that had never been seen before, and its happening again now, this time with a game called Among Us.
And, if you haven’t heard of Among Us, it’s a deception-betrayal game similar Mafia. Two people are imposters, with the goal of killing the crew without being caught. The rest of the group is the crew, who have the task of getting rid of the imposters before they all die, or to complete all the tasks on the ship.
The special thing about Among Us, is that if played correctly, people are only allowed to talk during a specified discussion period, adding the element of lies, deception, and trickery. It makes for a unique experience on an otherwise familiar genre — all while in the theme of playing as astronaut “beans”.
If you think that Among Us is a new game, you would be wrong. Coming out in 2018, this game exploded in popularity in the past two 2 months due to a massive audience on twitch and the interaction between streamers and players. And that’s where the magic of this game lies.
Among Us has the added benefit that the main driving point isn’t the game itself, it’s the interaction between you and the other players. Similar to the Jackbox party game series, its popularity stems from the fact that it’s meant to be played with others, but this isn’t even limited to those that you’re close with. Sometimes the most interesting games are ones where you don’t know anybody.
Because of Among Us, there have been multiple GroupMes and Discord servers specifically for the purpose of playing Among Us with OU students, and they have helped me meet and talk to people I would otherwise not get the chance to. It is this type of connection that Among Us excels at: the connection you would have never experienced otherwise.
With the way that the game is progressing, it doesn’t seem like it will fall off anytime soon, and even if it does, the bonds that were made through the game stay. That’s what is special about gaming, it’s not the all star competition or the riveting experiences, it’s the community. The idea that anyone from anywhere can come under one umbrella and participate in a game about little spacemen trying to kill each other, and have a good time doing it.
And you know, maybe the ones among us, were the friends we made along the way.