Among Us

Among Us is a mobile and PC video game created by InnerSloth which has achieved viral fame during the COVID-19 pandemic. While the game was launched in 2018, it reached widespread popularity during the pandemic from social media forums like Twitter and TikTok. Among Us takes place on a spaceship where a space crew has been infiltrated by alien imposters. Imposters are trying to prevent the crew from returning home while crew members must discover and eject the imposter before the imposter can murder all the members or sabotage the ship. The closed system of the game feels like a reflection of quarantine life as does the ever-present suspicion of an external threat. Though not designed with a global pandemic in mind, the character design resembles simplified, colorful hazmat suits which furthers the resonance Among Us has found at this cultural moment. At its most positive, the game illustrates the value of working together to overcome an external, virulent threat; however, the thematic paranoia and escapism imbued in play seem most relevant to its recent success.