The Impostors Among Us Take Over Stuyvesant
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The lights flicker and the power goes out. Just as you get a bearing on your surroundings, an orange blur dances across the screen and strikes. BAM! In a blink of an eye, you’re dead, mercilessly decapitated.
If this game sounds familiar, it’s probably because millions of teenagers across the nation are playing it. Since quarantine began, the game Among Us has quickly spread and captured the attention of YouTube stars, streamers, and Stuyvesant students alike.
Senior Iris Lin learned of the game from Instagram. “Among Us sort of appeared out of nowhere. Next thing I know, everyone’s stories were filled with Among Us screenshots and everyone was posting fanart,” she said.
The premise of the game is simple: players work to complete a list of tasks while up to three undercover impostors among them sabotage the tasks and try to kill the entire crew. The impostor(s) win if they manage to kill the crew before all the tasks are finished, but the crew wins if they correctly identify and eject the impostor(s) out of the ship. Additionally, impostors possess extra abilities such as having access to vents that allow them to travel to other rooms instantly, also known as “venting.”
Though this might sound too similar to other games such as Mafia, freshman Freda Dong argues that Among Us is a new and improved version of the idea with a twist. “Among Us is just Mafia, but in space,” she said. “A futuristic spaceship hijacked by aliens? Sign me up!”
Iris Lin believes that the simplicity and accessibility of the game are what make it so addictive. “Anyone can download the app and understand the rules,” she said. Since the game allows players to play almost anywhere, friends look to Among Us to bridge the gap of quarantine loneliness. “Since quarantine, I have not been able to hang out with my friends as often as I’d like to, so Among Us is a way for us to talk and laugh at each other,” Iris Lin said.
Junior Aidan Look agrees: “The accusations, gathering of evidence, arguing with friends, and finding creative ways to get out of situations after being accused [make] the game addicting. I feel like being able to interact with friends is what makes the game special.”
Though some friendships are fortified through playing Among Us, others can be broken just as quickly when a friend literally stabs you in the back. Dong described a game in which her friend Karen was the impostor and refused to kill her. However, in the next round, Dong was the impostor and immediately killed Karen. “Karen should’ve known friendships don’t exist in Among Us,” she said.
Junior George Lin especially finds delight in turning friends against each other and uses the game as an opportunity to hone his lying abilities. Lin recounts a game where he managed to kill everyone except Junior Caucus Co-Presidents Cynthia Tan and Elio Torres. After getting Tan to trust him, George Lin then accused Torres of being the impostor and managed to convince Tan to vote Torres off. “Guess their bond as [p]residents [wasn’t] strong enough,” George Lin said jokingly.
As Among Us continued to gain traction, a Stuyvesant Among Us Discord server was created. After recruiting nearly 200 members in the Stuyvesant Facebook group, the admins eventually launched a successful Discord server, equipped with channels for introductions, a server guide, and multiple gaming subgroups.
Junior Katherine Lake became a moderator after her friend saw the potential of an Among Us group in the Stuyvesant community and asked her to help structure and advertise the server. Though advertising the server was easy enough, the biggest challenge the admins faced was in the actual execution of creating it. “Forming the Discord server was a lot of work,” Lake said. “The server admins actually had to teach themselves most of the mechanics, and though I am not involved in that aspect, I can clearly see the stress it’s caused most admins and the other mods.”
Since the game only allows people to type out conversations, the Discord server grants players the opportunity to communicate over voice chat. “When we catch someone venting and someone calls the emergency meeting, we sing the goodbye song,” Dong said. The Among Us “goodbye song” refers to the song “Goodbye to A World” by Porter Robinson, which is sung after players are ejected out of the ship and into space.
While some celebrate Among Us through memes and fanart, Iris Lin decided to take a different route by dressing up as an Among Us avatar for Halloween. She stuck a “dum” post-it note—an Among Us avatar accessory—on her forehead and set her virtual background as a screenshot from Among Us. “I received a lot of compliments and saw a lot of smiles on my amazing costume. It was cool to see a game connect so many students together,” she said.
But in a game where the line between friend and foe runs thin and trust is short in supply, be careful about the company you keep. Who knows what head-rolling surprises your friends have waiting for you right around the vents?