Among Us is popular with young gamers for its cute art style and the ability to be played with friends, but what age is Among Us right for?
Released in 2018 to Steam as a fun, cheap, multiplayer game, Among Us soared to abrupt popularity this fall as a viral gaming sensation. The who-did-it game features a crew on a ship attempting to make repairs, while a rogue “Impostor” works to take them out before their tasks can be accomplished. The cartoon art style of Among Us may suggest it’s a game for kids, but parents will find violence and other potential problems that may lead them to judge the game unfit for children.
The game’s sudden popularity drew in a wide variety of players, perhaps partially due to Among Us mobile device availability, which makes playing with friends as easy as opening an app on a player’s phone or tablet. Communities collected on platforms like Twitch and Discord, where players could talk to each other and set up group sessions in private lobbies. The game draws in players of all ages, and its community encourages the use of external platforms for chatting outside of the game, as well as during play sessions.
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Understanding this, is Among Us safe for kids to play? The game focuses on discovering an Impostor murdering crewmates aboard the ship. When a player is killed, a cutscene plays that shows a cute spacer stabbing the other player repeatedly or spiking them through the visor with a projectile, among other death sequences. These graphic depictions may lack blood and gore, but that doesn’t make them any less startling, especially for a younger audience. Aside from violent content, though, there’s another aspect of Among Us parents should be aware of.
How To Make Among Us Safer For Kids
Like with any game that connects to the internet, there is the potential for younger gamers to be exposed to crass language or behavior in a chat setting that some parents might find understandably upsetting. The game’s cartoon style makes it feel like it is good for any age, but it is primarily geared at young teenagers and up. Among Us can be hacked to send ads and spam in chat lobbies, as well, and older players might not be aware of much younger players and use language some might deem inappropriate for that age group.
A key factor in whether a game is good for a certain age group can be determined with the teaching of internet safety. Among Us offers the ability to create lobbies from Steam friend lists instead of just random rooms. Parents can help their children set up groups with friends their age to help encourage an appropriate atmosphere with peers instead of strangers. An in-game friend list for Among Us would also be handy for parents, especially in the mobile version of the game, but Among Us unfortunately does not have one yet. This would allow for more control over who is able to join the lobbies together and would make for quick, easy access to other people online, instead of relying on places like Discord chatrooms.
Like many games that shoot to popularity, Among Us has some features it needs to improve that would create a better experience for players of all ages. The age that is appropriate for playing the game varies from person to person and, in the end, is up to a parent to decide. Among Us could integrate features geared for younger players that would be more appealing to parents whose kids want to dawn a pink spacesuit as a crewmate or Impostor. While there is room to debate what age is best to get into playing Among Us, as well as what features might make for a safer game environment, help and guidance from parents on internet safety is the key factor for any young gamer.
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