Good intentions; poor execution
Buckle in boys, this is going to be a long one. This review is for parents, not kids. Kids, don’t read this please.
I would just like to preface this with the fact that I am a 20-year-old woman and have been playing multiplayer video games since I was in Kindergarten (early 2000s). I was also a victim of online child grooming and statutory rape.
To start, I would like to say that I think Among Us is a really awesome game and the concept is great. The game mechanics are easy to use (both on PC and mobile), the concept is well written, and the game itself is easy to follow.
The game is about a crew (4-10 people) on a damaged ship with 1-3 imposters who are trying to kill off the rest of the crew. The crew members have to complete tasks to fix different parts of the ship. The imposters have to kill off members of the crew without getting caught.
To win as crew, you can either vote out the imposter(s) or have everyone finish all their tasks. Even after dying as a crew member, you’re still able to finish tasks, but you are unable to talk in the chat or vote to help people figure out who the imposter is. To win as imposter, you have to kill enough people that the number of imposters equals the number of crew members. If there is more than one imposter, an imposter can get voted out while the other(s) are able to keep playing. The dead imposter can still sabotage, but they can’t kill.
Now, onto my problems with the game and why I gave it a 13+ rating.
One thing that I noticed immediately after joining my first public lobby is the absolute filth that comes from what I can only assume are small children. An 8-year-old (by his own admission) was trying to solicit contact information from a 6-year-old (by her own admission). He wanted to “date” her. However, he said things like, “I wanna fuck you so bad,” and “You’re my little whore.” That’s adult dirty talk and I can only guess where he learned it from.
I also see lots of swearing. I try to minimize my swearing when I’m in public lobbies (I don’t want to chance it), but others don’t give that same courtesy. If I want to curse, I play with my adult friends in a private lobby.
Speaking of private lobbies, it is possible to create a lobby that generates a unique code which you can give to people you know to play with them (and only them). There’s also an option for a local lobby, which requires all players to be on the same WiFi connection (great for family games).
Now, I would like to come back to the bit of information I shared about myself at the beginning.
I met the men (yes, there was more than one) who groomed me in video games and online chat rooms. This happened from the ages of 11-15. I never hid my age, these men knew what they were doing.
We obviously had a common interest (video games) so I was inclined to trust them (as kids tend to do). That led to many years of sexting and raunchy video calls. Eventually, one of them happened to be from the same area as me and convinced me to let him over to my house. I’m sure you can guess what happened next. This happened multiple times. It only ended when I was admitted to a mental hospital.
Sorry to bare my soul here but I needed to make this personal for you. Unfortunately, my story is not unique. I don’t care how much control you think you have over your children, it doesn’t matter. Strict parents make sneaky kids. I am a prime example of that. My parents were checking my messages regularly and had all my passwords to my accounts (at least, the ones they knew about). They monitored me and knew where I was all the time. This was not a failure in parenting; this was the power of the internet overwhelming the limited knowledge of the older generation.
If you want your young kids to play this game, great! It’s a fun game that teaches communication and teamwork. However, if they are under 13, restrict them to the local and private lobbies. No kid under 13 should be speaking with strangers over the internet. Period. I promise you don’t want you or your kid to learn that the hard way.
Among Us currently doesn’t have a report feature. That is supposed to be coming in the next patch when they release an accounts feature. Report bots are always terrible for the first few weeks/months, but they eventually get figured out.
If you’ve made it this far, I salute your patience and perseverance. I know this is long and not an easy read. However, someone needed to say it.
This title contains:
Ease of Play
Privacy & Safety