Is Among Us multiplayer game safe for children?
What is Among us?
Among Us is an online multiplayer game rated PEGI 7 that allows a maximum of 10 players to take on the roles of a ‘Crewmate’ or ‘Imposter’. The aim of the game is for the Crewmates to identify the players who are the Imposters in the game. The Imposters in the game have to secretly sabotage the tasks on the ship and kill the Crewmates before they finish their tasks.
What is good about the game?
It promotes communication and teamwork to achieve the end goal of finding the Imposter. It also features a thrill for the Imposters, who are trying to hide their identity. The same goes for Crewmates, who need to clear their name, so they are not voted out, and they have to do their tasks while their life is on the line.
Why is it so popular with young people?
Statistics on Twitch, the popular gaming streaming platform, show that over 25 million hours of Among Us character streams were watched between August and October 2020. So why is it so popular?
It’s simple to play, ‘extremely social’, and involves a lot of teamwork and interaction with others which is the key ingredient for the success of other multiplayer games. There is a level of customisation of the avatars and the game itself. It can also be played across a range of platforms (PC and mobile).
What features does it have?
Users can use this feature to set up a game where it gives them the ability to customise the game’s theme, the number of Imposters in the game, and who can be blocked or removed from the game. This option also generates a code that can be shared with other players to give them access to the game if it set to be private (where you can only access it with a specific code given by the host) rather than public (open to everyone).
This allows users to join games that are set as public (available for everyone to join). Only 10 players can join each game before the game has started. This does mean that children may interact with a lot of users they don’t know.
Private and public settings in the game
Games can be set to be public or private. The host of each game controls whether a game is public or private. If a game is private users will require a specific code to play the game. If a game is public, any user on the platform will be able to find the game under the “Public” section and join the game (provided it’s not full).
To limit potential interaction with strangers, setting games to private and requiring users to have a code to play is a safer option. This will mean that if a child wants to play with their friends, they will have to send the code to friends through other platforms.