Catamounts and Crewmates: A Look Into Panther Creek’s Among Us Players

PCNN staff partook in their own game of Among Us, achieving a victory for the class against the imposter, Hal Cates (haleycats).
Featured staff players: Orange (“I”, Ivan Lin), Black (“noahfence”, Mia Hernandez), Red (“Van”, Vanessa Richey), Light Green (“Macbeth”, Mr. Hoey), Pink (“papi”, Maria Louis), Purple (“kneeka”, Anikka Pil), Yellow (“haleycats”, Hal Cates).

Among Us Infographic by Anikka Pil

There is one impostor among us.

The words flash in white and red on thousands of screens across the world, signalling the start of a new round of the social deduction game that’s entranced the globe. Although the game became an international phenomenon only recently, it’s been around since June 2018, spiking in popularity as students everywhere start the new school year. Panther Creek’s own students are among some of the game’s fervent fanbase. (“So you play Among Us, right?” asks PCNN reporter Maria Louis. “Yep. All the time,” replies senior Sammy Burns with a smile, speaking for a good portion of Panther Creek’s student body.)

Among Us, developed by video game developing company InnerSloth, can be played on a mobile device for free or on a PC, downloadable for $5 on Steam. Thanks to the game being multiplatform, players on either type of device can play with each other regardless of whether they have the same platform.

To start out, you join or create a lobby under the game’s ‘online’ tab. From there, you get to customize your character by choosing from 12 colors (1 player per color per lobby– yellow mains, rise up) and a multitude of hats for free! There are also additionally purchasable little outfits (skins), more hats, and even pets. The most popular pet among players is arguably one of the ‘baby crewmates,’ smaller versions of a character that either sit on one’s head or follow one around. They’re undeniably adorable.  

When the game starts, each player is secretly assigned as either a crewmate or an impostor. Crewmates run around performing tasks around the game map, and trying to root out the impostor(s– there can be up to 3 depending on settings and the amount of players in a round). Sammy Burns cites her favorite part of being a crewmate as “probably doing the tasks, I like doing those tasks a lot.” Another PCHS senior, Pranav Krishna Kumar, agrees, noting that he likes to get all his tasks done “as fast as possible.” Impostors, on the other hand, are tasked with taking out the entire crew without being caught. They can also access vents, which act as shortcuts around the map, and sabotage doors or vital parts that end the game if they aren’t fixed quickly enough. Alex Puerto, another senior, prefers being an impostor, telling us his favorite part of the role is “easily being able to frame someone else. Taking evidence, you know, trying to spin it in your own light on why you think it’s somebody else, even though you know exactly who it is.”

That part of the game takes place exclusively in emergency meetings that are called when crewmates report a body or press a button in any map’s ‘cafeteria’ region. In these meetings, the players who have remained alive can debate and vote on who they think the impostor is, and at the end of every meeting, the person with the most votes is ejected. A common term seen here is “sus,” which is often used to describe someone a player thinks could be the impostor and wants to eject.

But the game doesn’t end for you when you’re ejected, unless you’re the last impostor standing! Ghosts exist in the game and can either complete tasks if they were a crewmate or sabotage doors/vital functions if they were an impostor. They can also float through walls.

There are currently three maps in Among Us. The Skeld is seemingly the most popular; it’s a spaceship with a dark surrounding atmosphere. There’s also Mira HQ, a brighter base with blue skies outside, and Polus, a research base on a snowy landscape.

Whichever map is your favorite, one thing is for sure: Among Us is a modern cultural entertainment gem.