If you’ve been on Twitter or Instagram in recent weeks, you’ve probably come across tweets and memes that show colourful figures wearing spacesuits. For those who already know, and those who have been confused trying to figure it out, these memes are referencing “Among Us,” the most talked about multiplayer game in 2020. \

Among Us is the top-ranked game in the App Store and on the Google Play Store with over 86 million downloads 

So what exactly is Among Us? Why has its popularity skyrocketed, and how did this happen?

Here’s what you need to know to start playing the game, or at most, to understand the wave of memes that have been flooding the internet recently. 

To access Among Us you can either download for free on mobile or pay $5 to play on your PC. The game has over 86 million downloads till date, with 41.9 million downloads in September alone. 

It was created in 2018, but 2020 is when the game really took off with gamers like PewdiePie, Ninja, Pokimane and more streaming the game on platforms like Twitch as the world was thrust into quarantine. 

Among Us is an online mystery game that takes place in space. The concept is similar to in-person games such as Manhunt or Mafia. 

You can play with four to ten people, either online with strangers or through a private game with your friends. While playing, you take on the role of a crew member whose job it is to complete small tasks throughout the ship in order to land the spaceship back on Earth. 

However, one or more of the crew members are actually alien imposters disguised as crew members who have the power to kill crew members and sabotage the ship as the crew try to complete their tasks. 

The crew members travel around the ship and can’t communicate with one another unless a death is reported, and that’s when the fun begins.

 The players must message each other through a group chat and decide who they believe is an imposter. They then have to vote off their suspect without accidentally voting out a fellow crew member in the process.

Many also play the game through Discord chat, which allows for users to speak to one another when trying to scope out the imposter, making this game of deception even more interesting! 

The social element of the game makes it perfect for playing with family and friends you can’t physically see due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and it can also serve as a way to make new friends or to feel a sense of human connection in a time where many are isolated or separated from their regular routines.

Everyone seems to want in on this game, including US Congresswomen Alexandria Ocosio-Cortez, also referred to as AOC.

Recently, AOC streamed herself playing Among Us on Twitch to engage young voters, many of whom have been enthralled with the game since it recently gained traction.

AOC played alongside Congresswomen Ilhan Omar and a group of pro-gamers, and the stream attracted 439,000 viewers, making it the third highest-viewed stream for an individual gamer on Twitch.

The three-hour Twitch stream was light-hearted and funny and was accompanied by some political talk, and the Internet is continuing to discuss the event through memes and tweets days later. 

Days after AOC tuned into Twitch to play Among Us, the game was hacked by a pro-Trump hacker known as Eris Loris who spammed players with messages. The company that created Among Us, InnerSloth, took to Twitter to address the hack stating that they were working on fixing the hack and to stick to playing private games. 

While the creators rush to fix these cracks, references about Among Us are still taking over social media. Considering how popular the game is, it comes at no surprise at the number of memes that have flocked the internet. 

As the global pandemic continues and people seek new ways to interact with one another, there’s no doubt the popularity of Among Us will continue to increase. 

The only question is, will you be the latest to join the millions already playing 2020s most popular game?  (Even if you don’t, at least now you’ll know what people are talking about when you see these colourful figures all over the Internet).

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