Among Us is a thrilling game of deception that pits a crew against a small number of impostors whose primary goal is to murder the other players. There’s just one problem: Sometimes that fake rascal is a brand-new player, and these well-meaning impostors are accidentally outing themselves (and their allies).
In Among Us, the crew members need to complete a number of small but attention-consuming tasks. The impostors need to sabotage those efforts and murder the crew. The crew has one big advantage: the ability to call an Emergency Meeting, where the crew can vote someone into the airlock and kick them out into space.
That is, unless the impostors are able to defend themselves and cast suspicion onto other players. A well-executed Emergency Meeting, with both sides firing on all cylinders, can look like this fan animation/Phoenix Wright parody: a back-and-forth of accusations, evidence, rebuttals, and outright lies.
How debating in Among Us feels like: pic.twitter.com/2tqT2MJDf0— grapefruitbush (@grapefruitbush) September 17, 2020
But a newbie, fresh from the alien egg sac and thrust into the chaos of Among Us after seeing its popularity surge in the last month, doesn’t know any of this. They’re just doing their best and trying to have fun. And so, they can occasionally put their foot in their mouth and admit that they’re a fraud because they’re confused by UI elements exclusive to impostor players, like the impostors having names in bold red text, or the “kill” and “sabotage” buttons.
my first among us game was so embarrassing i didn’t know shit pic.twitter.com/JiJqOQOGOU— ً (@xuxcore) September 15, 2020
Impostors can also use vents to get around the space station without being seen; crewmates have to walk through the halls and enter each room. If you see someone using a vent, they’re an impostor — but even experienced players can occasionally slip up and use a vent to access the reactor or electrical room just as a crewmate enters to complete a necessary task. Among Us fans share memes on social media about these unexpected triumphs.
But if the impostor doesn’t know that vents are only for them, it’s a good way for said newbie to make a fatal error. One Among Us player named Nick spoke to Polygon over Discord, and shared the sad tale of his gaming crew running into an enthusiastic but innocent new player. “This poor kid joined on the ice planet, ran past the keys, ran up to a vent, and jumps in it. We call an Emergency Meeting and he’s asking how we know it’s him in the chat. We were like, ‘aw, buddy!’”
Ultimately, these players are just trying their best, and one day they’ll be powerful alien entities capable of chewing through an entire gullible crew of feeble humans. But while Among Us continues to grow, that won’t be today.