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Taking Among Us! to School

by Lori Gracey
Among Us!

This post was originally published October 30, 2020. It was updated with new information on February 26, 2021 and March 5, 2021.

Unless you’ve been sleeping under a rock recently, you’ve heard of the new game that tweens and teens are playing, Among Us!. But unlike most games, this is one that may have some educational merit.

What Is Among Us?

Among Us! was released back in 2018, but gained popularity only in September 2020, thanks to the attention of popular streamers. And now, students across the country are busy playing it.

It is a multiplayer game where four to 10 players are dropped onto an alien spaceship. Each player is given a private role as a “crewmate” or an “impostor.” Crew members are trying to get the ship ready to take off and reach home by successfully completing certain tasks. The impostor works to sabotage the ship, sneak through vents, deceive, and frame others to remain anonymous and kill off the crew. While everyone is fixing up the ship and completing the given tasks, no one is allowed to talk/chat in the game to maintain anonymity. Once a body is reported, however, the surviving crew may openly debate via text chat who they think the impostor is. If the impostor is not voted off, everyone goes back to maintaining the ship until another body is found. If the impostor is voted off, the crew wins!

The game can be played on a Windows computer (through Steam for $5) or via the Android or iOS app (free). Once a game is begun by the host, players can use any device to connect to it. It takes between one and five minutes usually to play one round of the game.

Among Us! does have some nice accessibility features. You can adjust the time you have to discuss and vote on who is an impostor, as well as reduce the player, crewmate, and impostor speed. You can also adjust how hard it is to kill a player and how far people can see in the game to adjust how hard it is to play and give new players an advantage.

Skills Developed While Playing the Game

Besides the use of deduction skills, the game requires a lot of social interaction for success. Players are able to verbally discuss their thoughts about who the imposter is, as well as defend themselves if they are called out as the imposter. They must collaborate and work as a team to unmask the villain. And they will need to constantly review and revise their strategy in order to win.

And the Downside

The free version of the app does collect data (see the screenshot below). If the ads annoy you, I recommend paying the $1.99 to permanently remove them.

Because this is a social game, players can connect with others from anywhere. So “stranger danger” is a possibility. However, if the teacher is the host of the game, she can choose to invite only her students to play using a private invite code. The game has a chat feature, which could allow for the use of inappropriate language. It does offer a “Censor Chat” feature which can be turned on that “stars out” swear words. But it won’t catch all of them.

It’s rated 9+ by Apple and 10+ in Google Play. If children under 12 are playing an open game (not a private one), I recommend keeping a close eye on them.

Among Us!

How Teachers Are Using Among Us!

While the game itself is not truly “educational,” there are some ways that it can be used in an educational setting. Here are some ideas from teachers who have embraced this phenomena:

  • “I’ve been using Among Us as a motivational tool while teaching virtually to get my kids to turn in their assignments. Each assignment completed and turned in by everyone in the class is worth one minute. So it’s in everyone’s best interest to turn them all in. The more assignments turned in, the more minutes they accrue to play the game while in class. In a week, we usually average 15. They especially love to play against me!”
  • Another teacher used the game format for representing numbers (shown below). The standard form number goes in the middle and three other “real” representations fill in the other squares. The fourth square is for the “imposter” number.

Among Us!

  • Learn how to play Among Us on Flipgrid in your classroom.
  • Fresno State University education professor Howie Hua recommends spicing up your “Which One Doesn’t Belong?” activities by turning them into Among Us! memes (below).

Among Us!

  • Check this great idea and Google Slides template for using Among Us in your classroom.
  • This site has detailed instructions for doing a live version of Among Us in the classroom that can be tied to your content.
  • The New York Times has a lesson plan for students based around the game. “In this lesson, students examine how The Times reports on a trend they probably know a great deal about, then make a case for the educational value of playing social video games in school.”
  • Check out the ideas for adding game elements from Among Us to your daily instruction at this blog.
  • Gimkit, the live quiz learning game, just announced the creation of their own Among Us!-inspired addition. “Students play as crewmates and imposters while answering questions and solving problems. The new game mode, called Trust No One, uses its own mechanics to bring meetings and social deduction to the classroom.”
  • This business education teacher shares how he created a business scenario for his students to complete while playing Among Us.
  • And here are 10 more ways to use the game to help students better master important content.

What do you think? Is Among Us! a game that you would allow your students to play at school? Please don’t be a “Sus” and share in the comments below.

Apps can be very powerful tools for educators. Your privacy standards may vary, and app developers can, and do, change their privacy policies. TCEA does not vet these apps for compliance with specific privacy or security standards. We encourage you to always do as much research as you need to ensure an app is the right choice for you, your classroom, school, or district. Not all apps may meet your standards of information security and privacy.

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Tina October 30, 2020 - 8:53 am

I think this is a tool that could spark student engagement which seems to be the biggest issue in remote learning. I will check out the game and see. If anything, it would be a great game for departments (my science teachers would love it)

Caleb October 30, 2020 - 9:28 am

Acktualltly *spits while talking* the imposter is an alien that killed a crewmate and shapeshifted into him and the crewmates are not on an alien space ship it’s theres.

Brittany C. Jones October 30, 2020 - 11:22 am

I actually heard about this game this week from a group of students, and I think it’s an excellent way to connect with students!

Travis Carter November 5, 2020 - 3:20 pm

the google doc is just suggestions for possible. classes of characters for Among Us 2 haha. It is not suggestions how to use it in CLASS.

jayden November 6, 2020 - 10:46 am

i like it

Brandon November 10, 2020 - 6:07 am

I love the idea but the privacy policy explicitly says it’s not made for kids under 16 and they collect a TON of private info which violates CIPA. This should not be used in schools.

Rachell hofstetter December 20, 2020 - 1:20 pm

Actually it’s for ages 9 + not 16

Ms.Jones January 26, 2021 - 12:22 pm

Students should be allow to play among us.

mark hall November 11, 2020 - 8:26 am

Why are you promoting a game that encourages the killing of other players in our Education of our students. Don’t we have enough violence in our world.

Bob the builder November 21, 2020 - 9:34 pm

Mark, it’s hardly a violent game. The kids are playing it anyways, get with the times.

Kim Chambers February 5, 2021 - 9:15 am

The history they are taught is way more violent.

K March 10, 2021 - 9:43 am

Mark – I believe your instincts are CORRECT. The pervasive messaging is incredibly twisted. It was deemed fit for >16 due to violent themes. then dropped to 9 after some lobbying. The fact teachers are introducing it blindly…Well, ask the schools/ educators what ‘games’ are bing ‘acted out’ during recess. And you will have your answer.

Gamification of violence it creepy. Especially to children who do not yet have mental capacity for judgement and critical thinking.

Kelley Abbas October 8, 2021 - 2:22 pm

I am dealing with a group of parents who are basically trying to justify this being allowed and shame me for raising issues with a game based on this idea being played at school with my 6-year-old. I am having a hard time finding any data that matches the situation to show that this is not age-appropriate. Everything I am finding is based on visually violent games and I am looking for imaginatively violent games being directed by adults. If anyone knows of anything I’d love to be able to cite some sources so these parents might educate themselves.

sofia November 20, 2020 - 7:35 pm

i love it when you are a inpposter

Miss. P December 2, 2020 - 11:32 am

I used ThingLink and the map from Among Us to create different tasks for my students to complete. Each task they completed, they got a message like “Orange is not the imposter”. After completing all tasks, they were left with the Imposter! There was no killing to make it school appropriate….oh but I did sabotage them! I played the siren and 50% of the class had to successfully complete a tas to fix the sabotage within a set amount of time or the whole class lost.

Lori Gracey December 4, 2020 - 2:31 pm

That is AMAZING, Miss P. Thanks for sharing with us!

Ann Marshll January 12, 2021 - 7:33 am

This a great idea. Thanks for sharing.

Alex December 8, 2020 - 7:22 pm

Everyone plays among us even teachers hey guys I mean my music teacher plays among us and every time when we submit assignments we play Among us in the zoom it’s awesome I mean like my 7 year old sister plays it and nothings wrong with it

Altan December 20, 2020 - 6:52 pm

I have an idea! Maby you can change the tasks and turn them into math quesinns

Alexus Salami April 20, 2021 - 4:12 pm

Yeah, And you could guess the impostor by looking and the fraction or number, you could see which one is equivalent and That will tell you they are a crew mate if they have a pair. And then they could compare two numbers, and whichever one is greater, they are the impostor.

leonardo December 22, 2020 - 1:15 pm

i think that this game is a way to possibly help students connect with teachers and fellow student i would say that the violence part is a issue so the game should not be used for young students but maybe older more mature students

Ms.Lark January 26, 2021 - 3:11 pm

I tried among us activities for my class and they loved it

Kim Chambers February 5, 2021 - 9:21 am

This could also be used as a fun way to get students to pay attention during class presentations. After each student presents, a display of characters with a fact from the presentation is shared. One of those facts is incorrect, and students have to guess the imposter (the incorrect fact).

Koltin February 28, 2021 - 5:09 pm

This is not a real among us but it looks like a version of a ???? type of among us.

Carolyn March 5, 2021 - 8:26 am

Thanks for the tips. I would delete the link to the Google Doc above though. It appears to have been edited in an offensive way.

Lori Gracey March 5, 2021 - 9:36 am

Thanks for the head’s up, Carolyn. I’ve removed the document, but also added more resources.

CW March 12, 2021 - 9:30 am

I think this a awesome idead I actually play aming us with my kids they love it and asked if they could bring there phones to do it at school and started crying when i aid no.


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