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Saturday, May 18, 2024

Is Among Us an appropriate game for young children?

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A concerned parent in Redwood City asked me the other day if Among Us is an appropriate game for young children, in particular he was concerned about whether or not it was violent. 

Among us is a deduction game inspired by the work of John Carpenter ?the thing?. As in the movie, one of the players is secretly chosen to be a monster indistinguishable from the others. The monster or ?imposter? You win the game if you manage to kill all the players, the humans in the game win if they vote to expel all the impostors or if they complete certain tasks before the impostors win. 

Is Among Us an appropriate game for young children?
Example of the characters from the Among Us video game. The art style is cartoonish and the characters are stylized representations of humans in space suits.

Of course the idea of a game inspired by the movie "The Thing" does not give the impression that it is suitable for children, which is why parents should be guided by the rating of the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB), an American rating system for video game content, which despite the criticism that I keep about the organization, it is very useful to help parents and guardians. 

Among Us is rated E+10 on the organization's scale, meaning it is suitable for audiences ages ten and up, and may contain fantasy or cartoon violence, mild language, or minimally suggestive themes. 

ESRB rating categories to indicate the content and appropriate audience of video games.

I would also like to remind the public that there is no magical relationship between violence and the consumption of video games, since it has been demonstrated time and again that there is no causal relationship between one and the other. However, this does not mean that all games are for everyone, and parents and guardians should be aware that there are games with themes for adults. 

Just like music, cinema, or art in general, video games are a vehicle for ideas and entertainment, their content and purpose is determined by the creator.   

This feeling is not new either, we find it at different times. Before video games there were violent comics, stories considered inappropriate for children and young people. Television was also blamed, the intrusion of Japanese creators who arrived with the wave of imported animation and which was branded as dangerous, violent and even satanic by people in the United States. 

The music of young people has always been uncomfortable as well, violent, transgressive and, in some cases, as in the Columbine tragedy in '99, meaninglessly linked to tragedies that are much more complex than saying that it was caused because "these young people Did you like Marilyn Manson? But we can even go further back, like the satanic panic of Dungeons and Dragons in the eighties.

Famous cover of Dungeons and Dragons referred to as the "red box". The board game's illustrations of monsters and dragons were the center of many discussions.

What I mean by this, as a sociologist and as a consumer of video games, is that it is easier to blame things that seem distant and unknown to us, before understanding the complexity of our lives or, worse yet, accepting our role and responsibility within them. from the same. 

You may be interested in: Why is Roblox so popular with children?

Hans Leguízamo
Hans Leguízamo
Audio and video coordinator of Peninsula 360 Press. Sociologist and researcher specialized in electronic entertainment, videogames and consumer rights.


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