Watch your back. Be careful who you trust, because if you find yourself alone with the wrong dormmate, you might just find a knife to your neck. This has become the reality in Double Brick House as the dorm conducts a real-life version of the popular online game “Among Us.”
Set on a spaceship in need of repair, “Among Us” randomly assigns players into two teams: the innocent crewmates who try to stay alive and complete their tasks, and the murderous impostors who try to kill the crewmates before the tasks are complete.
Julia Carmona ’24 had the idea to recreate “Among Us” after watching a video featuring a real-life version of the game. Carmona believes that the in-person version is both more personal and inclusive than the online game.
Carmona said, “We had all been pretty obsessed with ‘Among Us,’ but one girl in our dorm couldn’t play because her phone didn’t have enough storage to download the game. When I saw [a video of real-life ‘Among Us’], I was like, ‘This would be a great way to get everybody included and not be on our phones the whole time.’”
According to prefect Sophie Glaser ’22, she knew from the beginning that the real-life version of the game would be a hit in her dorm.
“Initially, someone sent a video of another group playing [‘Among Us’] in person to our group chat. I was very excited to be doing it because it looked like so much fun. I knew we would be yelling and screaming and bouncing off the walls,” said Glaser.
According to “The New York Times,” the video game has attracted millions of teenage users in recent months after its release in 2018. A product of Innersloth, “Among Us” was popularized by Twitch streamers earlier this year. Sonia Appen ’24 is one of the students who helped bring the phenomenon to Andover.
“I planned it with Julia Carmona and Anna Ohm [’24]. We just sat down for a while, wrote down everything we wanted, and wrote [all the tasks] onto cards so we could give them out. The whole process took about five hours,” said Appen in an interview with Phillipian Live.
One of the modified tasks involves connecting pipe cleaners instead of electrical wires, for example. The organizers also created new tasks like finding a specific object in a roommate’s space, according to Appen.
While the organizers were able to recreate certain aspects of the video game, other aspects could not translate exactly into real life. For example, instead of using vents to traverse the spaceship, imposters are permitted to hide in closets, waiting for their next victim. Additionally, the “kill” button has been replaced with a fake murder weapon created by the dorm members.
Valerie Ha ’24 played as impostor during one of the rounds. For Ha, the game has brought excitement into the dorm community.
“[The other impostor and I] double-killed our prefects in Julia’s room, then just stood there watching them lying on the ground. Also, [I chased another crewmate] down four flights of stairs until she locked herself in the bathroom,” said Ha.
Though a crewmate may not be able to instantly assemble all players after reporting a dead body or calling an emergency meeting, they can send a message to the moderator, the person who assigns tasks, tracks crewmate progress, and more. According to Appen, once the moderator receives this message, they gather everyone in the common room where players can discuss and vote on a potential suspect.
Glaser expressed her appreciation for the organizers’ work in bringing this dorm-bonding activity to life.
“I was so impressed by the thought that [Sonia, Julia, and Anna] put into it, all of the different tasks we had, and just the organization. You could tell by how everything was planned out so thoughtfully how much care was put into it,” said Glaser.