Among us, virtual reality will need to invest in online security features to be successful
The Game Awards 2021 featured many world premieres and announcements galore of games like GTFO which came out soon after to games as far as Star Wars Eclipse. One of these announcements was Among us VR in development for PSVR, MetaQuest and Steam VR headsets. The idea seems like a great way to experience Innersloth’s great success, but in practice things seem trickier than that.
Among us has been around since 2018, but has grown in popularity due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was a great way for friends and family to get together and play a fun board game, giving many players a laugh during a dark time. IP has grown dramatically and has seen various updates, merchandise and more over the past year or so. The game also listened to its frequent players and improved security features, but these are features Among us VR will have to have from the outset.
Playing among us in the public halls is a mixed bag
When it comes to bringing friends and family together for a fun game of Among us, sometimes there won’t be enough people for a full private game. Other times, people want to enjoy the game without getting a group together, and that’s where public lobbies come in handy. Any number of players can be randomly matched up to play in a matter of minutes, and while this helps those who may not have enough for a long game, it also has some unfortunate drawbacks.
The game can get competitive, and many public lobbies for online multiplayer games have their share of toxic individuals. Among us is no exception, with some players joining parties and growing grudges against others for the smallest of reasons – or sometimes no reason at all. While Among us is known to have a nice player base, for almost every peaceful lobby there is another ruined by a few petty players. Neither is guaranteed.
VR all but requires verbal communication
Which makes Among us different from other board games like Mario party is that the latter is all about stealing stars and ruining friends’ chances of victory in a fantasy environment. The same could be said of Among us, but an important factor in winning over both teammates and imposters is trust. Among us turns players against each other by nature, and these moments can heat up with friends, let alone with strangers.
Many VR multiplayer games tend to forgo a chat function in favor of verbal communication. While this makes sense as typing in a VR environment can be a problem, it sets a bad precedent for Among us VR. In a game where a player’s best friend might be the traitor, things can quickly escalate with player voices. For those who join the games of Among us accusing, irritating and harassing others for little or no reason, it could make or break VR game matches immediately.
While many are used to these kinds of situations, some are not as equipped, and the risk of players yelling at each other and being harassed is high with the VR version of Among us. The game of Innersloth is played by almost everyone, including game veterans, streamers, and kids. While there are age restrictions for children when it comes to VR headsets, this won’t necessarily prevent younger gamers from playing.
While in-game text can be moderated, censored, and limited, the same cannot be said for voice commands. There are many terrible things that could be said to any of Among us the RVs players regardless of their age, and the game will need to have features in place to prevent this if it is to remain a good experience for all. In this regard, there is much to be learned from the original version of Among us, like having a predefined text wheel to speed up text chat to keep things civil. Hopefully the developer will keep gamers in mind and make sure everyone stays safe in VR.
Among us VR is currently in development for PC and PSVR.
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