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Video Game Adaptations Are ‘Among Us’

Poster for Video Game “Among Us” (Courtesy of Innersloth)


In an age of perpetual reruns, belated sequels, spin-offs and sprawling franchises, it seems Hollywood has lost the ability to create anything remotely original. The latest in the constant churning of reproduction: film and TV adaptations of video games. 

We Ordered the ‘Among Us’ Potion from the Dark Web

Though video games are often looked down on by the literary crowd, they possess something books and movies never can — despite what Wolfgang Iser, or any other reader-response theorists may tell you. Video games, by nature, are interactive. A video game that is highly on rails, or connected strongly to a specific and linear storyline, still provides each player with a unique and personalized experience. Video games that are more off rail, such as online games or media-bending compositions like “The Stanley Parable,” allow users to craft entirely new worlds from common materials.

What would be the point of taking away the thing about video games that makes them so special, that makes them fun and innovative, that makes them worth $60 compared to a movie’s $2.99 on Prime Video? Is this not only unoriginal but counterintuitive?

When You Drink the ‘Among Us’ Potion at 3 a.m.

It certainly cannot be said that nothing good has come from turning games into movies. “The Last of Us,” an adaptation of the video game by the same name, was a favorite among fans and critics with a 96% on Rotten Tomatoes.

But what about adaptations of video games that already have minimal plot to begin with? Specifically, what about the recently announced TV adaptation of the online game from 2020 that absolutely no one is sick of hearing about: “Among Us”?

An “Among Us” TV show sounds like possibly the worst idea this year, and we had a Karl Lagerfeld Met Gala. What cinematic value could a simple mobile app populated largely by children possibly have beyond the most vile and cringeworthy memes and streams you’ve ever seen? Beyond the outdatedness of a show based on a game we all played in lockdown, it’s hard to ignore the fact that “Among Us” not only does not have a plot but takes its value from its ability to be repeated endlessly with infinite endings.

You Turn Into the Imposter from ‘Among Us’

Immediately upon hearing about this show, I was cynical. What a lame concept. How unoriginal! How are they going to turn something so non-narrative into an engaging TV show? How will they reproduce the suspense and suspicion? Will they incorporate “Among Us” lingo? Will the show take itself seriously, can the show take itself seriously?

As I wrote out question after unanswered question about what form this seemingly derivative monstrosity will take, I realized just how many opportunities for creativity the showrunners really had. Ironically, the creation of a show from the empty shell of a low-plot video game became an inherently innovative task, rather than an unoriginal one. Much in the same way online stories such as “Among Us” give users the materials and lets them build their own world, their own stories and their own experiences out of common material.

“Among Us” is a blank canvas that inspires within each of us — what U professor Doctor Alf Seegert refers to as the “narrative imperative.” We see something that doesn’t have a story, and we make a story out of it. The “Among Us” TV show can be nothing but an illustration of the human drive to create. Personally, I think that’s kind of beautiful.

Okay, I still think it’s crap. But it’s a TV show for kids. Get over it.


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About the Contributor
Edie Raines, Copy Editor
Edie Raines is a copy editor at the Daily Utah Chronicle and used to be an arts writer. They are pursuing a degree in English and French at the U.

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