Among Us is the latest smash deceptive party game for everyone. Unless you ask Australia’s eSafety Commissioner, which thinks the game should be classed alongside things like Cyberpunk 2077.
Update 11/2: The eSafety Commissioner has since pulled the listing down. That’s probably handy, since the official “website” on the Among Us advisory was actually linking out to an unaffiliated third-party “fansite” that advertises free games and cheats. More info on that here.
A listing for Among Us, which currently has a staggering 267,000-plus reviews on Steam and tons of downloads on mobile, has appeared on the official website for Australia’s eSafety Commissioner. The eSafety Commissioner frequently posts small advisories about the most popular video games and apps online to help parents.
Most of these are simple explainers: what TikTok is and links for protecting personal information; a quick primer on Apex Legends and how it works; and how things like Facebook work. Even Doki Doki Literature Club has its own little official eSafety Commissioner guide:
Doki Doki Literature Club is a free-to-play psychological horror computer game that begins as a dating simulation about a high school boy pursuing different girls. However, the game quickly puts the player into deeply upsetting situations that can make them highly uncomfortable and on edge. At some point in the game a character takes their own life and the player is unable to do anything to prevent it. This content has been described as distressing, producing a warning: ‘the game is not suitable for children or those who are easily disturbed’. Doki Doki Literature Club can be downloaded onto a computer with either Mac iOS or Windows.
So you can understand why Among Us, which has had enormous success over the last couple of months, would be on a government website. However, there’s a small quirk: according to the eSafety Commissioner, the deceptive party game is R18+:
The site says the game is rated 18+ “according to Among Us” , but there’s no such age advisory from the developers or platform holders. The iOS listing rates Among Us as suitable for 9-year-olds or higher; the Google Play listing says “Everyone 10+”. (Among Us hasn’t been officially classified by the Classification Board or the online IARC tool, so there’s no age rating or guidance on the Steam listing.)
It’s kind of funny, if only because the eSafety Commissioner is — inaccurately — telling Australian parents that Among Us is less appropriate for children than games like Call of Duty, Fortnite, Code Vein, Counter-Strike and Dota 2. (Interestingly, World of Warcraft is rated as an 18+ game, while Apex Legends is 13+ and Doki Doki Literature Club is 15+.)
Another bit I find interesting is that the eSafety Commissioner doesn’t appear to be lifting or referencing Australia’s classification ratings. Those are specifically designed to provide similar guidance and advisories for parents, so it’s weird that the eSafety Commissioner is then referencing ratings from the own developer. Or, in Among Us‘s case, ratings that appear to be placeholders and nothing reflecting the developer’s (or first-party platforms) actual guidance.
In any case, I’m sure some parents don’t want their kids playing Among Us anyway. Can you imagine the family arguments once everyone starts stabbing each other? At least we all have Fortnite. Or Roblox — which probably has its own Among Us spin-off already.