By now, I'm sure everyone has heard of or is already addicted to the game Among Us. It has been and still is, dominating social media and the lives of millions around the world, including many around me. The game is currently a hot topic covered in TikToks, memes, posts, stories, among others—or should I say 'among us.'
Thankfully, though some may think otherwise, I have yet to touch the game.
The other day, one of my housemates asked me to join the game because they were missing a player. After much contemplation, while I stared at the Microsoft Word document that contained what I was supposed to be working on, I decided against it. I don't regret it.
In 2014, Clash of Clans became very popular. Its popularity among the students resulted in the banning of the game as the school added a firewall against it; it became impossible to load the game in school using the school Wi-Fi. But of course, most students by then already had access to phone data and played it on their laps during class with the desks shielding their phones from the teacher's view.
Unfortunately, unlike my resistance to the temptations of Among Us, my eleventh-grade-self joined in on the quest to build the most 'impressive' and high-levelled village. My books lay dust-covered in the corner of my room, and the ideas I had for stories and novels hid neglected at the back of my mind.
After about a hundred levels or so and maybe thirty dollars spent impulsively on gems, I mustered up the courage to give up my quest to achieve a higher ranking that held no meaning in my life, deleted the app, and dyed my hair purple. Of course, dying my hair didn't have much to do with my decision to delete the app, but I guess it could be seen as a form of personal development, maybe.
It became clear to me, especially after checking my screen-time stats, that app games were dominating both my free time and the time I should have spent working on other things, adding more stress to my life rather than reducing it. It came to the point where I would watch movies or shows and play app games as I watched, take 'game breaks' a few minutes into my work, and somehow justified to myself that playing games was somehow held greater value than reading novels that I love.
I'd always thought that the villain I struggled against in my life was time. Instead, it had been the app games that wiggled itself into our lives. App games are an imposter 'among us' that disguised themselves as productive and something worth our time when they rob us of it all along. Although I can't speak for everyone, I can safely say that this villain within our lives has robbed us of the time we should’ve spent on other responsibilities, or the things that we could have accomplished, but didn’t, because we were desperately trying to identify a virtual imposter.