Among Us is a game of social subterfuge that leads to amazing stories, like framing your friend after they catch you in a murder, or doing some smart detective work to catch a sneaky alien red-handed. But fans aren’t necessarily content with only being a crewmate. They don’t want to be just the red-suited crewmate in electrical; they want to exist in the Among Us world in a more personal, and permanent, way.
These fans are making “crewsonas” (or, for the more devious among them, impostor-themed ’sonas), and making adorable fan art of these new customized characters.
A “sona” comes from the term “persona, and has been used to describe people inserting themselves into all kinds of fictional universes, or coming up with a fun original character (or “OC”) that reflects themselves in some way. Most people are aware of the concept of a fursona, but there are also examples like “spidersonas” in the wake of Into the Spider-Verse, or Rymesonas that express a take on life in the Pokémon universe.
There’s not a lot of customization in Among Us. Players can pick a color and a couple of accessories. Some of them are more popular than others; for instance, there’s a pet/hat combo of two tiny crewmates that are perfect for “don’t talk to me, or my son, or my son’s son ever again” jokes. Players can identify themselves with these little accessories, and they can help inspire sonas.
“So many people have a set color/hat/skin combo they want to use it sort of becomes your thing,” said Logan, a regular Among Us player. Logan has a bear-eared dark green sona to represent him in his in-game adventures. “The graphics do look like little beans, the design is really simplistic which kind of gives you like a jumping off point to do whatever you want with your imagination.”
Then, when playing with friends, stories begin to emerge. “I had such bad anxiety about being impostor when I first started because there’s more pressure,” said Logan. But during one game, he was the impostor, and he told one of his friends who had met a series of grisly ends that he’d protect her with his life. Instead, he would follow her around, then kill the lights and sneak off to murder someone else. His friend would always vouch for him, only for him to murder more crewmates.
Image: InnerSloth via Logan
For some players, sonas are just a way to capture and share moments while keeping the individual personalities of the players. One artist doesn’t play the game, but she watches her friends play and immortalizes their best moments.
Since her friends are writers or gamers, Angela is able to bring those moments to life through her art, as a gift to them. “I think part of it is definitely also seeing the external interpretation of something that happened in game,” she told Polygon over Twitter DM. “When you objectively go back and consider the events that transpired in any given Among Us game, they’re pretty bland. ‘Oh, vote red, he’s sus.’”
“But in art, those same events turn into big winding narratives about betrayal and love and friendship and stuff,” Angela said. “The drama is way easier to see and insert. And most people love a good story!”
And for some fans, part of the fun is the menace of being an impostor. The whole point of the game is not to be detected as an impostor, but there’s a thrill in having your friends fear you regardless. An impostor sona allows players to play up that element of the game, and celebrate their boldest murders and biggest lies. Or, it’s an opportunity to explore the cosmic horror of Among Us that doesn’t come across via cute crew beans and simple animations.
The world of Among Us is quite small, confined to space stations and arctic outposts. But for the fans who log on every day, and try their hardest to win games or save their crewmates, the game gets personal. Crewsonas have become their way of making the stories that naturally unfold their own.
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