16 minutes News

16 Minutes #44: Gaming Is Among Us

Jonathan Lai and Sonal Chokshi

Posted October 25, 2020

Aliens are among us. Well, the online multiplayer game Among Us is — a murder mystery set in space, where the group must figure out who the alien imposter is (a variation of party games like Werewolf or Mafia) — has seemingly suddenly become very popular. And not just because a major politician livestream-played it earlier this week, which is what makes this news.

So on this episode of 16 Minutes on the News — our show where we talk about what’s in the headlines; tease apart what’s hype/ what’s real; and where we are on the long arc of innovation with related tech trends — we cover:

  • Who, how, and why now? Especially since the game, from indie game company InnerSloth, has been around since 2018 — what if it’s NOT just “the pandemic effect” (where people are seeking new ways to connect);
  • What are the underlying trends involved — from social to streaming — but digging in on the twists, and nuances, of both;
  • What are the implications for startups and big companies when it comes to the gaming market, beyond this game?

All this and more, in less than 16 minutes, with a16z consumer team partner Jonathan Lai (formerly at Tencent games, Riot Games) in conversation with host Sonal Chokshi.

Headlines & sources for stats/quotes cited in this episode: