That time Among Us accidentally violated the Geneva Conventions

Among Us monster chasing astronaut
(Image credit: Innersloth)

Running one of the most popular games on Earth can have its downsides. Every minor flaw will get picked to death, people will hassle you endlessly about expansions and sequels, and that time you accidentally violated the actual Geneva Conventions suddenly becomes a matter of public scrutiny.

Apparently, that's what happened to Among Us back in 2020. In a post to Twitter yesterday evening, the official Among Us account let slip a "fun fact" about the game's development: "after the game got big in 2020 [Innersloth] had to change the colour of the MedBay cross," because the game had unintentionally "violated the Geneva Conventions Act by making it red". Thus the now-familiar blue crosses that adorn the game's medical bay walls, in complete non-violation of myriad international peace treaties.

The devs aren't exaggerating, either. It's all there in black and white in the provisions of the Geneva Conventions: You can't display "the emblem of a red cross with vertical and horizontal arms of the same length on, and completely surrounded by a white ground" without the express permission of the authorities. 

To be fair, they clearly don't really mind so much when you're doing it in a tiny Steam game no one's heard of—like the two years that Among Us was available but not hyper-popular—but it becomes more of an issue when you're running one of the biggest games on the planet.

Among Us isn't the only game to run afoul of this law, either. A reply to the original tweet from No More Robots' Mike Rose says that the publisher has "failed console cert on THREE different games for this exact thing" in the past. It looks like that might be how Among Us got caught out, too: The account replied, "this may in fact be how [Innersloth] discovered this". Several other games have had to hurriedly change things after launching with the icon, including Doom, Stardew Valley, and Prison Architect. Honestly, I never realised international human rights law was so easy to violate.

Joshua Wolens
News Writer

One of Josh's first memories is of playing Quake 2 on the family computer when he was much too young to be doing that, and he's been irreparably game-brained ever since. His writing has been featured in Vice, Fanbyte, and the Financial Times. He'll play pretty much anything, and has written far too much on everything from visual novels to Assassin's Creed. His most profound loves are for CRPGs, immersive sims, and any game whose ambition outstrips its budget. He thinks you're all far too mean about Deus Ex: Invisible War.