Over the past month I’ve played a fair bit of the Augmented Reality game Ingress. I was introduced by someone in work and it reminded me of Other.
It consists of two factions, the Resistance (blue) and the Enlightened (green). I obviously joined the blues instead of the snottery frogs of team green. Users submit Portals, which are statues, landmarks, churches and the like. Once accepted (months?) Each team battles for control of it. Deploying up to 8 resonators of up to level 8 on them. Once you control a portal you can connect it to other portals. If three form a triangle you control a mind field.
There is a factional scoring mechanism based on the time each faction has controlled the largest field. Unless someone introduces you to the game you will probably be playing mostly solo around where you live or work and only later realise the larger game and strategy.
After playing solo for a wee bit I found out a friend had also started it but wasn’t sure what to do. Soon I got two others involved and we started going out taking over areas of Dundee ourselves. A special event took place for the games second birthday. During this period you were able to get bonus action points (AP – the equivalent of experience points).
So we headed out a few times and I reached level 9. BatBaby reached 7 and BorisGrishnikov reached 8 too. A couple of days before it ended, we had reached out to some local players and realised the forthcoming Sunday was a Resistance meet up.
We met up with a group and we managed to make a small farm around us. Whilst doing so we noticed a few more new names appearing in Comms. A quick message and we met them and split resources ending up with a small number of all level 8 farms with multi-hack mods on them.
Over the course of the afternoon around 8 of us stayed together or ventured apart before meeting up again. The result was the entire City Centre of Dundee became blue.
After the afternoon work, Boris, Batbaby and I headed across to St. Andrews and destroyed all the snot which was covering it. A return home wielded this lovely, almost green-free, map.
Effects of the game
Another byproduct of the game is a greater desire to hit the outdoors. My wander to and from work has increased by about half an hour as I detour to hit portals. I now know the names of loads of statues and where almost every church in the city is.
I used my local knowledge to submit over 20 new portals. No idea how many will be approved, but helping others learn about local history and the locations of plaques is definitely a side-effect which will be rewarding.
So if you want to play a game which will get you off your ass, outside and meeting people, give Ingress a try*
* on the Resistance side!