Anybody here playing Ingress
If so, what's your experience been like?
For those of you that haven't heard of it --
Ingress is a game for mobile devices running android. It's a video game that you play by walking around in the real world. It's an ARG, definitely the biggest one ever launched. Here's how it works:
There's a blue team and a green team. (I'm on the green team)
Many public locations (mostly public art, parks, and public buildings like libraries and post offices) are "portals". A portal can be controlled by either team.
You can "hack" a portal if you're within a certain distance of it. That's like opening a treasure chest, when you do it, you get a few pieces of random gear.
Each portal has resonators surrounding it, these are like the portal's health bar. You deploy them to defend a portal, or you attack them to capture a portal.
Portals can be outfitted with upgrades that defend the resonators from damage or attack opponents when they get too close.
If your team controls several portals, you can link them together to create a "field", and capture territory for your team. There is a global score that is constantly shifting based on how much territory each team controls.
I find this is a video game that gets me out of the house a lot. I'll notice that a portal near my house has been damaged, so I walk up the street and repair it. Or another player needs gear, so I go somewhere private and drop a bunch of equipment. He then has to get within 10 meters of the dropoff location, spot the gear in his ingress scanner, and pick it up.
It's made me explore my neighborhood quite a bit. Made me notice little trails and statues which I normally just drive past. And I've now met seven or eight people who live nearby and I would never have otherwise bumped into.
The game is still in beta, and it's being updated constantly. There is an ongoing story, which is dispensed in the form of media items... once a week, when you hack a portal, you'll find an "Ingress Report" which is a little 5-minute video about current events in the game. Sometimes they stage plot events in big cities where you could actually meet some of the game NPCs and influence the story. They also have a website where plot info is kept, and it's full of bizarre puzzles. If you solve a puzzle, it gives you a code you can plug into your scanner for free gear. (although you have to be one of the first people to solve that particular puzzle, so I haven't succeeded at that yet)
It's a very interesting game. It's kind of like geocaching but with teams. Not perfect yet, by a long shot... but I enjoy that we are finally playing games that combine GPS and RPG elements. It's so bizarre to me that I'm playing a video game
which involves getting exercise. Every so often, I bump into my neighborhood nemesis, the guy who foils all my plans and controls most of the nearby territory. It's weird, because our relationship exists on this game layer which is invisible to everybody else.
Just the other week, I was standing outside of this bar (girlfriend was smoking a cigarette), and trying to capture the nearby enemy portal. Suddenly, my nemesis came running down the street, phone in hand, to recharge the resonators and block my attack. He looked up and saw me standing there, and we shook our fists at each other. My friends were like, "What's going on?" They didn't even know that the two of us were engaged in this hyper-nerdy form of gang warfare.