Saturday, 1 February 2014

Why I'm getting hooked on Ingress




I think there's a lot of crossover between people who like roleplaying games and ARG (Alternate Reality Game) enthusiasts, so it's natural that Ingress piqued my interest.
It began with a photo on Google Plus of some old dude holding his smartphone up in front of a large spike sculpture. What the junk was that? I followed the Ingress hashtag that was included and was suddenly faced with a deluge of images of people running around with smartphones, maps crammed with green and blue points and a hell of a lot of weird letters an numbers.

Soon my phone had downloaded the Ingress 'scanner' and I began my journey into this mixed reality game.

For the uninitiated, the story of Ingress centres around the discovery of a strange and powerful energy source that is leaking out of places of historical and cultural interest around the world. Two factions are battling it out over control over these 'portals': the Enlightened seek to harness the energy for the evolution of mankind while the Resistance want to stop this from happening as they believe this could be a catastrophic mistake.

I'm Resistance.

Players must capture portals using the app by physically exploring their environment, hacking portals for resources and attacking opponents' portals. The real aim of the game is to collect Mind Units (MUs) which add to the total global score of your faction. To do this you need to link three portals together in order to create a field. Everything within that field scores you MUs. The bigger the field, the better the score.

Just a few weeks ago the Resistance created a field over the entire UK.

Jesus.

Ingress has a huge population of dedicated players with teams around the world working together to create the biggest fields. It's seriously impressive when you see a new one appear. Ingress even has a weekly video news report that details new events in the game, such as these huge operations.

If you're into stuff like this, then I recommend checking it out.