Welcome to my Ingress page. You might have heard about the game. You might not have. But for most it is the same question, what is it?
Ingress is a first a massively multiplayer online role playing game. Secondly its a GPS dependent game (in other words a phone battery murder like no other) and lastly its a augmented reality. So I have a lot to explain here.
First, massively multiplayer Online Role Playing Game (MMORPGs) is basically a game with a LOT of players that interact with each other in a virtual world. In the case of Ingress a augmented reality over a physical world. I’ll get to the augmented part further down.
Second, a GPS dependent game and why I call it a phone battery murder, is a game that depends on knowing where in the real world you are located. GPS (Global Positioning System) is a satellite based navigation system that lets your phone know where in the world you are and thus the game knows where you are in relation to the augmented reality which I am getting to next. GPS also uses a lot of battery power when active all the time. So a lot of Ingress players carry phone chargers, backup phone chargers and 2 or more portable battery packs. And those are the casual players. Ok maybe it isn’t that bad. But a portable battery pack is a must if you intend on putting in serious game hours because it does drain the battery quickly.
Lastly is this augmented reality. The real world or reality is what you see, hear and feel in real life as a person. An augmented reality is a virtual reality or space or object that lives in the computer screen in relation to the real world. In the case of Ingress you have real world objects like a sculpture or building or a bus stop which you can see and feel. In the augmented world in that space space you have a virtual portal or a virtual device or a virtual object. They only exist in the game on your phone but in relation to physical real world objects. So think of it this way, you are looking at a tree in the real world but when you look at your phones virtual world in that same space as the real tree is a virtual key to pick up. If that makes no sense then just rent the Matrix movie and watch it a couple times because its just a cool movie.
So that’s the what is Ingress. Now how do you play. This part I am still figuring out. The game is made up of two teams or fractions both with a story behind them. Blue and Green. I am a blue team member and that is the Resistance. The Green is called the Enlightened. The basics of the game play without getting into the story line revolves around capturing and holding on to and linking portals. What makes this game special is the physical activity involved in the game. You have to actually locate yourself to portal locations in the virtual world that overlap the real world which is the augmented reality part. Playing the game requires a lot of walking for any meaningful participation. This also allows for physical real world socialization as groups can accomplish much more together in the same physical space then alone. So unlike other games this game brings people together both in the virtual world and the real world and provides an interactive medium to encourage exploration and exercise. I have only recently begun playing this game and already have logged a lot of steps and distance on foot.
This game has a lot to it, much more than I can hope to put in one page or post. I had looked at the game on my own originally and couldn’t figure much out about it and lost interest quickly. It seemed boring. And by myself it was. But when you have someone to walk you through the game, explaining it more and demonstrating how to achieve goals and to have that in personal social interaction with because the game it takes on a entirely new set of dynamics which makes it enjoyable to play and desirable and is far from boring. The last few outings went by incredibly fast. What seemed like 20 minutes was hours.
So for anyone looking for a good distraction and excuse to get out, explore, meet people, exercise and the need to carry lots of portable battery power then this is the game I recommend.
I have included a wiki link about the game for those that want to read up more about the game and get into the details I didn’t in this page.