Ingress, how a virtual reality game changes your life

Ingress - Map

Just over a year ago, Ingress tore in closed beta by invitation. I got mine soon but remained stored in the drawer “when you have time.” That box was never opened officially, but occasionally I force myself to drink to try that will continue to grow exponentially.

Ingress acknowledge that surprised me, and during the short time I’ve been using has encouraged me to talk about this game -time augmented reality (near) real . One who has wanted to approach this game will be done this year, and still can give a different approach and, I think, interesting even for those who have the seal of “Founder” with pride.

What is Ingress, and why it’s more than that

On paper, Ingress is just an augmented reality game. Two armies of agents, the Illuminati and the Resistance , struggling to control areas of the planet. Energy is the exotic matter (XM) and spending it can perform actions. The fundamental, conquer and control gates , which focuses points exotic matter and are often attractions in the real world, such as historic buildings, squares, monuments … or more simple places like parks or sources.

Control of these portals is done by installation in the virtual world of “resonators” , objects that make a portal property of your faction. These virtual objects are placed on real physical coordinates, as happens with portals, and to them we need to look at our display, our Android terminal.

Ingress - The process of creating a linkFrom left to right: a neutral site, installation of resonators and link building

So I had not much interest. Then you look a little live background of the game , constantly expanding thanks to the efforts of hundreds of thousands of players from around the world, and understand that Ingress is a global game, where small actions of an agent newcomer can knock strategies large fans have been plotting for days.

A global mission

Being a newcomer to the game, I tried to make the most typical for a newbie actions . The first, “hack” a portal unowned: to approach within 40 meters of one of these virtual landmarks and extract objects exotic matter. Once you have resonators in your inventory, tap claim this website for your faction.

To do this, you physically you place 40 meters from the virtual portal, thanks to the screen of your Android converted into scanner and press the button to install. At the time, any player who is looking your scanner or the world map you can see the color change that portal, as claimed.

The following is linked portals together to create “areas of influence”. The citizens living in those areas, whether they know it or not, now contribute to the value of global influence your faction. It is a value which, to my surprise, is very balanced and rarely more than five points away 50-50.

You start joining very close portals, because your level your links have little scope. Tens of meters.More experienced agents can bind portals different continents . Yes, two links can not cross, whether the faction they are. Suddenly, those little links that have created prevent other cities agents communicate with each other, just because your small fields just cut the straight line between populations.

Indeed, the field begins to draw attention of rival agents, which until then had not noticed portal peak was in the area … you just put a resource in evidence, a sort of safe house an Allied agent, which goes to invigorate and collect items. Go …

And not everything is built. If two opposing sides will fight. We can spend our exotic matter to attack an enemy resonators website until fall, installing our resonators and thus change its color. Of course, suffer “damage” caused by the defense systems installed on the portal.

Ingress - Actions field

The importance of community

Ingress is a social game , where interactions and collaborations between agents are fundamental to the progress of your faction. What do you do if a rival agent attacks one of your portals, and you find yourself 20 miles away? You can try to defend remote loading energy in the resonator, but most likely the best defense is that of an allied agent is nearby and can lend a hand.

This attack can break bonds that cost for days to assemble, and to recover them may need help. Theinternal messaging system Ingress causes messages are associated with a faction and a zone, so that all agents that are within a certain radius can read your requests for assistance or your advice and recommendations.

In this way, you know Allied agents who “work” in your area and join the community of agents is something instant and direct. Wherever you: if you travel by any remote country, you do not have to look for agents that area, just stop greeting and read their answers. Typically read a “hello, am the way, how may I help?”.

Ingress requires perseverance, pampering and care

Have you won a portal? Have you protected with shields and other defense mechanisms? Well passes as pots, which are very nice but if you do not water the lose . The resonators gradually become worn, so from time to time should consume your energy to recharge. Therefore, Ingress requires certain constancy or your progress soon fade.

You can ask other agents some support if you are going to be out of play for a while, but each has its own game plan and areas of influence to maintain, so do not be surprised to return in a few weeks and see that your area has changed to neutral, or worse, to the other side.

Still, sometimes interested in building and abandon . Taking a neutral site and build new fields is the most efficient way to raise our level of agent, thus obtaining more maneuverability and power. So it is usual to construct a network of fields, let it lose, and rebuild them to gain more experience.

Yes, informs the community of what your plan is, because it can appear a good Samaritan who engages recharge your resonators, when your goal is to let go off. Dialogue is essential.


Your brain tries to assimilate augmented reality

The social aspect is not the most engages Ingress, but the effect of augmented reality in your brain . Your rational part tells you that what you see on screen is an interpretation of a database of points of interest, a series of events that reduce counters from time to time, and a series of markers set to 1 indicate an active link . Represented on screen with special effects and animations polygonal.Things like that.

But there’s a part of your brain that looks at the views you get ahead, and insists that link that connects imagine that building with the fountain in the square just below sites that you know perfectly. That is, trying to merge the virtual with reality. He has seen both realities, has seen how they interact, and tries to keep them together.

Two sides without differences

As for antagonists, no significant differences between them . Green and Blue. Light and Resistance. Each side with their own interests. Under the background of the game, the Illuminati want mankind to benefit from the use of exotic matter, and Resistance not want the control of matter falling into the wrong hands. The decision is made ​​before starting and is permanent.

Looking player newcomer, best side they join depends on the environment in which you move. As seen from screenshots, chose resistance and has been good to me. My area has several bastions of resistance and enlightened few players. So there are several high-level portals that remove objects, and few threats against them. There was also plenty Portal unclaimed. This allows me to create fields with little difficulty and level up quickly without too much stress.

Ingress - classified tracks

But if it happens otherwise, as is appear hostile area, as there is no big problem: attacking resonators also levels up, offers more action and requires less perseverance, although it is hard when your level is low.

The worst that can happen is that your environment does not have more players and few portals. In this case you will touch scroll or ask Niantic that add new portals . Not always agree but it is something so uncommon, especially in sparse areas.

A rich background constantly growing

Niantic Labs, the company behind Ingress, updated every day materials research on this particular parallel to our world, with vast tracks that only a handful of agents are able to decrypt and convert codes. These codes used in the scanner, grant advances of experience, energy and rare items.

Not only that, but every so often campaigns and special events are organized . Today is developing one of the most complex events since starting Ingress, consisting collect and gather fragments of a powerful object, with both factions fighting for all to find and group, fighting the enemy, against the clock and against the miles.

For the uninitiated get an idea of ​​what you are assuming this campaign, agents must pass these fragments website to website, creating links between them. I’ve read complaints about the added difficulty is placing Resistance to accomplish the mission because their way is to connect Europe with South America through Africa, where the scarcity of data networks becomes more complex to create these links between portals.

To connect two portals, an agent has to visit both portals . To connect two continents, an agent has to visit the websites of both continents. Someone is supposed to have done. Which leads to another conclusion which I will discuss later: there who spends money, and much, to play Ingress . No talk shop “in app” but tickets.

How to change your life Ingress

Which brings us to a serving anecdotes and statistics . Few people know and understand our environment Ingress. Play pits you against strange questions, such as why we get so close to the building if it looks better from here. And of course to see it you have to look up, not the screen. Nor need we are fifteen minutes in the area, there are more things to do.

Here are some things that later or earlier, you will if you play Ingress :

  • You change your route to go to work, to visit a couple of sites that are no way
  • You will walk more than they did, as there are portals to close together it makes no sense to drive
  • Let a moment the car in second row to be closer to a portal and collect items
  • You will visit the typical monument in your city that you’ve always said you go and never been encartado, because there is a portal
  • You’ll come back every so often to that monument that until now you have never gone
  • You will work in missions with a mother, a trumpeter and an amateur model airplanes, a group that otherwise would never have found a topic of conversation
  • A friend will come sightseeing and you happy to return again this monument on the grounds of accompanying, third time this month
  • You will stand in the middle of the tables on the terrace of a bar, that right there is no enemy resonator that you want to destroy, while the family dining next thought “what the hook does this …” (story courtesy of Interein agent)
  • You will go to the center, there are large concentrations of portals and busy
  • You will use more public transport, because in the center there is nowhere to leave the car
  • You’ll thank a Belgian tourist who has a pair of enemies lying portals, instead of enjoying the view
  • You charlarás with Belgian and stay in that yes, if you visit Bruges I shall take a few beers
  • You plantearás if the fence of the park after closing, for that to finish complete the field you started this morning
  • You’d think the most important fact of the characteristics of a mobile is not the processor or the resolution, but the milliamp battery
  • You will seek portable batteries and battery chargers for your mobile
  • And headphones, cordless
  • You will give a master class on augmented reality a couple of plainclothes police, and will explain that no, there is no problem you’re hanging every few minutes next to a playground because there is a portal with lots of exotic matter

It seems joke, but the results of this survey Ingress players are very interesting.

Fragments of Jarvis moved to Buenos Aires via Gibraltar and the Canary IslandsFragments of Jarvis moved to Buenos Aires via Gibraltar and the Canary Islands

88 percent said they had visited places that otherwise would not have come . 74 percent met in person other players, and 29 percent befriended them. 93 percent walk more now plays, 24 makes cycling, and 10 percent have even made ​​hiking or climbing to reach portals.

Not everything is so beautiful, because 16 percent say they have broken a local ordinance or regulation knowingly to play Ingress. Here we include small raids, leave the car in second row, and other topics of varying severity. Another 15 states “not sure have not done” which does not exempt from the law.

A 5 percent recognize cheating in the game , as trucar position with the GPS , or keep open more than one account (“fifth column” double agents). It is a high percentage, but it is surprising that more people violating rules actual rules of the game itself.

74 percent of players have used the car to play, so not all country walks or bike. It is striking that 2 percent have taken a plane for a trip motivated by Ingress.

Ingress, as I said, can get to be expensive. Not only gasoline or airline tickets, since 16 percent have purchased a device to help you in the game, like extra batteries, and 8 percent updated their mobile or data rate. Of course, some people do not spend a penny to Ingress but strip with what you have.

In short, that Ingress is an interesting experiment , to anyone curious about the possibilities of augmented reality should ignore. But with caution, engaging and encourages you to exercise.

I do not want to end without giving a sincere thanks to group Cantera Resistance of Málaga , without which the writing of this article would have been more boring and incomplete.

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