Kevin and I finally got our Ingress invites last week. Matt got his a couple weeks earlier, so he sparked our interest. Yesterday, while on our usual walk with Socks, we went through the training, built up some XM energy and learned how to hack a portal. Ingress is a “walking game”, like “Zombies, Run!” but with a totally different concept to get you out and walking around. In Ingress, you gather “XM” as energy and find portals, which are usually represented by real-life public objects, such as sculptures or monuments. You learn how everything works as you start playing the game, gathering energy and finding resonators and other components to help with your hacking and taking control of these portals. It looks like an interesting game, and so far we’re only a tiny bit into it. The only problem I can see is that you have to keep your phone screen on to run the program, so you can’t just put on your headphones and put it in your pocket–it requires you to be viewing the screen most of the time. This can be pretty dangerous when you’re out walking around in public–especially if you’re walking a dog or walking out in the street! Constantly staring at your phone instead of watching where you’re walking could get you killed! For real–not just in the game.
I can see this is unlike other games in popularity already though–we’ve already noticed others in real life playing it. One guy with a tablet at a monument in downtown Kenosha was actually hacking the same portal as us. Turned out he was on the other side–one of the “Enlightened” while we are on the “Resistance”. He asked what side WE were on, but I “mistakenly” said I was also on the Enlightened. We found several portals near the lake–almost all of the metal sculptures along the new lakefront contains a portal. This not only gets you out and about, but also informs you about the monuments and public displays around you! It’ll even show you a photo of the object containing the portal, it’s name, and more, a little like the “Field Trip” does. In fact, FieldTrip was created by the same company.
This week I’ve been hacking the portals that are located between home and work, trying to gather what I can and weaken those of the enemy. It’s slow, but effective. This week I also found a wealth of information on the web, including the global Ingress Map, which details every found portal, who owns it and it’s makeup, a great instruction page, and even instructions on how to SUBMIT a site as a portal! I’ll be submitting a few preferred sites of my own soon. This game is great–too bad it’s still only in beta. You can only get in by invite, so if you’re interested, please sign up as soon as possible on their website. It took Kevin and I a couple months to get an invite, but Matt got his sooner by other means–he found someone else with an extra key.