I know I’ve posted something like this before (at a smaller number) but a new milestone for my little Iceland photos… a million views.
Being the guy who shows up with the map.
I admit. My role in the Resistance has been minimal at best.
And I admit, that despite the fact I troll through the various portals within walking distance of my office when my lunch break timing allows it, prior to this afternoon my contribution has been meagre at best. It has been largely as an energy runner, bringing XM reserves to dwindling portals and their resonators… but that’s all.
Earlier this afternoon — and in contrast with my so-far-underwhelming experience as a level one grunt — I happened upon a chance ambush that would result in a tripling of my AP (experience points) in a mere few minutes.
I walked the reverse of my normal route, which was probably the key to the event. Wandering through the streets, prowling the side-walks discretely with one’s scanner active whilst in broad daylight is not that difficult. Nearly everyone is carrying a device of some kind, though I imagine most people are using them for communications or something less epic.
Vive la RÃƒÂ©sistance!
As I approached the corner near the south side of the library my scanner locked onto the closest of two portals I’ve patrolled quite frequently these last couple weeks. It was a Resistance-held monument, but — oddly — had only a couple of low level resonators attached to it and protecting it.
Perfect, I thought. I’ve got a bunch of spare resonators that I’ve collected and I’ll deploy them and get some much coveted AP.
I managed to get four resonators deployed into four of the eight slots before I made visual contact with the target. It was about then that I saw them: a squad of the Enlightened. Five. Device-wielding techies, dressed business-casual and inconspicuously fighting on behalf of the enemy team. They themselves were deployed in a crude formation around the two near-placed portals and were systematically hacking and taking down what were two Resistance-held territories.
Of course they had figured it out before I had figured it out. There was a Resistance grunt nearby: me. The reason there was four empty resonator spots on that portal… simple: they had just a few minutes previously destroyed the ones that were deployed there. And I had inconveniently (for them) arrived and was filling the gaps even as they were poking holes in our defence. I quietly stuffed my scanner into my pocket and kept walking, eyeing the crew as I wandered by and all the while listening to them try to figure out where — and who — I was.
I surveilled some more, made a loop to where I could watch from afar, held back a few minutes, then wandered back to hack the now-lost-to-the-Enlightened portals. Of course, I had no chance of taking down their defences, particularly alone and with virtually no remaining energy reserves, but I could scope some more supplies and pick up anything they happened to have left behind.
My surreal adventures in the augmented reality of Ingress, it seems, has been re-invigorated.
I’d heard rumblings of the experience a few months ago: an augmented reality game linked to Google and exclusive to users of Android-powered smartphones. Ingress. Intrigued, I deposited my email address into the mysterious black box on the front page of the website and watched it wisp away, disappearing into the chamber-like cavern of the digital ether.
This morning, upon the routine six am survey of my overnight email, I noted a message pending from “Niantic Project Operations.” It contained not much more than a one-time activation code and a few lines of cryptic text:
The Ingress has begun.
Life seems “normal” but your world is being infiltrated. A mysterious energy has been unlocked by a team of scientists in Europe and is spreading around the world. The origin and purpose of this force is unknown, but some researchers believe it is influencing the way we think. We must control it or it will control us.
There are two factions. The Enlightened seek to spread this influence. The Resistance struggle to protect what’s left of our humanity.
My patience had been rewarded: I had finally been invited to play.
I downloaded the app, activated my account, and set out into the now-pulsing-with-glowing-orbed streets of Edmonton to play my first augmented reality experience. I am a member of The Resistance. I am shaded in blue. I am collecting XM. I am still in training.
Whatever I am, I’m still not sure what any of this means… except perhaps that the battery on my phone is going to take a pounding in the coming weeks. If it turns out to be interesting, I will keep this blog updated with my impressions. If not… well, this might be the last you read of my experience with Ingress.
(And sorry, I have no invites to share yet.)