Ingress: Why it’s so nerdy but I love it

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This isn’t a review of Google’s augmented reality game known as Ingress. This isn’t a tips and tricks article. This is just some of the reasons I spend countless hours driving around wasting gas all hours of the night.

You probably have heard of Ingress before, but you may not know what it is. Check out Ingress.com to get an idea. It’s even harder to explain while typing here than it is to explain to my drinking buddies why we have to take the long way to the bar so I can hack and deploy Bursters at an enemy portal. Yeah…imagine their faces. I am a normal 28 year old, I think. I enjoy sports. I have a girlfriend and a career. I don’t play video games. My PS3 is a Blu-ray player and access to Netflix. I do love phones, specifically Android ones (which is a reason I enjoy this game…sorry iSheep…no invite for you).

It is all really confusing at first. Once you do your research online and learn from some locals already playing, you catch on quickly. Yeah, I have met up with complete strangers in my local home area, late at night, in odd dark alley ways, empty parking lots, and building loading docks. If you play the game, it’s just not fun playing alone. You also can’t be successful at it without building a strategy with other players. It can be creepy and even dangerous, so use your best judgment. I have come close to having to explain to cops why I am parked outside a building at 2am staring at my phone screen. I have recruited a close friend of mine and we have dedicated weeknights when we go out to hack, destroy enemy portals, and create giant control fields. It’s really nerdy but it is fun. I failed to get my girlfriend to sign up and play, but she does know where my favorite Portals are and she will drive out of the way so I can hack them.

There are some nice people that play in my area that have taught me a lot about the game. There is a married couple that plays together, a helicopter pilot that abuses his job to play, and several other people I communicate with regularly in the game and Google+ communities. In just 2 months I have gained Level 5 status (Level 8 is the highest in the current Beta of Ingress). I have traveled places I never would have if not for the game. I cannot tell you how much gas and how many hours I have spend to do it, but it’s not nearly as much as some people who are Level 8 within a month.

So if you are already an Ingress Agent, let me know what you enjoy. If you are not playing yet, you can request an invite to the beta at Ingress.com or impress someone on Google+. If you play in my area and attacking my Portals, don’t be surprised if CraigP17 rolls up recharging and deploying while still in pajamas.

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