What is Ingress? And how it changed my life
I call Ingress an augmented reality global mobile GEO MMO. But really, what the hell does that mean?
Players, like me, call it a cross between geo-caching, Risk and capture the flag. Still confused?
Many will tell you Ingress is a mobile game. There are some who question whether it's really a game. For now I'll call it a game, but you'll have to decide for yourself.
The unique thing about this 'game' is that in order to play you have to explore the world around you and meet new people.
When Ingress made it's first mysterious appearance at Comic-con almost 2 ago we learned that 'The world around you is not what it seems'. Clues were leaked in posters and online. We started to hear about the Niantic Project and XM. Eventually we were told 'It's time to move'.
In November 2012 scanners started to be activated. I was among the first wave of those to be activated. At first there we're just a few of us. We experimented to figure out what to do, we sought each other out for help and more fire power, we organised, we 'fought' and we explored.
What we learned is that Ingress requires that you leave the comfort of your day-to-day routine. It demands that you explore your world, meet me new people and have experiences you never would have imagined.
When you start Ingress you pick from one of two teams. You may pick for various reasons; to fight with friends, a color or maybe ideals. But soon you find yourself 'fighting' for a cause bigger than yourself.
But who are you 'fighting' against? It may be a neighbor, co-worker or maybe the guy who will one day give you a tow when your car breaks down.
18 months ago I started playing a 'game'. Today I am part of a global community of amazing individuals. I've seen courage beyond anything I ever imagined. Individuals on the day they started that couldn't look you in the eye that go on to lead amazing global operations (fun adventures). Teams coming together to support a teammate going through hard times. A community coming together to support someone taking a new risk. Frenemies coming to the aid of their 'enemy' in a moment of distress.
Ingress is the first place I ever felt a strong sense of belonging. That feeling of belonging has given me the courage to allow the course of my life to change dramatically. It has also given me the courage to open my mind and heart and a look at the world around me with a new perspective.
The world around you is not what it seems... Are you ready to move?