#ingress MINA presentation text.
Here is the abstract and below link to pdf of paper.

I’m off to blow up the Skytower: The seductiveness of mobile location-based augmented reality gaming: An Ingress case study
by Candy Elsmore, Evan Kennedy & Jason Keyworth

How do you find yourself in an inner city park in the middle of the night, with a bunch of people you’ve only just met, planning attacks on local landmarks? This is not the rise of a local terrorist cell but rather a typical early experience for players of Ingress, the global geo-location based mobile augmented reality game released in open-beta in November 2012 by Google’s Niantic Labs.

The emergence of geolocated augmented reality mobile gaming platforms, of which Ingress is at the vanguard, presents players and developers with new experiences, opportunities and challenges. Ingress is packed with enormous potential for dynamic gameplay and draws many into participating in ways they otherwise would not with other games or media, making it alluring, and for many players, rather addictive.

This paper explores Ingress players’ experiences, from the initial appeal to what keeps them playing, their motivations and psychologies as well as how it has changed their life and day-to-day behaviour.

The appeal of Ingress is understandable after having interacted with its slick, elegant mobile interface that integrates the player’s live experience and real world actions with the virtual world of Ingress using mobile and geolocation technologies.

The Ingress experience is further heightened by an elaborate transmedia science-fiction backstory, including secret codes, dramatic character driven plots and game-news events broadcast on YouTube and events around the globe. Players are more than just passive participants in a mobile geolocation game, but are rather actively shaping this science-fiction epic.

The ways in which the Ingress desktop platform, mobile social media and Ingress mobile platform work together to support both virtual and real experiences is also examined. This augments the mobile gaming experience and builds strong social connections within, and sometimes between, the two game factions.

Without cooperation, online and in-situ, in-game advancement is difficult, even for experienced players, as Ingress is primarily team-based by design. The impact of this on gameplay and ‘real life’ behaviour is explored. Ingress can become more of a lifestyle instead simply a game as the line between the virtual and the real blurs.

“Ingress: The world around you is not what it seems”… and for many Ingress players that is their new reality.
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