aNewDomain — Has the augmented reality app Ingress faded? Is it safe to put Ingress in the category of pop culture favorites Angry Birds and Flappy Birds? Well, perhaps, in a way. Ingress is no different from any flashy mobile game. It’s hot for a moment, but then it eventually fades into forgotten land. But there are a few dorky and nerdy people who continue to play. I’m one of them.
Two years later, I still play Ingress.
You might think this is strange. Some of my friends do, too. Gaming-wise, I’m fickle. I’ve gotten bored and uninstalled so many games from my Nexus 6. But I’ve yet to uninstall Ingress. It still feeds my gaming rush, and it also still feeds my endless appetite for useless knowledge. If it isn’t still feeding yours, I think I know what your problem is. It’s very simple. You’re doing it wrong. Let me give you some Ingress advice.
But first a story …
The Joy of Portals
Many moons ago I wrote about how to play Ingress. In that article, I explained key Ingress concepts like resonators, portal keys and control fields and how important they are to gain Ingress AP and point prowess. Now that there are so many portals in the wild, though, the whole experience has gotten better.
You may recall that Ingress uses a“capture the flag” scoring system for its portals. Portals originally started out as post offices, churches and libraries. These are common landmarks across the country. But users soon began to submit portals at notable places and historical landmarks. And this changed everything.
There’s a lot of fun stuff to find in the wild. And that’s one reason I still love playing.
It’s super easy to find historical landmarks in big cities such as New York and Washington, DC. Tons of historical events happened that most Americans are already familiar with. The Empire State Building, The Lincoln Memorial and Times Square are just a few obvious examples of tourist attractions based on history. It’s easy to find Ingress portals at these kinds of places and in these kinds of cities.
But what about the small town of Dallas? As in: Dallas, North Carolina.
You see, in Dallas, NC, once, I was forced into stopping at a building I’d driven by for many years. Ingress made me do it. That old building on the corner is not too big, not visually pleasing, really, in any way. Actually, it is butt ugly. Even its gravel parking lot is an eyesore.
But my Ingress scanner — aka, my smartphone — showed me that someone on Ingress had labeled it as a “jailhouse.”
This explained everything. I’d always wondered why that building is so danged ugly. Now I know. Who would bother trying to make a jail look good? No one. And I found the portal I was after, as you can see in my screenshot, above. These are the kinds of things I love to find using Ingress. They make it all worthwhile.
So Why Is Your Ingress Thrill Over?
A lot of people report that the thrill of Ingress only lasts about a week.
That’s because Ingress is a global game. It works best if you’re a curious person who gets around, and if you’re someone who is willing to roam around and find places and items you’ve never seen before. You’ll find so much in the world of augmented reality that Ingress has provided, and you’ll do it through the scores of intriguing Ingress portals that are out there now.
Some of the portals even have signage and information around them as historical or interesting landmarks posted. If you like finding these and don’t mind getting out of your little neighborhood, Ingress can be awfully cool.
If you’ve got a taste for adventure — or you want to get that Ingress thrill again and you’re willing to roam — just install Ingress right now. Some of us geeks are still here : )
Go and enjoy the competition of battling the opposing faction. Gather some interesting trivia about things you’ve never seen. See the world. I’ll be out there waiting for you.
For aNewDomain, I’m Ant Pruitt.