Ingress Part Two – A Reflection

This is a reflection of the game from my point of view. It will assume you know what Ingress is and how it works. If you’re unfamiliar with Ingress, click here to read my summary on the game.

I’m really hooked on this game ever since my best friend introduced it to me and I got my very first Android mobile. After the initial learning curve, the game is pretty easy to understand. At first, I thought it was just going to be pretty repetitive; hacking, destroying, claiming, fortifying. But it turned out to be so much more.

Just last Friday, I learnt two new strategies to up my game, a new term (“farms”), and met two Resistance members who came to say hi to us. It feels like the makers of Ingress incorporated a bit of the Hash Brown Theory. I like that.

But even without this, I like the game a lot and I want to share the basic advantages or byproducts of the game. First of all, it’s augmented reality. I really like the thought of escaping to another world for a while, having a different set of exciting problems to deal with instead of everyday mundane ones. The game also requires you to physically move about. That’s actually a pretty great motivation to exercise. This is one of the few virtual games that actually make you move (like Wii games). I think it’s great that I could just set up a jogging path that takes me past as many portals as possible and if I want to hit more portals, I have to run further.

Another thing that’s awesome is that the portals are mostly pieces of art, murals and sculptures and statues and other fascinating things to look at. The game turns into a field trip combined with a treasure hunt. Pretty fun thing to do alone or together with a friend or group of friends. Your friends don’t even have to play the game, you could just play it yourself and point out the cool stuff to them as you walk past. The game doesn’t even take up that much concentration unless you’re focused on taking down a portal, so you can walk and talk without missing a beat.

Speaking about playing it with your friends, I feel that this might possibly be a fun date idea, whether or not your date plays the game. You both get a walk, spend quality time together and get to know the area a bit more. Spots like these start to accumulate in your mind like fun facts and it’s pretty cool to show people around the place. Heck, the portals can be used as meeting places! The portals become landmarks for you and the friends you’ve shown them to, which is pretty handy if you’re exploring a new area together. Even on your own, this game does slowly increase your map sense, which is a huge boon for me. I wasn’t too great at mental maps unless I frequented an area everyday. But now I have small mental maps of Bugis, Jurong East and Yishun, all places that I seldom go to.

Great game.

-Jace

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