A young adult who used to come to my Teen programs stopped by the library yesterday. He’s been playing an augmented reality, location-based game called Ingress, and he was excited to share it with me. While the game began on the Google Play store, the app now has a version available on the App store as well.
The game features portals of mysterious energy that were unearthed by scientists in Europe. While they aren’t sure how, the researchers have evidence that the energy influences the way we think. “The Enlightened” long to embrace this newfound power, while “The Resistance” strives to hold onto our humanity against this alien threat. The game play features many elements of other MMOs (Massively Multiplayer Online games), such as upgradable objects, allying yourself with other players, and deploying tech to capture enemy portals.
A unique element of this game is the location-based services. The only way to interact with the portals is to physically walk up to them in the real world. This creates an opportunity for live events and scavenger hunts. The gamemakers have used the location-based nature of the game to encourage users to get up and move around, as well as utilizing their devices in ways other than just checking email.
I downloaded the app this afternoon, and it turns out that there is a portal just outside of the Hayden Library! So, I immediately tried to claim the portal for “The Resistance,” but was stopped by the tech from an “Enligtened” user. I’m going to have to get myself leveled up and claim this territory for humanity =D