A friend of mine mentioned that he had started playing a game called Ingress. I had vaguely heard of it about a year ago, but back then I had an iPhone and the game was only available for android phones. I was intrigued at the time but didn't pay it much mind. Now roll forwards to 2014 and I remembered it when my friend mentioned it again.
I now have an android phone, but as these things go it had been rolled out to iPhones this month, so there is clearly a lot of promotion going on which is how my friend had heard of it.
What intrigued me was the augmented reality concept. If you read my previous post you'll know that I love web games that have a strong social side, and ones that encourage me to get out and about are even better! The Stone did that for me back in the 2000's, and still does to a minor extent. Could this be the game that takes me into the 2010's and beyond?
The idea is that there is some kind of Alien matter or presence callex XM (exotic matter) and there are two factions of people: the Enlightened who believe that this is for the benefit of mankind, and the Resistance who are against this Alien ingression. You pick a side and then control portals, link them up and create triangles which are known as control fields. Within these fields a faction "owns" the humans within it.
There also appears to be some kind of ongoing storyline along with this, but since i've only been playing 6 days i haven't quite got my head around that yet!
But the first thing I noted as soon as i started going through the training exercises were local people saying hallo and offering to help. One chap lives a short walk from my house and we met up last Sunday and walked a couple of miles and played the game. The Friday before that i went out by myself by my work office and ran got spotted by a couple of local players who gave me a lot of help and invited me onto specific google hangouts for the local area.
The players local to Wokingham were very welcoming, and when I eventually move there I hope to meet up with more on them.
I can't help but think that this is a cunning way of google getting people to use google plus!
I am, of course, part of the Enlightened, and the friendliness has been so nice. I get quite lonely living down south away from my friends and family, so it's good to have something i can jump into and meet people.
I'm sure i'll be writing more about people I meet through this! For me the internet has never been about staying in my room, it's always been about the social side of things.