I don’t play too many games in my smartphone. I have a few, but I open them rarely. I have always believed in using my phone less. I know, you have a smartphone to do more things. If you want to use it less, then why have it in the first place? But it is useful in some situations like booking tickets, using maps and so on. I use it only when it is utmost important. When I am bored, I mean really bored, what-the-hell-I-am-doing-in-my-life bored, that is when I open a game app.
Having said that, I recently downloaded a game which I wanted to play since the first time I heard about it. Ingress is an augmented reality multiplayer game, which uses GPS. Basically it is a fictionalized version of Google maps. I’ll try to give a rough idea of this game. You have to choose between two teams – The Enlightened and The Resistance. There are portals around the city. It can be controlled by either of the two teams. You can create portals. There are some criteria for creating portals, such as – the place has to be a public place, it needs to have some historic significance and so on. You can link one portal to another. You can even ‘hack’ the existing portals to gain ‘resonators’, ‘portal keys’, ‘shields’ and many such tools which you can use for various other actions. All these actions give you action points, which will increase your level. You can coordinate with other members of your team and go on walks, capturing and recharging portals. The bottom-line is: you can’t play this game in the comfort of your house. You have to move around your city.
So is it fun? When I first downloaded the app and started playing, I couldn’t think of anything else in my life other than this game. I was immersed in it completely. I was going on long cycle rides, capturing, recharging and hacking portals. I rode on streets, just next to my house, where I had never been before. And there are portals everywhere. It was nice to know that someone else is also playing the game and creating portals in these areas. Sometimes I capture their portal and some other time they capture mine. We can even talk in the communicator and be informed of all activities nearby.
But gradually, I got fed up. I was tired of taking out my phone and checking for portals nearby. Initially I felt that this game is suitable for me, because I roam around in my cycle a lot. But I realized, in order to enjoy this game you have go out exclusively for hacking, recharging or creating portals. Else this is just a pain in the ass. This game has many dedicated players who go places, just for the sake of it. That sounds fun. You don’t need a game to go out there, but nevertheless, this might be a motivation.
Image Source: “Ingress Logo vector” by Niantic Labs – File:Ingress Logo.png. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons