I grabbed this screenshot from the Ingress (game) Intel map last night because I don’t expect to see something like this very often. It was a team effort by Enlightened agents to capture the necessary portals (green dots) and then link them to cover a huge portion of the state of Colorado (borders visible as dotted lines). Huge accomplishment.
Understand, Ingress is an AR (augmented reality) game. Each of those dots is a real GPS location in the real world, and someone had to physically visit that spot in order to claim it for either the Enlightened (green) or the Resistance (blue). This Ingress map is simply an overlay on a standard Google satellite map.
As I mentioned about two weeks ago, I play with the Enlightened. I’m not a significant factor in my part of town and don’t expect I ever will be. I’m only about a third of the way through Level 3, and at best only get out a couple of times a week for maybe two hours at a time. At that rate, it will be months before I top out at Level 8, since each level requires double the experience (action points, AP) of the previous level.
Still, it’s a lot of fun. The Intel map tracks activities in real time, so I can watch it on my computer and see who is doing what where. I can click on each of those portals and see who (one or more people) captured it. If I get disoriented, I can view the portals on the standard Google satellite map.
Monday morning I went out for what I’d hoped would be two or three hours, but I forgot to take a hat and the heat got to me after about an hour and a half. Luckily my route home from most of these outings goes right by a Sonic, so I can reward myself with a big cherry limeade and some tater tots, a favorite indulgence for decades.
I’ve seen a lot of cartoons and jokes online about Ingress being a trick to get nerds away from their computers and outdoors. It most certainly does that. My son and/or his family go out for hours at a time to play. They go to the park and the kids play while the adults hack and flip portals. Family time. All outdoors and away from screens (if you don’t count cell phones). All getting exercise. And The Son enjoying some rare time not thinking about work.
It does much the same for fat, old, couch-potato grandmas. I have limited stamina. My feet, hips, or back will complain the next day. But it does get me out of the house and moving, and that’s a very good thing.