There have been hints that Google is preparing a mysterious project, but who would have thought that this giant is in fact considering a global alternate reality game? If its competitors intend to take over the world by selling people stuff they need, Google chose a way smarter way.
Any and every Android smartphone owner has the potential of becoming a player in this sci-fi game. People can choose to fight for the Enlightened or for the Resistance, the two parties having opposite goals, obviously. The common aspects include seeing the world with new eyes (or better said, through the Android smartphone’s camera), and of course, working out while at it.
XM units, which represent virtual energy, are spread all over cities from the entire world. After gaining certain amounts of virtual energy, players can spend it to participate in real world missions. Doing that requires traveling through portals that are located in museums, at libraries and other such public spaces.
Niantic Labs, a name that is mentioned several times in the following video, is a company that Google acquired recently. John Hanke explained that the players of this game resemble very much maze rats, and I can see why.
The description of the above video gives an explanation about the game:
This world around you is not what it seems. Our future is at stake, and you must choose a side.
A mysterious energy has been unearthed by a team of scientists in Europe. The origin and purpose of this force is unknown, but some researchers believe it is influencing the way we think. We must control it or it will control us.
“The Enlightened” seek to embrace the power that this energy may bestow upon us.
“The Resistance” struggle to defend, and protect what’s left of our humanity.
Install Ingress and transform your world.
Currently, Ingress is in closed-beta stage. It can be downloaded from the Play Store, but the ones who want an invitation will have to head to the Ingress site. I’m currently waiting for my invitation, so I don’t have first hand experience with the game, yet.
Paranoid people might believe that everything Google has done until now leads to this, from detailed maps to its smartphone operating system. The question is: are they wrong?