Ingress is an Android phone game developed by Google where you have to go to various places to capture “portals” which are based on landmarks or places of note. There’s a sci-fi back story which I haven’t cared much about (my local library has a heap of good sci-fi books I don’t have time to read). But if you are interested in low quality sci-fi you can start with the Youtube channel for Ingress . But the best thing to do is to download the Ingress client program from the Google play store if you have an Android phone .
Periodically they have special events in the game called “Anomalies”, which usually involve many people competing to capture a small number of special portals. Usually a portal is fairly easy to capture so a high level player can easily capture a portal in at most a few minutes, but when there is a large group of players defending a portal by replacing the “resonators” as quickly as they are destroyed it becomes more challenging. I’m not going to try to explain this properly as I presume that readers either already know or don’t care. The Wikipedia page about Ingress has more information.
On Saturday there was an Anomaly where the main city was Melbourne. My team (Enlightened) won the event in Australia but apparently the event in the US at the same time was won by the other team (Resistance).
I had hoped that our event would be similar to some of the ones I’ve seen on the “Ingress Report” (a fictional news service on youtube) in which actors from the sci-fi videos about Ingress attended. But unfortunately it seems that the actors stay in the US.
Every player who was registered for the anomaly received a gift pack that contained three cards and a badge. The picture above shows the cards that my wife and I received along with one of our badges. The badges are green for Enlightened and blue for Resistance (the in-game colors) and have three flashing LEDs – the photo has one of the LEDs lit up. The three cards have “passcodes” which can be redeemed for in-game items, the XMP, Power Cubes, and Resonators weren’t that useful (10 not particularly rare items that I could get through 10 minutes of game playing). The “Medal” cards are for in-game badges showing the anomalies that we have played at, but they are “bronze” badges which again aren’t much use as nothing less than silver will help in leveling up.
Overall it was a good experience, we won, had a good after-party (with free snacks and one free drink per person), and the badges are nice. I recommend attending if there’s an event in your area, and note that you don’t need to be a high level player to attend, even L6 players were able to contribute.