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Canberra, all covered in slime

By johnboy - 11 January 2014 45

screenshot

Last week I let pestiness post a call to arms for Canberrans to join her faction in Google’s game Ingress.

Thus intrigued I fired up the copy of Ingress on my phone that I’d flunked out of training with a year ago.

The software has upgraded a few times since then, which I suspect is why it worked better.

Sadly though, last year I’d joined The Resistance which means I now have the joy of getting my arse handed to me by a whole bunch of new Englightened users who have strikingly similar screen names to a bunch of RiotACTers.

The social aspects have yet to materialise here in the Resistance. No-one has approved my application for the Google+ circle and most of my interation has been my phone beeping to tell me my resonators are being obliterated.

But I’m merely a humble level 4.

It is great fun however, and it does keep making one want to get outdoors (albeit staring at your phone).

Now that I know what to look for Anzac Parade this morning was verminous with Ingress players.

The emphasis on local art, memorials and landmarks might have some unintended consequences as administrators mistake the surge of attention.

It goes particularly well with riding a bike. This in turn leads one to cycle one handed, with earphones in, staring at a phone screen.

I’m pretty sure the Big Book of Clever Things To Do does not devote a page to this.

The nice thing about being utterly overwhelmed by the slime in this part of Canberra is one can still collect XM Bursters (think bombs) from Enlightened Portals and then set them off in the middle of Civic when the enemy resonators are thick on the augmented reality ground.

Kaboom! A phone screen so full of damage numbers it looks like it’s going to bleed red.

It’s worth noting the game is creepy as hell. Going 16 hours without logging in gets a note of concern on login from the controller “It’s been 16 hours, I was worried about you”.

It feels at times unpleasantly real, which is probably part of the appeal.

If Google was some sinister entity set on world conquest this might well be part of it.

On the other hand the dogs love the long walks and it gets me out of the house.

If a hellish domestic situation hasn’t yet driven one to seeking out anonymous sex at public toilets; Ingress might well be a useful halfway house.

And if you are joining up then think about it, surely Canberra needs a bit more Resistance?

What’s Your opinion?


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45 Responses to
Canberra, all covered in slime
1
Wyvernsridge 4:00 pm
11 Jan 14
#

Get hold of some of the books by Charles Stross, particularly the “Halting State” series. That’s where this came from …. and a pointer to where it might go!

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2
billius 4:04 pm
11 Jan 14
#

All you have to do is ask on comms to join the Google+ community. We just need to match up your in game name to your Google+ name (this stops slimes from infiltrating our community as they’ve previously attempted) by posting your initials.

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3
Varthrax 4:22 pm
11 Jan 14
#

Hi johnboy,

It’s great to see that pestiness’ post a few days ago has generated an influx of new players and, it would seem, get old players back out on the streets! Too bad some of them chose to be the evil ‘slimes’ and not the join the Resistance.

As one of the moderators for the Ingress Resistance Canberra G+ community, I can assure you that your application, like anyone else’s, will be approved once you complete the proper process. You can appreciate that we’re mindful of who is approved to to the community given that this is warfare and we can’t have our plans spilt to an enemy who is already overwhelming us! I’ve tried to contact you about this via Google Hangouts… so have a look. :-)

Hopefully I’ll see you out there on the field soon. The best part of this game is getting to know people you might never have met if it weren’t for Ingress.

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4
justsomeaussie 4:50 pm
11 Jan 14
#

Ingress the game also known as google invading every part of society by creating a “game” which people willingly collect information, pictures and map environments, free for google.

Google whose business model is one of selling ads, selling data, information, about you to others.

http://www.applieddatalabs.com/content/hidden-side-ingress
http://www.blorpy.com/post/42296373187/speculation-into-google-ingress-and-data-collection
http://stko.geog.ucsb.edu/comp2013/comp2013_submission_10.pdf

“When you use a service for free, you are not the customer but the product “

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5
johnboy 5:33 pm
11 Jan 14
#

So for everyone’s benefit where is the recruitment procedure laid out?

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6
Pestiness 6:00 pm
11 Jan 14
#

Ohhhhh johnboy… restart with enlightened. We’ll look after you. :)

Thanks for keeping the postson ingress coming regardless of your poor faction choice.

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7
Pestiness 6:03 pm
11 Jan 14
#

Btw… the freakiest comms message I’ve copped after no logging in for a few days was ‘I was beginning to think you don’t like me’. Overly-attached gf much?

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8
poetix 6:41 pm
11 Jan 14
#

So, if we eliminate everyone from both sides, will the world be a better place? Discuss with examples.

(Kelpies are exempt, of course.)

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9
Mordd 11:40 pm
11 Jan 14
#

The second the iPhone app comes out I will be joining the Resistance and helping lead the charge to make Canberra blue again.

Although I note my emails to the resistance gmail address have gone unanswered, is there anyone coordinating the Resistance in canberra atm?

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10
MonarchRepublic 1:50 am
12 Jan 14
#

No idea what I am doing, but have taken out an enlightened resinator. Broke the link they established. Strength to the resistance!

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11
curmudgery 11:13 am
12 Jan 14
#

From the foregoing, it seems Ingress is some kind of a computer-based, multi-user interactive game where players can adopt an evocative nom de guerre and pretend to be someone they’re not and perform clever, possibly audacious acts in cyber-void without involving self. I assume a high score would carry bragging rights.

Should players ever re-assess the value of their time, Vinnies are looking for volunteers.

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12
MERC600 12:54 pm
12 Jan 14
#

curmudgery said :

From the foregoing, it seems Ingress is some kind of a computer-based, multi-user interactive game where players can adopt an evocative nom de guerre and pretend to be someone they’re not and perform clever, possibly audacious acts in cyber-void without involving self. I assume a high score would carry bragging rights.

Should players ever re-assess the value of their time, Vinnies are looking for volunteers.

Thank you Curmudgery. I didn’t have a clue what it was all about. Am still not a 100%.

Perhaps I should get out more ?

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13
wildturkeycanoe 1:40 pm
12 Jan 14
#

This is how Big Brother takes control of the world, by making people go places and do things they normally wouldn’t do, just because everyone else is doing it or because they have nothing better to do with their lives. Because you no doubt have to have your GPS turned on all the time, [they] can keep tabs on you 24 hours a day. Soon enough there will be hackers who can track the members of the opposition by use of this technology, and follow them home to egg their house. Scary stuff people.
The only benefit of this that I can see is techno addicts getting some fresh air and exercise instead of sitting at home on their PC, so it isn’t all bad.

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14
CrankyGit 10:44 pm
12 Jan 14
#

wildturkeycanoe said :

This is how Big Brother takes control of the world, by making people go places and do things they normally wouldn’t do, just because everyone else is doing it or because they have nothing better to do with their lives. Because you no doubt have to have your GPS turned on all the time, [they] can keep tabs on you 24 hours a day. Soon enough there will be hackers who can track the members of the opposition by use of this technology, and follow them home to egg their house. Scary stuff people.
The only benefit of this that I can see is techno addicts getting some fresh air and exercise instead of sitting at home on their PC, so it isn’t all bad.

It’s also a game. Besides, “Big Brother” doesn’t need your GPS on constantly. Smartphones already collect plenty of information about you, where you go, for how long, and combine this with the various ways they track your online usage, they really don’t need your position to within metres to know what to market to you.

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15
Mordd 9:17 am
13 Jan 14
#

Ah good, the Resistance people have gotten back to me, their contact is “resistance.canberra@gmail.com” for anyone else interested.

Some useful links posted in the prev. article:
http://www.wired.com/magazine/2014/01/a-year-of-google-ingress/
http://allthingsd.com/20131012/google-is-working-on-ingress-for-ios-but-it-wont-be-ready-until-2014/
https://support.google.com/ingress/?hl=en#topic=3261401

@ justsomeaussie / wildturkeycanoe

The worst accusation I can see from those articles is that google is getting us to collect free data on pedestrian routes using the game, which from what I can gather, no-one playing the game has any issue with really, especially since most of us google maps in our lives from time and it benefits us to have accurate maps. Hardly the dark evil overlord come to control us all lol. Personally I say whoever at google came up with the idea of this game as the way to get better pedestrian route data is a genius and im sure got a big fat bonus for inventing ingress and good on them for doing it!

As to why play? Anything that gamifies healthy exercise is a good idea in my book, and its educational, social, free, what more reason do you want?

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