Ingress is an augmented reality massively multiplayer online role playing location-based game created by Niantic Labs, a startup within Google. The game was originally exclusively for Android devices, and was made available for Apple’s iOS on July 14, 2014. The game has a complex science fiction back story with a continuous open narrative.
At the origin of the scientists of the LHC to the CERN in Geneva discover the existence of a particle to there unknown, Exotic Matter (XM). An American secret agency, NIA, created then Niantic project where they collect to the CERN of the scientists and the artists to study the XM and its effects. It is there that is created ADA, a supposed IA to assist the project. Quickly they discover that the presence of XM and especially its concentration around places with strong cultural importance is not natural and thus deduct that from it it was introduced by Aliens (”Shapers”) and that from it has a direct link with the creativity which show the human beings. During an experience missed in Niantic project, a prototype of Power Cube explodes and subjects all the members of the project to important doses of pure XM (”Epiphany night”). Further to it members run away and the project is shortly after closed. Most of the members of the project are quickly recruited by three companies, IQTech, Vizur and Hulong who try to use the XM for commercial purposes (it is these companies which develop the various available items). Also at the time of the flight, a mobile phone of one of the members of the project is lost in a train and finds itself in the hands of an average guy and the scanner Ingress finds itself spread on Play Store, it is the beginning of the game. Very fast two factions face each other, Enlightened which approve the influence of the XM and the action of Shapers and the Resistance fighters who are against. Both factions want to create fields to submit the people who are below (Mind Unit, MU) in the influence of the supposed XM to direct people to the one or the other camp. Most of the former members of the project Niantic align themselves with a camp or the other one and the Resistance fighters find themselves managed / represented by ADA whereas the leader of the Enlightened is Roland Jarvis, a mystic sculptor (where from the names of the viruses: ADA Refactor and JARVIS Virus). During this time another character, Hank Johnson, former serviceman reconverted in the more or less occult documentary, discovers that the XM is known in reality since the roman time and that a secret society, 13Magnus, exists since this period, rather to defend the interests of the Resistance. Then there was full of complications, characters change camp, die but their soul finds itself scattered in the network of Portals (where from Shards, at the origin of personality’s fragments), resuscitates… Roland Jarvis dies for good at the moment and is replaced by The Acolyte, his follower, as leader of the Enlightened. ADA becomes more important, tries to merge with a human being (Klue), but in the end Klue rejects her and ADA seems to stop being a threat. Few character appears in the middle of last year, Jahan, a follower of 13Magnus, becomes the representative of the Resistance and further to an anomaly activate a device which has to allow another extraterrestrial race (N’Zeers, which set against the cultural evolution of Shapers a quite technological orientation) to penetrate too into the network of Portals to fight Shapers and their influence. Thus we see that if underlying purpose of the Resistance fighters did not change (fight extraterrestrial Shapers) they became allied from now on to another extraterrestrial race to this end … During the series of anomalies which has just finished the purpose for the representative of both factions was to obtain the control of a powerful Artefact created by a member of 13Magnus in the roman time, the Obsidian shield, supposed according to the faction which would use it to protect the network of Portals of the influence of the enemy extraterrestrial race. And it is thus the activation of the shield by The Acolyte continuation in the victory Enlightened which pulled the disappearance of all the XM (quite allegedly protecting us from the influence of N’Zeers).
The initial step a player takes to begin playing Ingress is to choose a faction to align themselves with, either the Enlightened or the Resistance. A player then moves through the real world with the Ingress app running on their Android or iOS device to specific locations and access portals, sources of this mysterious energy. The goal of a player is to claim these portals and link them, thus earning points for their faction. Through various means of gameplay a player can acquire to help them defend ally portals and destroy enemy portals.
To score points, measured in Mind Units (MU), for their faction a player must create control fields by linking three portals together in a triangle. The larger the area covered by a control field, the more Mind Units are captured and added to the faction’s score. The game is being played out globally and is scored likewise.
The struggle to save the planet spans the entire world. Groups of people acting together can be more effective than individuals acting alone. Cooperation across neighborhoods, cities, and countries will be useful to achieve the ultimate victory.
”Sphere of Weirdness” Campaign Edit
In conjunction with the closed beta in November 2012, a viral campaign was also launched. Dubbed the ”Sphere of Weirdness”, clues were offered each day in November via the site in the form of pictures, documents, and videos. A large break-down of the content can be found here, including links to related videos, solutions, and theories.
The viral campaign also spilled over into the real world, affecting events such as ComicCon and garnering the interest of law enforcement.