This blog post documents my experience with the digital game Ingress. Ingress is a multiplayer location-based mobile game (LBMG) that utilises the features of mobile devices such as GPS and location data and adds augmented reality (Hulsey & Reeves, 2014). These technical features are combined with a detailed narrative supported by websites, videos and social media. The Ingress app requires the player to get outside and explore the real world using their mobile device to discover “portals” located at significant landmarks. The following beginners guide video explains Ingress in more detail.
Retrieved from https://youtu.be/HgvHV155gvo
Resistance Agent kleem9’s experience with Ingress
Here is a timeline of my first encounter with Ingress. I was quite pleased that I figured out the basic features of the app and looked forward to having more time to explore the game over the Easter break as Resistance Agent kleem9.
My second attempt took a more targeted approach and I was so immersed that I lost track of time. I was thrilled when I levelled up and captured portals but disappointed that my attacks on enemy portals were unsuccessful. How could I improve?
I decided to utilise the community aspect of Ingress and joined the Resistance Melbourne Community. I participated in a new agent chat and found out that I was on the right track by hacking as many portals as I could and by capturing neutral portals. I also found out that I probably would not be successful in attacking enemy portals until I was level 6. I did a walk along the Yarra River at Heide and Fairfield with my sister (who was not interested in the game at all despite my attempts) to get more resources and access points.
I am already intrinsically motivated to exercise so I incorporated my play into my usual daily exercise routine and was was playing alone. I intended to keep playing the game for a few more days but I got sick and did not have the energy. Playing Ingress is time consuming and other interests compete especially when you are working full time and studying part time. The gaming experience was initially compelling but my interest waned as it became a bit repetitive.
Positive aspects of Ingress for me
- physically active
- enjoyed discovering new things in my neighbourhood
- improved my navigational skills
- could be played with family or friends
- ability to connect to a community of players
Negative aspects of Ingress for me
- resource heavy – battery life and data
- Narrative did not appeal to me and was intimidating for a new player
- Security – could I be tracked?
- Time consuming
While playing Ingress it is clear that it could have educational applications in almost every subject area. Without much thought the following came to mind:
- Geography – navigation, mapping and spatial skills
- Mathematics – measurement and geometry
- History – stories behind landmarks, exploration of conflict
- Art – study of landmarks artistic qualities, creation of artistic works based on the game
- English – creative and non-fiction writing
- Physical Education – exercise program
- Online safety
A secondary school teacher at Eltham College in Melbourne has documented his experience in a blog post Ingress and education: The experiment
The article Ingress in Geography: Portals to academic success by Michael Davis describes a study done using Ingress with first year university students.
Hulsey, N., & Reeves, J. (2014). The gift that keeps on giving: Google, ingress, and the gift of surveillance. Surveillance & Society, 12(3), 389-400. Retrieved from https://search-proquest-com.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/docview/1556332658?accountid=10344