Google wants to change your reality with Ingress, a mobile game played out in real life
All the viral ads courtesy of Niantic Labs told us something was coming, and now its here — an alternate reality game from Google called Ingress. The theme is one of worldwide mind control, and it’ll be played out in real life, where you’ll be a part of one of two teams which either embrace or fight “the power” — The Enlightened or The Resistance, respectively. With a companion mobile app installed, you’ll venture out into the world collecting energy known as “Exotic Matter” (XM), found at real locations. This can then be spent claiming, stealing or reinforcing “portals,” which are positioned at key public places. Teamwork will be essential, as the goal is to create zones controlled by your faction, and attacking those occupied by the enemy. One team will eventually win, although this end point is expected to be a year to 18 months down the line.
John Hanke of Niantic Labs said some of the inspiration for Ingress came from JJ Abrams, and hardcore Lost fans may remember a similarly cryptic internet ‘game’ focused around the show. The Ingress app is available on Google Play today, with an iOS version in the pipe, and if you want you play, sign up at the source below to request access. Your mobile device will provide you with an overview of your local battlefield when you’re out and about, but a web client can keep you up to date on the global war while you’re sat at a computer. Check out the video and app screenshots below, and if you’re still confused as to what it’s all about — well, that’s how they want you to feel.