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Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Ingress - Join Ingress Sabah community!

What is Ingress?

Ingress is a near real-time Augmented Reality Game (ARG) developed by Niantic Labs, a startup under Google. 

It has a science-fiction backstory dealing with the incursion of an unknown energy - known as 'exotic matter' XM - into the world via “portals”, which are located at specific physical locations in the real-world. 

These locations range from the mundane, such as post-offices; to the artistic, such as statues and sculptures or landmarks.

Presently, there are two factions within the game: the Enlightened, who seek to encourage the influx of XM and use it to uplift humanity; and the Resistance, who seek to remove the influence of XM on humanity due to its inherent dangers. 

Each faction vies to capture and link as many portals together to form control zones, by which a score is calculated in terms of the population that falls under the influence of a control zone.

The Location-Aware “Scanner”
To join Ingress, a user must have a reasonably modern Android handset with a mobile data plan, and install the Ingress “scanner app”, available from the Google Play Store. The user may then register as an “agent”, choose their faction and complete a series of tutorials to introduce them to the game mechanics.

Additionally, the scanner app can also be used to submit new portals for inclusion into the game world. This presents the local populace a unique opportunity to re-explore their home cities on foot, helping to locate the “ingress” of XM into this world. In reality, the players are actually documenting real-world places-of-interest that tend to be missed by casual visitors/tourists: unique local businesses, iconic landmarks and historical structures.
Local Community
Ingress also has a social component to it, as players can communicate via an in-game broadcast to nearby agents. When visiting agents are detected (or announce themselves), the local community will welcome them to the city, thus giving an opportunity for visitors to directly communicate with the locals rather than through the facade of a tourist guide.

Kota Kinabalu is unique in the sense that members of both factions are friendly and “chatty” to visitors regardless of their faction, when compared to larger and more competitive communities such as Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.
Occasionally, a community will have faction (or cross-faction) gatherings to discuss strategies; negotiate treaties; entertain visiting agents; or just to socialise. This is more apparent in regions with a larger and more mobile player base, as per previous example.
My first cross faction gathering - KK Cross Faction Gathering

Portals in Kota Kinabalu
There are now more than 300 portals in Kota Kinabalu and surrounding areas. The greatest concentration of portals is along and nearby Gaya Street, befitting its status as a unique historical and cultural feature of the city.
Atkinson Clock Tower
Kota Kinabalu often receives visiting agents in the form of tourist and/or business travellers who are also players of Ingress. Backpackers and FITs (Free Independent Travelers) tend to gain the most benefit from Ingress, using their Ingress scanner app as a tourist guide of sorts. It also helps them “break the ice” when communicating with the locals.
Sabah Player Base
As of November 2013, the Sabah community comprises at least 30 active players in the age range of 18-40 years.  
Big Field over KK city
Our community continues its efforts to raise awareness of the game and recruit new “agents”. At the same time, we encourage our agents to submit new and interesting portals, as we rediscover our own home state and preserve its neglected history.

My Experience

I started this game because Arthur(@eeckart) shared this game at Webcamp KK last December and from then on I started my journey as an Enlightened agent. I enjoy discovering new places and historical places in KK. History is always my favourite lesson and I believe this game can help young people to look at their roots besides exploring the city all over again like a explorer. 

From then on I get to know many other agents from both faction, the game become dynamic and challenging with agents making fields in KK on a daily basis. Playing in KK city must be the best experience I got because I get help from opposite faction while leveling up. 

So far I've been using Ingress scanner in 4 states in Malaysia and ENL agents are friendly and I made a lot of friends in this short period of time. =D 

My first SEA Ops (a major operation) is South China Sea Ops 

           Arthur's Article
  4. Sabah Community

Final Notes
I encourage all of you to download Ingress from Google Play Store and join Enlightened (preferably) or Resistance and join me and many others in this Global game. See you soon on the scanner!
Read Ingress Field Guide for more information on the game play.

Agent @cutebun signing off. 



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