2014-08-26

Game Over Ingress

Ingress is an augmented realty game which uses a smart phone's GPSr to turn certain locations into things called "Portals ". A person has to physically go to a portal to participate. Once there, you can hack, capture, attack or link, depending on your intentions and which faction controls the portal.

While it was still in beta, back in 2012, I requested an invite, and received one that December. I downloaded the app, and completed training, but there were no portals around here to interact with, so I would have to submit some.

 
Being winter, I decided to wait until the weather warmed up and the snow melted before taking the required photos of potential portal locations. After waiting a couple more months, one was activated, and I was able to capture it for the Enlightened faction, and do some hacking for inventory items.

After a while the second one was available, but it wasn't much fun playing alone, so I didn't do much with the game. Then, about a year later, I got notice that someone from the Resistance had taken over my poorly defended portals. This got me back playing more regularly, but there wasn't much I could do against them at my low level.

One day this summer I heard that a much higher level player from my team would be in town, and planned on retaking one of the portals. We met at the location, and I had my first encounter with others who were playing the game too. I got more involved with the community, and started introducing family and friends to it. The game was beginning to get fun and interesting.

Then, a couple days ago, I got an email from the people who operate the game, accusing me of cheating. They would not say what I had done wrong, and provided no means of defending myself, just an order to stop whatever it was I was doing, or have my account disabled.

So, here I am at Level 3 of 16, having played the game for about 20 months, when other people can get beyond Level 5 in a week, and I'm accused of cheating and generally being a despicable person who is taking all the fun out of the game for others. If I was cheating, then I was doing a very poor job of it, considering how slowly I have been advancing.

Since I know that I am not running any helper apps, or anything out of the ordinary, there is nothing I can stop doing. My conclusion was, that to keep from being kicked out of the game, I had to stop playing the game. With that decision made, I deleted the app from my phone, and severed all connections to the community.

It is only a game. I will not put up with being accused of wrongdoing and having my character attacked for a mere casual pastime. It is especially unacceptable since there is no crime specified, and there is no means of proving your innocence. I was assumed guilty and sternly warned.

Ingress, as far as I am concerned, it is game over.