Signs That You May Take Ingress Too Seriously

Ingress is a free, invite-only game that a subdivision of Google devised. I normally describe it as a cross between a scavenger hunt and capture the flag. I also may comment that it’s what I always wished geocaching was like. It uses Google maps and landmarks. It encourages geeks to get outdoors and walk around while learning about their neighborhoods and history. It encourages geeks to meet people and stimulate their local economies. It’s a pretty neat game in all of those aspects. On the darker side, it’s also highly addictive and appeals to the geeks tendency to become obsessed with the game and fake world and story surrounding it sometimes a bit too much. While we’re used to seeing this with people glued to their computers in World of Warcraft, it gets a bit weirder when instead of a computer, it’s a phone and the great outdoors.

Below is a list of some signs, many inspired by things I’ve seen, that you may be taking Ingress too seriously. These are in no particular order. Please don’t get offended if some of these apply to you, especially since some of these stem from silly things I’ve found myself doing…

I’m sorry if these don’t make any sense because you don’t play the game yourself. If you’re interested in getting an invite and live in Massachusetts, look here. Enjoy!

Faction Pride

  1. You won’t wear any clothes that are the color of the opposing faction.
  2. When you accidentally do, you feel like a traitor and hope there isn’t a meet up to play later (or if there is, hopefully it will be too dark, or maybe they’ll accept that you’re being ironic?).
  3. You make blue and green arts and crafts that show your Enlightenment or Resistance team spirit.
  4. If you’re a member of the Enlightened, you now look at your favorite pair of blue jeans with trepidation.
  5. If you’re a member of the Resistance (especially if you live in or near Boston), you might have severely conflicting feelings with what to wear, drink, and celebrate on St. Patrick’s Day.
  6. If you’re a member of the Resistance, frogs are not people and they club baby seals. If you’re a member of the Enlightened, smurfs are not people and they eat kittens.
  7. Gauging if something is awesome or horrible is mostly based on whether it’s your own faction that’s doing or saying it.
  8. When hiring someone at your company and looking at their resume, you wish it said whether they already played Ingress and which faction they belonged to.


  1. You have spent more time, energy, and thought on what constitutes cheating in Ingress than you have on real social and political issues such as bank bailouts, gun control, and human rights combined.
  2. You have a tiered list of what is “unforgivable cheating”, “regular cheating”, “sort of cheating”, and “uh, I hope this isn’t really cheating because I was doing it last night”.
  3. You’ve tried each form of cheating, but only as a painstakingly documented scientific experiment which you intend to submit to the game makers so that they can make the game better.
  4. You’ve spent so much time customizing your IITC map, including your own plugins, that you’re ready to either write your own version and rerelease it if it’s ever taken down due to TOS violations or weep uncontrollably.
  5. You’ve actually read the Ingress TOS.
  6. You’ve started the game over and leveled to 8 twice or more due to account suspensions. It’s not due to cheating, since you love the game too much. It’s because you used an iPhone.
  7. You consider yourself a protector of the game and it’s community. You watch the comm like a hawk to look for suspicious activity both from your own faction and the opposing one. You use IITC plugins to assist (which is not cheating because it’s being used for good!).


  1. You submit new portals for areas you don’t even play in.
  2. You refer to certain portals as yours and get personally upset when someone tries to take them. You will remote charge from anywhere to defend them (toilet, funeral, your own wedding, jury duty, meeting with the boss, etc.).
  3. You write Niantic lengthy, scathing replies to their portal rejections (whether or not you send them to Niantic or just post them to G+).
  4. You’re seriously considering getting a permit to make a public art installation as close to your residence as possible just so you can get a portal that you can hack from your own home (possibly naked).
  5. You already have a portal that you can hack from your home, and you hack it with more dedication and regularity than brushing your teeth, caring for plants/pets, eating, sleeping, or just about anything (often while naked).
  6. You’ve submitted fake things as portals just to get more by where you live or work. “That advertisement counts as a mural, right?”
  7. You’re really unhappy and bitter that Zip Car and Jamba Juice are portals, especially since it interferes with the plausibility of the premise and overall game immersion.

The World of Ingress

  1. You’ve watched every single Ingress Report. You’ve read the The Alignment Ingress book. You’ve written articles (or at least long G+ posts) and consider yourself an expert with a valuable opinion.
  2. You loved every second of watching the Ingress Report (if you’re a part of the Resistance). You’ve been annoyed and made the joke about it being such and unbiased news source (if you’re part of the Enlightened). “Unbiased news source!? Yeah, just like Fox News!”
  3. You were excited to get an autograph from Klue or another Ingress actor as if they were a real celebrity. OMG, they let you get a picture with them too!
  4. You feel like you personally identify with the philosophies of a faction. You compare them to real life movements and ideals often.
  5. You have a very hard time calling Ingress a game or hobby because it all feels so real and important.
  6. You scroll back and read messages you missed on the COM when you open Ingress (if you close it).

Time & Money

  1. Being late to just about anything is acceptable if the detour was to hack, take, or upgrade portals.
  2. You pay a taxi driver to drive around a monument a bunch of times.
  3. Your faction pays for a Zip Car for you since you’re willing to drive anywhere at just about any time for the game.
  4. You’ve started the game over and leveled to 8 twice or more because you wanted the experience of going to level 8 again.
  5. You researched what battery pack to buy to recharge your phone in the field more than you researched you car, house, pet, or major appliances before purchasing.
  6. You give out real life incentives to players to encourage your team: money, prizes, promises of beer, etc.
  7. You don’t obsessively check for Homestuck updates anymore because you’re too busy with Ingress. You’ve also stopped your regular WOW raids, haven’t played a board or card game recently, haven’t donated to hardly any Kickstarter projects, and almost missed the Steam Summer Sale this year completely.
  8. You actually have connected and memorized the faces, names, and Ingress handlesof the people that play in your area, even the ones you’ve never talked to. For those who cannot do this, you made a spreadsheet to help yourself.
  9. You’ve actually bought (or considered buying) people you know with Apple products an Android device so they can play with you.
  10. You wake up early so you have more time to play on your way to work. You go home from your job late so you have more time to play.
  11. You now walk or drive around playing Ingress when you can’t sleep at night instead of turning on the computer or TV.
  12. You never had a problem with your GPS, battery life, or RAM until you started playing Ingress. Now you are convinced you need a new phone or tablet.

Have your own ideas of what should be in this list? Add them to the comments below or send to TheSeize. They may be featured in a ‘part two’ post!

Minecraft: Diary of a Miner Part 2

Work at Pigeon continues. I constructed the Stargate.

Also, the stairs go all the way from the Stargate and Nether Portal in the sky, down to the bedrock now. I’m working on making the stairs entirely encased so you don’t have to worry about creepers (or getting your pet dogs wet).

I miss my base at Aerie. The world known as Floaty has been my home and favorite place, but since the Nether Portals all come back out at Bunnies (the main world), I don’t really have a choice but to rebuild here.

I still go to Aerie. I can get to the Nether from there via the Nether Portal I built, it’s just a one-way ticket. It will spit me back out at Pigeon. So, to get back to Aerie I’d have to go back through the Stargate. Since the 1.6 update that also logs me off and accuses me of hacking, so I have to log back in too.

Hopefully Minecraft will one day natively have multiworld support. For right now I’m slowly rebuilding in the main world known as Bunnies.

Minecraft: Diary of a Miner

The Minecraft deity known as Notch released update 1.6 recently which allows Nether Portals to work on Multiplayer Servers like the one I play on.

Since Minecraft itself doesn’t support multiple worlds, we all knew that something weird was going to happen when we built and went through a Nether Portal in another world. Maybe nothing would happen. Maybe each world would have it’s own Nether.

What really happens is a lot less exciting. Every portal in every world goes to the main world’s Nether. Then, if you go back through that gate, it spits you somewhere in the main world (Bunnies).

The first time I tried this, I went through a Nether Portal near the Floaty Stargate. Floaty is a world I spend a lot of time in. I found myself suspended high above some lava with little room to move somewhere in The Nether. Then I went back through before I fell or was killed by ghasts and ended up in the middle of the ground somewhere in Bunnies right by a monster spawner. I died a few times and repeated going back through. I cleaned out the area and Kiashien helped me make a Stargate called Bridge so that I could get out of wherever it was I’d ended up.

I’m pretty good at exploring The Nether. I practiced in our “psudo-nether” world (Stargates Nether1 and Glowstone). These were created using multi-world before the 1.6 update. In those days glowstone dropped less glowstone dust when harvested. I was pretty obsessed with finding a ‘prettier’ light source than torches, torches, and more torches to use in my bases and other creations. So, I did a lot of exploring and digging and building in The Nether. Ghasts were a huge problem because at that point, I couldn’t actually see the ghasts correctly. They would flicker across the screen as if they were in multiple spots at once and I couldn’t see their projectiles flying at me. So, dodging them and hitting them back at the ghasts was impossible. Killing ghasts was all guesswork.

So, when I was given a Nether Gate high above open lava with barely a platform to stand on and a lot of ghasts spawning, I said, “Challenge Accepted”.

I don’t die a lot in Minecraft, but here I died about a half dozen times trying to make a place to stand and walls around the portal.

Each time I died I’d end up in at the Bunnies spawn point by our main base Chuck. It didn’t matter that I’d slept in other beds in Bunnies, which is supposed to reset your spawn point to the bed. I spawned there every time. Each time I’d go into Chuck and hop the stargate to Floaty. Since the 1.6 update, Minecraft disconnects every time you transport to another world using a Stargate, accusing you of hacking. I’d reconnect, then go through the Nether Portal there and end up back in The Nether.

The last time I was there I actually made a lot of progress, but still messed up and fell to my doom. I was back at Chuck and made my way back to Floaty. This time, though, I didn’t end up at that same gate in The Nether. Instead I ended up coming out of a gate in the Nether that was fairly secure. I explored the tunnels for awhile and made the place a bit more homey. I mined some glowstone. I didn’t have a lot of supplies since I expected to end up back at the deathtrap and die again. Once I decided I needed to get some wood and other things, I went through the gate. I expected to come out at Bridge.

Instead I ended up under water at night somewhere. I swam up and looked around. It was a river. The banks had forested mountains. Our Other Places mod told me that I was closest to Bridge, but closest is a relative term since nothing familiar was anywhere in sight.

I didn’t have any supplies on me except netherrack, a shovel, and a flint and steel. Since I had no torches, I placed some blocks of nertherrack and lit them on fire to try to keep the bad mobs from spawning on top of me, then I waited in the water for morning. Things didn’t look any better in the morning. I was very, very lost. Kiashien decided it was okay to teleport me back to civilization since it seemed like the game had glitched.

Some people might decide to do something else at this point, but this just made me want to try again, and yes, possibly get stranded. However, this time I brought obsidian to make a stargate. That way if I was stranded, I could get myself out.

The Nether Gate went to the same place as before. After working for a short period of time, I stepped back into the Portal.

For the love of cheese, where am I now?

Oh, hey. It’s the netherrack beacons I made before! So I did come out at the same spot. It seems like last time the game fast forwarded to me falling and ending up below in the water. I had almost nowhere to stand, so it makes sense that I fell and, no, I didn’t think to look up.

So, now I’m here and I can build a Stargate, right? Actually, I need to build a place to stand first.

Watching night fall was pretty awesome. Since I was so high up I could see it fall on the lower elevations first and progress to other areas.

I worked through the night to build a platform around the Nether Portal. So, now I can build yet another Stargate.

The question still remains, what happened to the Nether Portal suspended over lava?

The better question is what happened to the Nether Portal at Bridge? Is it still there? What happens if I go through it?

I don’t know what happened to the Nether Portal suspended above lava and I kind of doubt I’ll ever find it again.

The Nether Portal at Bridge goes to this new, same spot in The Nether. When you go back through, it goes to this new little platform high in the sky.

This new Stargate, once it’s done, I think I’ll call it Pigeon because it’s kind of annoying and high up in the sky. That and this whole thing has been a pile of bird poop.

To be a useful place at all, there needs to be a way to get down, so I made a leap of faith into the river and started building a staircase…

As you can see, the rain is pooping on my head like a pigeon as I build away.

How the Game Was One/Won

This is a continuation of my posts on exploring The Game, both the book and the whole secret society of guys trying to get girls (because it’s a big secret guys try to do this..? Why not a secret society of breathing?). It has it’s own category above if you’d like to catch up on the posts and read them in order.

Here are my impressions of chapter one:

Here I expect we’ll get right into the women and picking up, but instead the book opens with the supposed master of all PUA wanting to commit suicide. It’s apparently on behalf of a girl. How’s that for confusing?

It’s a good hook and it reads like a very intentional hook. You expect the book to start in one general place, and next thing you know, you’re in a mental hospital. Wow, how did that happen? I guess I have to read the whole thing now. Yay literary devices!

I wasn’t disappointed completely. Before the end of the chapter, the very hot psychiatrist is told that in a different time, different place, she too would be swept off her feet by Mystery: PUA extraordinaire. The narrator who calls himself Style, the author himself I assume, lays it on thick that this is the absolute truth: Mystery is the man. Style says he’s the man too, but Mystery’s a man’s man (man). They are both the man, and yet Mystery is trying to kill himself.

And meanwhile you wonder what killing yourself has to do with pickup.

Also, I’m left to empathize with the woman behind the desk who gives the, “Uh,-huh, suuuuuuure.” politeness. I roll my eyes with her.

I hope there is meaning to this chapter by the end of the book, and this isn’t just a hook. I enjoy meaning. If suicidal tendencies can be turned into a good meaning, I’m all for it. I’m just hoping that meaning isn’t going in the direction of, “See what happens when you fall for a girl? They ruin you and you want to commit suicide, so stay in the game and don’t fall for the stupid bitches.” I automatically plot out possibilities as I read books. Maybe it’s just my previous prejudices and preconceptions showing, but it’s possible at this point things may be headed in that direction.

Jiu-Jitsu = Live Action Katamari Damacy

In my last post I mentioned that I was taking Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. I also stated that I had an epiphany about Brazilian Jiu-jitsu and its striking similarity to something else that is wicked fun.

I realized that Jiu-jitsu is really, essentially, live action Katamari Damacy. Sure, just like anything else that is a live action version of something, it is not exactly the same.

We cannot be a katamari though we wish we were. Katamaris are too great, powerful, and magic. However, we aspire to be more like the katamari. Jiu-jitsu can help with this.

Let me help you understand the things that lie at the core of both Katamari Damacy and Jiu-Jitsu with four main points.

1. You roll.

If you roll with someone in jiu-jitsu, it means you’re sparring with them. It essentially ends up looking like a human katamari is coming at you. There is no kicking, no punching, no eye poking, just grabbing on and rolling the other person up. This is exactly how it works in Katamari Damacy as well. Sure, in Katamari Damacy you roll up other things, but other humans and other katamaris are part of that.

2. The goal is to not be rolled up, but rather to roll up.

In Jiu-jitsu, the goal is not to get passed, swept, or essentially, rolled up by your opponent while trying to do as much to them. If you end up in a position where they are still rolling around but you can’t move, this is bad. It doesn’t mean things are over- you can break free and try to roll the other guy up, but it means that you’ve already lost some points.

…just like in Katamari Damacy.

3. You’ll lose if things don’t stick to you.

When we watch a katamari, it so effortlessly picks up the things around it. It rolls, things stick to it, struggling and there to stay unless thrown off. If you roll a person up and they come off, it means you got to go roll them up again. This is true both in jiu-jitsu and Katamari Damacy.

The effort of rolling up is greater in jiu-jitsu. The best comparison to Katamari Damacy is two player competitive mode. An important difference is that size, speed, and skill in Katamari Damacy means the difference between rolling up and being rolled up. In jiu-jitsu, skill and endurance are even greater factors.

4. There is a time limit and a point system.

In Katamari Damacy, points and winning are based on how much you roll up before time runs out.

Jiu-jitsu is not so different, however points are based more on how well you roll the person up within a time limit. One of the biggest divides here is a question of quantity versus quality. A katamari can roll all willy nilly over the earth while in jiu-jitsu, form is very important. Being the dominant roller is key, as you get points for moving into these dominant positions.

Also different is that you can use submissions to make the other person quit (tap out) in jiu-jitsu. That is illegal in Katamari Damacy and might get you arrested. Sure, a controller cord choke is kind of like a gi choke, but it is not acceptable in the gaming community. In jiu-jitsu, not only is it accepted, it is expected.