Modding the Ingress Community

I have been playing Ingress hard and gathering lots of notes about how the Atlanta and Birmingham communities organize and communicate. This project began as a single paper, but has evolved into a book project.

Here is an excerpt from the coming project page:
Niantic’s augmented reality game, Ingress, has brought the PC/console game back to the streets. Agents can work alone, but they go farther faster when working together. Group competition events, like anomalies, have driven that point home, and Ingress agents have found meaningful ways to communicate, strategize, and power level newer agents. Without the community, or faction, you don’t get very far in Ingress.

I’m going to explore how Ingress agents build and maintain community; which platforms they use, game strategies, how they deal with non-cooperative/rogue agents, and general communicative strategies.

The project will be conducted through video interviews and game play in 6 cities: Atlanta, Georgia, Arlington, Virginia, New Orleans, Louisiana, Seattle, Washington, San Francisco, California, and Birmingham, Alabama. The interviews will be compiled into a DVD, and the research into a book entitled: Modding the Community: space, agency and gameplay in Niantic’s Ingress (working title).

As a researcher of community and communication, and as a gamer, I am excited and intrigued by the Ingress community. Together, we can unpack the way this community communicates and supports each other and new agents for the betterment of their faction. From this research, there may be real world implications for the way we communicate and approach other social problems.

Back on the blogwagon!

Long time no speak! Research is in full swing again. This time a return to an old topic – games. There is a (new to me) game going on here in the lovely ‘Ham called Ingress. And it is highly addictive. I attended the anomaly this weekend and watched how players interacted with the space. Before anomaly I watched a video suggesting that spaces are influenced by players and the players by the spaces. The idea excited me, but after watching the game play, I am skeptical. The spaces really never changed. The were inhabited momentarily – sometimes by many – but not really changed, nor really even influenced. But this was just one event. The idea that spaces can contain memories intrigues me. Especially when you consider spaces where traumatic events have happened, where memorials are later set up – or where they are not. How do events change a space. But then I started thinking about spaces where players come back and back. How are those changed, versus the spaces where one event happens? There is more there to explore. And I will. But in the meantime, I need to go blow up all the green things. I have to level up 😉

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