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.