Sunday, March 6, 2016

Ingress: Why I Don't Play to Win

If you haven't heard, I recommend you take a look at my other Ingress posts to get a feeling of what the game is about.

Except there's the thing. Games have endings. This... thing doesn't. At least it hasn't shown any indication of ever ending. It doesn't even seem to have much of a story-line, and what there is is limited access to those who have a car and a flexible schedule to get time off work (or any other life responsibilities) to walk around a city.

More or less, it's a game about grinding. Sure, if you've got a team of people to play with, you can grind faster and more efficiently, but even if you play alone, you can still grind your way to the top. Except the top isn't where it was when I first started playing. It moved higher.

So yeah, I could play to win, get competitive about the whole thing, drive around in my car burning gas like there's no tomorrow... except do that enough times and there won't be a tomorrow, because my tank will be empty, my car payment will come due, and my job will turn me away for too many missed days.

Ingress is a game that can ruin your life if you try to play competitively. So I don't. If someone flips my portal five minutes after I've claimed it, no, I'm not going to circle back and snipe it out from under them, or camp there overnight by the curbside and watch to make sure nobody steals it back.

If someone flips my portal seconds after I've flipped it, I don't care. I got the experience from flipping it once in the first place, and if they're lucky, there's someone behind them just like they're behind me, two or thirty minutes down the road.

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