Monday, February 25, 2013

Ingress? Ingress! Hit the Egress!

Mystery solved... My co-worker **REDACTED** managed to intercept one of the visitors who have been showing up at our workplace at odd hours and had this individual explain in detail what she was doing. It turns out I was wrong about these folks engaging in a "geocaching" or "waymarking". Our visitors are actually playing a massively multiplayer computer game that actually takes place in the real world, an "Augmented Reality" game (I tend to augment my reality with booze, myself) called Ingress. The game seems to be analogous to a "capture the flag", or maybe "king of the hill", game with two teams of players taking position of a particular area called a "portal" in the game. Well, one of these "portals" happens to be in our goddamn parking lot. Oddly, the game participants that my co-workers have met have seemed to assume that my co-workers were familiar with the game terminology, and confused the hell out of them with their talk of portals. Generally speaking, it's good to eschew jargon when talking to the mundanes, people.

At any rate, the participants don't seem to be aware that our parking lot is private property. Speaking for myself, I generally consider nightfall to be the time when I tell people they need to vamoose. The site is open to the public for a certain time of the year, for a certain number of hours a day. During the daylight hours, I usually approach people on the premises and give them a quick introduction to the site, and to our operations. At night, I'm usually less indulgent- people get a curt, but not rude, "Can I help you?" People who need assistance get it, others get the hint. Suffice it to say, people pulling into the lot late at night are not exactly greeted with open arms. It's usually a "get a hotel room" or "don't even think of trying to cop here". Last Saturday, at about quarter to midnight, when I arrived for the graveyard shift, there was an "Ingress" guy in the lot. Quarter to midnight? Beat it, man! Shouldn't you be out drinking, or meeting a nice girl? Wouldn't that be better than having a large, fierce looking man bark at you in a cold, dark parking lot on a Saturday night?

Here's a trailer for the game:

Here's an example of the gameplay:

This thing being a worldwide, massively multiplayer competitive game, I can envision this situation potentially turning into a weird nerd "turf war", with various team members lying in wait to retake the "portal" in our parking lot from their adversaries. Needless to say, I wrote the oddest memo of my entire worklife to the head of my department, complete with links to show him that I'm not delusional. I think the next step is to contact the moderators and request that they move the "portal" off our property. We have a really cool, really distinctive, destined-to-be-iconic landmark across the street from us, on public property. This landmark would be a perfect "portal", and there's plenty of street parking to boot. My co-worker already sent a complaint to the "Ingress" website, shouting to the ether that participants were on private property at odd hours. He's been the poor fellow who's had the most contact with the players.

I'm a fairly nerdy guy, as any regular reader could ascertain, but, like Dr Kenneth Noisewater, I find certain aspects of "Nerd Culture" to be exasperating- among them an occasional obtuseness towards societal norms which, among other things, can lead one to set foot on private property at a quarter to midnight. I don't need my reality augmented, I'm really just here trying to earn a modest paycheck. The last time my reality was augmented, things weren't pretty. Don't take it personally, Ingress players, like Rebecca Watson explaining to d00dz that they shouldn't make passes at women in enclosed spaces at 4AM, I'm trying to help you avoid getting arrested, or maced, or both.

When you play Ingress, don't transgress.


Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

I'm posting this in the comments, because I didn't want to step on the post's last sentence... I think the best way to get the players of the game to stop coming around would be to ask them if they are on Team Edward or Team Jacob. If, all of a sudden, the players became conflated with Twilight fandom, the entire game would come crashing down due to the resultant nerdrage.

Laura said...

Well... it sounds like fun but you're right, they need to find a new "portal". I hope that they take your co-workers email seriously. Sometimes people like that are arrogant enough to think that they have some kind of "right" to be there. (at least, that's how they seem in the movies. And I hate to be a spoil sport but, usually, one by one, the game players end up dead).
I'm just sayin.

I wish that I could find some losers around here that would play games like that with me. :(


Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

Sometimes people like that are arrogant enough to think that they have some kind of "right" to be there.

One guy pulled a slight attitude with my co-worker, but my co-worker has basically no "filter", so he told this guy off in such a way the guy had no response. Me? I think I'd just give him the "Just give me an excuse to pulp you" look that I perfected when I decided to play the role of the Big Bad Bald Bastard.

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

I wish that I could find some losers around here that would play games like that with me. :(

Nah, this game would probably be too much like work, driving around town running errands at weird hours.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Well, one of these "portals" happens to be in our goddamn parking lot.


Welcome to the real world, B^4.

Smut Clyde said...

At least they're not wearing fursuits.

Sirius Lunacy said...

We have a portal on our property as well. It's a bit on the smallish size as portals go - more of a portalet.

Smut Clyde said...

Hitting the egress is not recommended if the situation includes a large, jealous egre.

Anonymous said...

tag spot for a 'church' (it's actually a guided meditation place) in the same office complex the security firm I worked for a few years ago was based in. I only ever saw one group of people come in after dark, and I did the same thing you did. Asked them if they were lost (It's not unusual to see people lost and standing in the middle of a parkinglot glaring at their phones in that area) and when they explained what they were doing (Also using game specific terms that made them look like nuts) I told them to gtfo. Regardless of what you're doing, Parking lots still belong to the building and its owners/tenants. There's no reason to be in a parking lot of a property if you're not frequenting the property's businesses, particularly after dark.

Even as a player of this game, I'm not stupid nor desparate enough to go tresspassing in the middle of the night for some stupid points in a game that I'll likely lose intrest in in a few months, if that long.

These guys sound like class A jerks.

Anonymous said...

Hi guys i dont get you in this case, i think you should setup a coffey stand or water table think of oall the good it does for poeple to come outside move around and if they have fun at the same time, bless them.

They are all people like you and me, and more "normal" lawful people running around at night will prevent allot of crime and make night more safe for all.

Also whats better , them running around getting some excersise even if its on "your" parking lot or just sitting at home infront of a computer getting fat sick and costing you even more in taxes.

Cheers guys.

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

These guys sound like class A jerks.

I wouldn't say that, they weren't bad people, and the moderators relocated the site.

Hi guys i dont get you in this case, i think you should setup a coffey stand or water table think of oall the good it does for poeple to come outside move around and if they have fun at the same time, bless them.

That would probably have been a good way to get fired. Having people on-site after dark could lead to liability problems if someone got hurt or vandalized the property. We straightened things out with the game moderators so the players had fun and we had peace.

Reverend Lauren said...

I do find some of this debate puzzling. Let me clarify that I just began playing this "game" and find it rather fascinating, though I'm an AARP card carrying semi-senior. It's a great excuse for all the players to get out and walk around the world instead of staying hunched over control pads and keyboards in a darkened room. It's fun, people, and there's really no need to denigrate those who are have gotten involved in it. I see people with hobbies or interests I may find a bit silly or pointless, but I don't think it's my place to declare them jerks or losers (unless such activities hurt someone).

That being said, though I quite understand the concept of private property, am well aware that trespassing on said private property is a crime, and feel that people should avoid doing so, I wonder why a parking lot should inspire such defensive possessiveness.

Is it wearing out the asphalt? Are people getting out and walking on nearby grass? Tossing trash out of their vehicles? Committing vandalism? Since it is nighttime, no employee or client parking spaces are being wrongfully occupied. Visits from players generally last a minute or two at most.

So I guess the bottom line for me is one question: What harm are they actually doing? Or is it just our inherent human territoriality at 'play?'