Doing things differently since the Carter Administration
Although I’ve spent a little time in traditional MMORPGs such as World of Warcraft (I think I got to level three by hunting those weird cats), I have never really lived in these worlds. Some may argue that games such as GTA Online have aspects of the multiplayer genre, but I don’t think, because of the very fact the world is limited to 30 people (if the servers can handle it, that is), that it’s a true MMORPG.
But I look damn good, though.
Here I am, when I was Sedated Koala / Black Widow of the SOA-London Reapers.
So, when an augmented reality MMORPG was set in my lap, I was initially hesitant but interested. I was so used to limited spaces such as GTA Online; there’s limited interaction, and virtually no sharing of goods beyond heist earnings. Besides, I spent much of my time in Survival. Don’t mess with the Koala. I’m pretty sure that’s how earned all 8 million of my dirty coin…
This game is unreal and you must play it for yourself to “get” it. The basic premise is area management of portals, owned by two different factions: Enlightened or Resistance. The twist is that this game layers over Google maps, so that your real-time gaming experience coincides with your GPS. Each faction works together to control portals, which create fields of energy that glow either green or blue, depending on which team created the portal link.
When you first start the game, it’s best to try out the tutorial. We got the point and started on our journey, testing out this interesting game.
The spatial aspect to this game is really interesting. In order to interact with a portal, you have to be near it. If someone attacks your portal and you aren’t nearby, the game allows you to remote-in to counter the opposing faction’s attack.
What was also fun was knowing that there were others out there playing the game, and I didn’t know which side they were on. Anytime we saw someone walking, focused intently on their cell phone near a portal, we grew suspicious. Were they texting?? Were they part of the Enlightened? Or were they my enemy, the Resistance? This layer of not knowing who you are playing with/against creates an interesting dynamic full of tension, making me hyper-aware of my surroundings when nearing a portal. The unfortunate part about this game is that I live in a high crime area, and looking down at my cell phone (or having it out altogether) for long periods of time is never a good idea, especially when there is a string of robberies specifically related to someone riding by and grabbing your phone right out of your hand… What’s also interesting is how I had to kind of act like a spy, because I felt as if other people around me, the ones who weren’t playing (or were they?) would see me acting strangely for some reason and not realize why.
I also found it interesting that someone I sort of know is one of the first acolyte messages I received, which provides some narrative to the game re: the background of Enlightened vs. Resistance.
This game is fun, and also tracks your distance walked. The physical requirement of the game– having to actually go out and walk to portals– creates this desire to keep playing, simply because it’s not the type of game you can play while you are sitting in your living room. I would love to play this game more, as it provides a different gaming experience. I’m sure I’ll meet new people– strangers on the street– who are playing this game. Hopefully they’re Enlightened because, if not, IT’S ON.