It’s time to make a decision. Will you join the resistance, and become part of the fight to preserve free will and independent thought? Or will you become a member of the enlightenment, and embrace the mysterious energy that threatens to control your mind in the hopes that it will grant you some of its power?
The choice is up to you in Google’s freshly launched worldwide augmented reality game, Ingress. The multiplayer, which is the work of in-house startup Niantic Labs, lets you take part in a global search for sources of an unknown energy located all over the world. You can collaborate with other players, stake your territorial claim and pick up tech to help you along your way, using the Android app to show hidden information layered over real life locations.
The aim is to track sources of a strange energy discovered by a team of European scientists, which is influencing human thought. The energy sources are located at a number of key sculptures and structures in cities around the globe, and the app encourages active exploration and collaboration between players located in the same towns and continents in order to succeed.
The paranoia-inducing storyline is complemented by pages on various social media platforms and a ‘Niantic Project’ website and YouTube channel which collect ‘leaked’ information and clues and serve them to the public with a helping of suspenseful music and conspiracy theories.
The location-based game is Niantic Labs’ second publicly released project, after geo-discovery app FieldTrip, which points out interesting background information about your current location. The aim of Niantic is to reportedly explore the boundaries of augmented reality and lay the foundations for the further development of Google’s Project Glass.
In an interview with All Things D, Niantic Labs’ John Hanke hinted that the game will benefit Google’s focus on advertising, as it includes real world locations, allowing businesses to have their stores or products featured.
Ingress is available for download on Google Play, but it’s in closed beta at the moment, so you’ll have to request at invite on its official website in order to obtain an activation code.