There are a lot of traditional gamers that play Ingress; I mean the nerd community that I’m a part of. 30 – 50. Had PC’s and Mac’s for 10-20 years. Always playing games.
Then there are the nontraditional gamers. They got a phone, and got hooked into the game. Prior to that, they played solitaire, or acted more like normal people. Nerds…. are not normal 🙂 .
MMO’s have a concept called “griefing” (a good definition here). There are certain nasty antisocial people who find pleasure in making other people miserable. These people engage in griefing, to ruin other people’s games, and to take pleasure in their misfortune. Nerds know about this, but normal people, not so much.
So. How does this relate to Ingress ? Griefing can take on a very personal and vicious form in this game. Harassment and disagreements culminating in police encounters are the obvious ones. I heard rumors that this week, Pomona had the police called over some bad behavior between players. I got a death threat, which dried up the next day due to Niantic. Following other players – literally, driving behind them if you’ve “made” them – is certainly a scary and uncool tactic. I’ve read stories about an Enlightened player in the Midwest being stalked by multiple Resistance agents who were that determined that their town stay blue. Talk about potential for problems.
At least, all of the above is pretty obviously things we should not do to one another. Clearly, we need to be sure that we’re not griefing the other players at any point. And then there’s the Guardian badge, granted after owning a portal for a consecutive set of days.
Is there a reason to deny another player – an enemy player – a guardian badge ? Maybe a tiny bit. If they need the guardian badge to level up, a lower level player is always better on the enemy team. This is a really marginal thing however. I think denying someone a guardian is griefing. You’re not really helping your team, it’s just a personal thing between you and the other guy (or gal).
Now for clarity – this is not about playing the game. If my guardian portal is a way for an Enlightened player to make a triangle; or has links that block them from making one; or is in an area where the Enlightened are trying to conquer all the portals; this is all fair game.
I’m talking more about the rumors I’ve heard of software tools to determine what a person’s guardian portal is. Then you head off, kill it, and cackle madly. You just griefed that other guy.
Or – probably worse – you track the portals a player has. The intel map can help you find every portal that a particular player owns, if you’re willing to go through the whole map for an area. Once you find them, you make a list. And you start taking all of those portals, and simultaneously watching their statistics to see if the guardian badge is ticking up. Eventually, if you kill all the other guy’s portals, that badge will stop ticking up. And you cackle madly, because you’re getting pretty unbalanced my friend, if your idea of fun is to do something like this.
Mostly I’m writing this to express my opinion about this and hopefully educate the community about why I’m saying it. I see a lot of casual talk about killing the other guys guardian. I even like the idea, that as I play the game normally, I may just kill someone’s guardian. That’s all fair game, but griefing is not.
Follow the other guy’s portal attacks and take them back. Don’t follow his car. Don’t block people from moving. Don’t make threats. Be nice – we’re all supposed to be having fun. Say Hi and shake people’s hands, especially if they “made” you. Niantic managed to hit on a really awesome formula that aids us to not be griefers. I think they were just lucky, but it doesn’t matter.
There are only two teams. They’re pretty balanced IMO. It’s a 50/50 split. Players capture portals, which they “own”, but really they belong to the team. Other players upgrade your portal, making it partly “theirs”. Enemy players take away your portals. Or just blow resonators and mods off of them. This is not really a PvP game in Meatspace, which would definitely make things nastier; this is a PVE game between two teams. It’s well set up to encourage good behavior. We just have to remember that.
Thoughts ? Let’s hear it. Give me a comment.