I have, for years, followed my generation’s stance on digital identity. Namely – Never use your real name on the internet. I think I’ve done a decent job of keeping it squirreled away, and having an anonymous identity as well as disconnected “real” identities, but I don’t think I’d withstand a serious doxxing attack.
Then I heard about this game Ingress. You’re a SECRET AGENT. So obviously, the thing to do when signing up is use your anonymous profile, right ?
It’s less obvious than it seemed when I started. I *could* have declined all contact, but you miss a lot of the game that way. Instead, I started meeting people, accepting help, giving out weapons etc, organized a Big @SS field, and now here I am.
At this point I’ve met dozens of agents who all know my face, many of whom know my car, and a couple I’d even consider friends. I’ve only revealed my name to a couple of them, just at first. I eventually realized that I had to just go with it, and now everyone who meets me only meets “Doc”. The guys who know my real name have probably forgotten it – it’s already hard to remember tying the agent names, to the real names you see on the hangouts. And yet, tomorrow I’m having lunch with a bunch of the “Burbank Crew”.
I don’t play at night, because family – except, there are lots of husband and wife teams, and I know my wife would love to wander downtown Newhall, socialize and eat dinner, and who knows what other ladies could talk her into. She loves games after all, just never digital games. Certain aspects of Ingress sure remind me of “The Amazing Race” games that we’ve participated in.
I’m wondering where all this is headed – complete loss of anonymity ? I have all these agents wandering around *my workspace*, and we meet up, and it’s all fun. And all my coworkers see me at lunch and say Hi. That’s clearly an anonymity problem.
At one time Niantic had thought that players should never meet, due to the potential for angry encounters. That seems to have changed as everyone forms teams and carries out operations, attends the “First Saturday”, along with the massive Anomaly events that some agents attend.
It would not be fun to have my anonymous identity outed after over 15 years of keeping it secret, but I’m getting worried about the whole thing.