Tomorrow is my two-year anniversary in Ingress.

I have changed immensely in the past two years.    See that blog title ?    Today, Gaming Is Life is even more correct.    Ingress and Life are interconnected tightly.   To illustrate, here’s the typical workday for me.

530 am.   Get up, check the Intel Map, scanner, and communications.    7 am, leave the house, drop off my daughter.    730 am, hit nearby portals and dump all XM into charging.    Drive to work.   Charge and hack when I can.   8 am, set up Burbank depending on what the enemy did.   Charge keys.    Start hacking to distraction – all items collected can be turned into XM, for charging.

During the workday – take breaks.    Watch what’s happening while spreadsheets are constructed, systems inspected, emails dictated, and employees instructed.   Take a walk when you can and build.   React to communications.   Oh, and charge keys.

430 pm.    Time to go home soon, make a plan.   Hit a minimum of 1 portal and make some fields or throw some blocks.    Charge keys.    Ask your wife what you’re supposed to be doing.    Take your kids to it (usually), or just go and do whatever it is.   And naturally, figure out if portals are nearby.   Hack them and build fields.

At all times, keep your XM bar “not full”, so that you can charge keys.    Drive for a while, and whenever you stop, dump that XM into a decaying portal.    Burn gear as you go, you certainly don’t need most of it, and leave about 1900 items in inventory so you can hack.    And because, you need to charge.

8 PM.    You’re in for the night now and usually “off duty”.   Homework is done, bills are paid, kids are fed.    Charge some keys and fall asleep, ready for 5 am tomorrow.

Weekends, special days, non work days – these all include Ingress integration.   The car broke down on Sunday in Belmont, CA – I walked the streets on Monday while they fixed it and blued up the area while collecting uniques.   So many of my uniques have come from situations like that.

Today, I find myself uninterested in big fields.    They’re just too much work to organize !    And the payoff is uncertain.    Instead I help others make their BA fields, stay in touch with the Resistance “Leaders” and help with the grand game as appropriate, but mostly keep the ground game going where-ever it is I happen to be.

I have seen a lot of changes in personnel as I’ve gone through the past two years.   Friendships have been made – to the extent you can via chat systems – with a staggering number of people.    I’ve been sad to see people go, sometimes due to leaving the game, and sometimes due to moving.     The cycle of dominance in any area moves around depending on how much time each side is putting into the game.

I am also surprised to see regular opponents disappear and reappear.    As I’m writing this a greenie I thought had quit forever took out a nearby portal.    The enemy has the same attrition problem, and familiar opponents have disappeared, new ones have come and gone, but my two main antagonists – one in Burbank and a couple from Santa Clarita – still are fighting against me, two years later.

One thing that keeps me going is badges.    I need about 600 more fields to get platinum Mind Controller; and all the other ones keep ticking away.    Fields are the easiest for me to make, working in a portal-dense area like I do, as I keep working towards double Trekker badge and a triple Translator badge.    Oh – and just like everyone else – my (?Deca ?   Ten times) Recharger badge.    Hang on, found some more portals that need charging.

Ingress 2.0 is rumored, and that’s about it.   I’ll believe it when I see it – we’ve waited about a year I believe for portal submissions to come back; in the meantime I’ve given up, the portals are the portals and their relationship to the real world is not that important to me anymore.    So Niantic doesn’t know how to move things forward in a useful period of time.    Pokemon was uninstalled months ago and won’t be coming back to my phone.    So for mobile gaming it’s Ingress, now and likely into year three.

Operation Portal Recon will someday provide a way to help with new submissions.   In the meantime, most portal removal requests and edits get rejected.    I did get a single removal request through – after, I dunno, 10 months of waiting – but the dozens of other edits suggested have all been ignored.    And guess when OPR is going live ?   Yeah, I don’t know either, but my guess is September 2017.

I look forward to working with my team for the next year.   Hopefully we can make LA County very blue; or just as important, Burbank totally blue, or finally have the Resistance take Valencia.    Eat, drink, be merry and hack together during the events that we all try to attend together.

Oh, be right back, time to recharge another portal.