Thursday, 14 May 2015

Build Your Own Dystopian Future - Today!

No, don't worry, I'm not going to talk about politics.* I'm going to talk about gaming!

I'm a casual gamer. I have an obsessive love for the Legacy of Kain games (ask me how I feel about Rahab! Please!) and Guild Wars 2 (probably don't ask me how I feel about GW2 because there are only so many hours in the day), but Ye Olde Arm Problem** keeps me from gaming very much these days. This makes me sad, but I have found a solution! Ingress.

Ingress is basically virtual Capture the Flag - you play on your smart phone, you wander the wilderness (or the city, whatever), hacking virtual portals, capturing them, and looting them for virtual goodies, and then getting unreasonably angry when someone on the other team does it to you. It's stupidly addictive, easy to get to grips with, and has the added bonus of making you walk places. For someone who's idea of exercise is "walking to the kettle and back," this is pretty good for me. Plus you end up finding things in your city you never knew existed, because someone has made them into a portal and you need to go hack the shit out of that.

But the BEST PART is that you can pretend you live in a high-tech dystopian future as you walk around your village hacking pubs/portals and collecting virtual loot. Honestly. If you can play Ingress without pretending to be a secret spy who's part of an underground movement that opposes the evil, shadowy Tory government that wants to access all your communications*** then you are a better person than I am. Because I basically spend my bus rides to work at the moment pretending I live in a futuristic anime. (Kyle always wears a black hoodie with the hood up when he's playing. It helps him get into character.)

So while I wait for my physiotherapist to decide if I have neuropathic damage or am just a massive drama queen, I'm staying away from computer gaming (and saving my arms for writing) and Ingressing instead. If you're a walker anyway, or you like roleplaying or screwing over strangers by destroying their carefully maintained portals, this is something you would probably like. You may also find yourself engaged in deep philosophical discussions about transhumanism, in which case I also recommend you check out the Mysterious Universe podcast.

Also you should join the Enlightened team. Trust me.

*Although seriously, we need to talk about politics.

**My current physiotherapist is telling me to do all the things my last physiotherapist told me to avoid, so...That's happening.

***Oops, I politcked.

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