The first decision you face in Ingress is the biggest in the game; which faction will you join?

If you’ve not researched the game first, you may view the decision as this “Do you want to help humanity improve, grow and evolve? Or do you suspect there’s something wrong with that plan and want to resist?” You’ll go green if you want to give humanity the choice and blue if you think it’s too dangerous given the unknowns around the Shapers and exotic matter.

What is Ingress?
Ingress is a free to play game on your smartphone that gets you out of the flat and walking about.

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If you’ve researched the game then you’ll know the only certain clear and present danger to the self-determination of humanity is Resistance leader ADA and her plan to turn mankind into hosts for AIs. If that’s the case you have a Matrix like choice; do you take the pill that reveals the truth – and join green – or do you embrace the machine protected world and join the blue? All this, I think, reflects on the type of people and the choices they make.

Edinburgh has plenty of Resistance agents. In fact, at the time of writing they out-number the Enlightened. I’m pleased to say that many of the Resistance players are straight up, honest, good sports of players too. They’re hard working and organised. So why do the Enlightened do well in Edinburgh? What is it about our players?

8091577282_5b0c994f6e_hFirst up, I think there is something in the names “Enlightened” and “Resistance”. I admit on the first blush “Resistance” sounds kinda cool – especially if you think you’re defending humanity (which is why some Resistance players have been swapping factions and joining the Enlightened in recent months). I think “Enlightened” has the long term promise though. It’s not a reaction, unlike Resistance, Enlightened is a positive perspective on life and that’s embraced in Edinburgh.

Lui’s investigation into Ingress demographics two years ago showed very little difference in the factions. The only statistical difference is that Resistance players are more likely to be Republican in the US whereas Enlightened players are more left-of-centre thus Democrat in the States. As a rule, Ingress is dominated by Liberals and it just so happens that if Donald Trump or George W. Bush were to play Ingress is that they’re statistically more likely to go blue and pick Resistance. Can you imagine the motivation to turn everything green if one of those two popped up in Edinburgh and tried to create blue fields?

As a result there are some generalisations we can make about Edinburgh and why the Enlightened here get on so well; working as a team, being social, enjoying the game without being jerks about it and doing well at the same time.

#1) Innovation

This city lives and breathes on innovation and imagination. The very concept of trying something new to make something better is completely at home here. We don’t resist new just because it’s new.

#2) Art

Edinburgh is a centre of arts and culture. We have musicians, artists, writers and creators of all sorts. It’s appropriate there are over 2,000 portals (from which inspiration generating exotic matter materialises from) here in the capital. I’m not surprised some of these great minds want to adopt the way of the Enlightened and find the “genetic purity” promises made by the Resistance’s allies horrifying.

#3) Fun… organised

Edinburgh’s Enlightened are organised without pressure. You can scale up or down your involvement without drama or hassle. This suits people with busy jobs and very little spare time. As a result busy people find it easier to enjoy playing for the Enlightened and stay active for longer.

#4) Social

Ingress is a wonderfully social game. You can play as a lone wolf but many enjoy the group play aspect and that sits well with the local Enlightened playing style. This isn’t a group that tolerates sexism, bullying, or inappropriate aggression.

#5) Early adopters

This is a game that almost uniquely blends history with technology. Edinburgh does very well here – the city is home to much in the way of beautiful architecture, historical sites and works of art and yet the city is modern with world leading engineering and computing companies and universities. This passion to learn and explore translates well to Ingress and in particular the Enlightened point of view.

#6) Teamwork

Put all of the above together and you’re all set for some great teamwork. As way of a final point I’d suggest that Edinburgh produces great Enlightened agents because we work hard at being a great team. Great teams encourage great teamwork.

If you’re tempted to join then you can download the Google Play app or the iOS app for free. You’re also very welcome to get in touch and we’ll say hello.

Photo credit: Jennifer Morrow in the Mirror Maze at the Camera Obscura.