Thursday, July 17

The game as tourist guidebook

Chris Suellentrop's review of Ingress for the New York Times had me nodding:
Video games are a spatial medium, filled with words like “map” and “world” and “travel,” but in the physical realm, most games are played indoors by stationary players who sit in basements and living rooms in front of TV screens and computer monitors. 
Instead, my favorite way to use Ingress is as tourist guidebook. Beyond that vampire grave in Rhode Island, Ingress also led me to a home on the Upper West Side where Babe Ruth once lived and to the site of Thomas Paine’s death in Greenwich Village...Even so, I discovered plenty of plaques and markers that I didn’t know existed.
Because this is also my favorite way of using Ingress. Yes, part of the motivation of visiting as many portals as possible to score the Explorer badges. But I take the exploring seriously (but in a fun, geeky way). 

My favorite, mostly accidental finds include the house where the body of Jose Rizal was hidden after his execution, the birthplace marker for a top Filipino poet I stumbled upon as I shuffled from one campus to another, and this fantastic graffiti in a parking lot. 

I'm sure there will be more to discover. As soon as I get off my lazy ass and start walking around again. 

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