A new little hobby – Ingress
Everything in my head right now is either boring (dishes, laundry, oppressive pile of to-do) or something I already talked about (kids, summer, is it time for school yet?). On top of that I’ve just been out of the loop for ‘things’ because I’ve not been reading news or other blogs (or really doing much other than the aforementioned cleaning/parenting) so there isn’t much sparking conversation in my mind.
However – I did start playing Ingress.
There are plenty of tutorials about how to play, I know because I had to find them because just downloading the app is not all that explanatory. This is not a tutorial, this is a how-orial and why-orial. Here are some reflections on ‘why’ and ‘how’ this is a great game for anyone, especially a stay at home mom.
Statement; I’m doing so many things already it seems silly to add a game
Reply; This game actually fits in a normal active lifestyle because it is location based as long as you leave the house it is pretty easy to play. There are ‘portals’ all over the place and they are most often in places you probably go already. Library – yes, parks – yes, yes, yes (all of them), soccer field – yes, baseball field – yes, Post office – yes, church – yes. To get to level 100000 you need to do more than just play in your normal run around life but there is plenty of fun to be added to the mundane errands that it is worth it.
Statement; what else is there? turning it on during my errands is only so fun
Reply; Given that the original game (started a few years ago) put portals at every registered landmark and people have added to the list over the years, there are new fun things to discover if go you hunting for portals. We had a great time at Shoreview community, a place we have gone weekly for years, wandering around and discovering new spots. Within a very easy to walk radius we found 6 portals. Part of the point is to find new things and enjoy the walk between.
Statement; How can I use Ingress to make my life more fun?
Reply; Open the big map and look for portals, plan around them. Feel like a walk, find some near each other. Feel like a run, use mapmyrun to make a trail for you. Finding a portal in an area of your town you have never been, or, turning it on when you are at a new place and have some time to kill.
Statement; I’m too busy with my kids/I don’t like using my phone around them
Reply; really? My kids think it is awesome – they love to hold the phone and follow the direction (orienteering). They like to push the buttons (who doesn’t?). Good incentive to walk and read, and, something we can easily and enjoyably do together. Not to mention that half of these things are at parks and playgrounds. This also keeps me engaged with my kids as I too, try, to not play with my phone while they are playing.
Statement; sounds like geocaching and last time I did that I got ticks and mosquito bites
Reply; This is similar because it is walking around, but, instead of tracking down trails and poking under rotten logs to find a cache that is supposed to be hidden therefore hard to find – this is mostly in very public easy to get to locations and you just have to be in the area for it to work rather than looking for something the size of a tictac box. NOTE; I know there are geocaching in the civilized world, and, Ingress down wooded paths – but – it is usually the other way around. NOTE 2 – nothing wrong with hiking, just does mean more scheduled time and this is more doing during regular life.
Finally, this is a motivator to get out of the house. I want to go walk past a few of the closer ones daily and that means I find ways to get out and do it with the kids (or without). Its walking with a purpose and a general goal and that does make walking more fun for me. This works really well with my lifestyle since I do go out often, I like to walk, and I run fairly regularly and am always looking for new routes because the old ones get dull. Who knows if I’ll ever achieve ‘big things’ because winning for me is just doing it~ If you want an invite let me know or you can just download the app.
PS. The walk in the woods was SPESFICALLY motivated by Nerd the brains “go climb a tree” challenge and it is gravy that I got 3 portals while looking at trees.