Monday, April 27, 2015

Today's post comes with a side of DANGER!

One day, my wife is gonna get me killed, and not in a way that will allow her to collect on my life insurance policy, either.

Silverfox has a passion for "augmented reality" games. For the most part, these games consist of finding a particular set of geographic coordinates with a game program on your smartphone, and then in some way proving you were there. 

In Geocaching, you find a capsule/piece of tupperware/ammo can someone has hidden somewhere on planet earth with a piece of paper in it to sign. It involves using your smartphone or a GPS unit to track down the lattitude/longitude of the thing you're looking for while not falling off a cliff.
I say falling off a cliff, but here in Louisiana, you are far more likely to get bitten by a venomous snake or an alligator. The principle is the same, and while there are urban Geocaches, the fun ones are more remote and rural in nature.

With Ingress, you either capture the coordinates, or "portals" or hack them to get in game loot. everything in it is virtual, ad must be tethered to a real world object like a statue or monument. As a result, it is a more urban game, and can be challenging and frustrating as there are two factions trying to capture portals and claim territory. The factions are the resistance (blue) and the enlightened (green)
Kind of like a worldwide game of capture the flag, only with nerds with smartphones clustered around a statue of Rodrigue's "Blue dog" while muttering derogatory comments about frogs and smurfs at each other.
true story!
My wife started as a Geocacher, but moved up to Ingress a few months ago, bringing me with her under the "must always try something fun for us to do together" clause in our marriage vows. I've been playing this game, which I have found to be both fun and slightly addictive. It makes me a little paranoid, but I hear that's fairly normal. the game has a real cloak and dagger element to it, which I really grove on. I play probably once a day, when I can find the time.

Silverfox is WAY more into it than that. She will hop out of bed at two in the morning because the "damn smurfs have taken rivertown!". She teams up with other players of the game to perform huge city-wide ops against the opposing team. When I tell her that I have a book signing in a city we've never been to, she looks at a special map to see how many Ingress portals she can hack along the route. She takes the whole thing pretty seriously. I have my own quirky things that I take too seriously, so I don't judge.

Unfortunately, I must have missed where we got to the point where us being out on the roads during tornado/tropical storm conditions just so she can "hack portals" for game loot was a perfectly acceptable thing to do. We were driving uptown, lightning flashing above, tree limbs crashing down in our path due to the winds, floodwaters obscuring the roads, and the torrential downpour making visibility nealy zero, with my knuckles white against the steering wheel, and Silverfox is next to me happily playing the game. To make it clear, this is the same storm where this happened:

That video is of TRAINS BEING PUSHED OFF A TRELLIS DUE TO HIGH WINDS! And we were out in it playing Ingress.

My wife has nerves of steel. I will grant her that. I however have nerves of jello. All I'm thinking is, "Please don't let them have to put 'Died playing Ingress' on my tombstone." I mentioned this to Silverfox at the time, and she said "That would be AWESOME!" right before one of her in-game rivals made a comment on the in-game chat/comm about how he was hoping a house would drop on her so that he could steal her ruby slippers.

Yeah... my wife isn't the only one that takes this game a wee bit too seriously.

The flip side of doing such a dumb thing is that it makes for a GREAT story. Like Hemmingway said, "Whatever doesn't kill you makes you a better writer" My wife is apparently dedicated to making me an EXTRAORDINARY writer.

God, I love this woman.

1 comment:

James Coolman said...

Although I am a fairly regular Ingress player, I must pull back at times, lest I allow my OCD darkside to surface. Playing for the "green" faction, I have spent entire nights roving around my area, capturing all the local portals and making everything in a few miles green, just as the sun was coming up.
I jump into the shower and start getting ready for work, and notice all of my hard work dissolving before my eyes, as the "blue" faction takes over.
Perhaps it is arrogance, but I place a pretty high value on my time. To see my efforts kicked over like some sand-castle on the beach is just too frustrating to me. I cannot devote myself to this fight when my hard-fought gains can so easily erode into losses.
It does fire up the competitive streak, and for those with larger streaks, it can become a liability. I see Ingress as an addictive drug for the competitive-minded, and I try to avoid it from consuming my life while continuing to casually play.... Teasing the addiction.