Anyone who isn’t interested in reading a very long post about Ingress and some sociopathic behaviour should back out now. I’m serious, it’s almost 3000 words of nerdiness.
I don’t think it’s a secret that I like(d) playing an augmented reality game called Ingress.
It started when I was pretty deep in depression, and we weren’t working much, so I had lots of time. I kept seeing things about it on G+ and finally looked it up and downloaded it. Then I saw this image.
Anyone who knows me will know which way I chose.
At first it was a bit freaky because I wasn’t sure how the whole going outside to play a video game would work, but after a couple of training exercises and a comment in comms that I was going to try playing the game, I went out to hack my first portal. While I was getting attacked by the portal and driving away as fast as I could, I got a response from Agent SANT0RI, who wondered if I was available for some basic training. After a few minutes of me looking for a car charger, a pickup pulled in beside me with a guy staring at me. I asked him if he was SANT0RI. He was.
He told me to lock up my shitty little vehicle, because we were going for a ride and I was issued some badges and a flashing LED Resistance pin. There was training, but it was far from basic. While we were driving through town, hacking and smashing every portal that could be reached from a vehicle, he asked me what I did for work. I told him that I drove a dump truck, and he asked me if I ever dumped at a certain landfill. I told him that I did, but mostly in the winter when we hauled cuttings from the rigs. He then told me that he used to work there and that he had submitted a portal so he could hack right from the lunch room.
Cool, right? Who wouldn’t want to play the game while you worked? I didn’t really think much of it, and filed it under shit that doesn’t seem that necessary to my learning how to play Ingress. We drove all over town, up on boulevards, down the “emergency vehicles only” walkway at the hospital, and left a stream of blue in our wake. I asked who this NorthernGuard was that was smashing some of the portals that I had just taken, and SANT0RI told me that he was a traitor and a cheater that had left the blue side and went to the enlightened. He then proceeded to badmouth all of the local green team, with the exception of Ghosthands, who he said was pretty cool.
He dropped me back off, and I went out hacking on my own for a while, before going home to bed. I then met NorthernGuard while I was walking around the museum grounds glyphing and smashing what I could. He seemed pretty cool, but I knew better than to trust him. You know, because he’s a sneaky snake and all that.
The next day I got a message from him asking if I was available to come over for a BBQ and meet the team. I said I was, and went over for a burger and to get acquainted with my new brothers in arms. Everyone seemed pretty cool, even though a little ramped up on the blue Kool-Aid, so after eating and shooting the shit for a bit, we went for a tour in this.
He turned on the truck’s wifi and talked about going to Portland for an anomaly(Ingress event) while five of us hacked and smashed and basically reblued the town. I guess there was six, because one guy was hacking with two phones, but what do I care if someone wants to play their kid’s account for them? I’m not the morality police, as most of you already know. I was also regaled with how big of a bunch of losers the greens were, and when I mentioned meeting NG, and telling them that he seemed like a pretty good guy, I was told that he is always nice to your face, but as soon as you turn your back he would be right there with the knife.
SANT0RI then told me that it was okay if I talked to the green team, but he didn’t want me hanging out and being best friends with them or anything.
A grown man actually said that to another grown man. Like that’s going to make me not hang out with someone.
The next night I hit up Charlie Lake and turned everything blue, while I was having dinner, I got an invite in comms from NG and a couple of the other greens to go for a beer, and you know how I feel about going for a beer.
You will probably find this hard to believe, but they were pretty cool. They were just happy to have a blue player in town that didn’t treat them like a handful of used condoms. We arranged for a cross faction mission night, where we were all going to hike the community forest and get the badge.
I couldn’t wait. I was excited for my first mission badge.
There was a G+ community made, and other Resistance players were invited, but I was the only one who showed. We hit the trails and did our mission, but before we were halfway done I was getting messages from SANT0RI and his wife about how it might be considered as cheating, because we were knowingly trading wins.
We weren’t. It was an advertised, organized cross faction event, meant to get the teams together and show that everyone was human and deserving of respect.
I also got this in the message.
With a note saying that this was what he thinks of cross faction.
It all went downhill from there. I was branded a traitor to any who would listen, and called some pretty ridiculous names in the comms and faction hangouts. Probably my favourite was, and still is, peewee hearman. Seriously. He called me that a lot. I then packed up my gear and went back to Ontario to get the family loaded up and headed west. NeoXNemesis (the X is silent), and I did a good deal of hacking and fielding the whole way out, so that she could arrive at her new home as a level 8 and be able to contribute to making our new town a glorious shade of blue with the help of the 3-6 other players here.
Sometime around mid July, we were entertaining friends from the east, and I had to go out and do some Ingress related errands. She was supposed to come as well, as she had the ADAs and we needed her 8s on the portals to have a truly great farm. She decided that it wasn’t right to leave our guests and said that she would drop the ADAs and then come over after and put the 8s on, but I said I would just take her phone and drop them from it.
Totally cheating, but I didn’t really think of it as a problem. I figured that she was going to do it anyhow, so I would save her the trouble. Stupid of me, yes, but there it is. One of my teammates apparently took a photo of it and posted it on a hangout that I wasn’t a part of. I had left the hangout as soon as the harassment started against me. I’m not sure who took the photo, and frankly I don’t care. The fact is that I shouldn’t have cheated, and I wouldn’t have had anything to worry about.
This brings me to the day that I was taking a load of contaminated soil to the landfill, and as I am hitting the Beatton Airstrip portal my scanner picks up a portal I had never seen before.
That’s strange, but I was working so I didn’t bother to check the intel map. I just threw my phone on the passenger seat and started up the 73 Rd. Imagine my surprise when I was waiting in line and I hear my scanner go off about my XM being at 55%. I had forgot to shut Ingress off when I left the rest stop. When I looked at the screen, there was a grey portal right in the disposal site. The strange thing is that this portal physically wasn’t there when I went over to the TRD side an started poking around. I knew it wasn’t, because there isn’t a blade of grass or tree within a hundred metres of the office. It’s a restricted access site that handles contaminated waste and oilfield fluids. The average pedestrian isn’t allowed inside, and there have been some pretty serious incidences over the years. Sounds like a great spot for a portal.
Here is a photo from outside of the gate.
Photo, minus the text and arrow, are from http://www.alaskahighwaynews.ca/regional-news/local-news/touring-the-dump-1.1142125
Now I don’t know about you, but to me, this is cheating. I don’t know if he just took a picture of the actual statue to the site and then took a photo of it, or how that worked, but I know, and he knows that it sure wasn’t taken there. Even if there was an actual statue at the site, you still can’t put a portal where it could endanger people.
Now earlier in the summer there was a petition going around to get SANT0RI banned from Ingress for spoofing, bullying, and multi-accounting. It was signed by mostly green, but there were probably half a dozen resistance players on it. I responded that although I was confident that he was doing all of those things, I hadn’t personally seen proof of it, therefore I couldn’t sign the petition.
I wish that the petition had come out a month later, because I witnessed the True Blue SANT0RI full on after that. I didn’t really pay attention to it until a few days after I noticed his portal had gone live. I was on faction comms when he was welcoming a new blue player and told them that NG was a known cheater and had a blue account to spy on our comms. I don’t believe that is true, but it might have been. Either way, I was already fuming about his fake portal, so I called him out in the faction comms and told him to quit accusing others of cheating, and I mentioned to him about glass houses and stones.
He wouldn’t quit, so I wrote a big letter to Niantic, documenting the proof of his cheating, and of the dangerous portal. I also included proof of his cruel and illiterate barrages of insults to myself and a few of the Enlightened team, and offered to testify to his dangerous driving habits that I and others had witnessed firsthand, because really, you want to be thorough.
A few days later, I got a reply from Niantic stating that they took the portal down and thanked me for reporting it. It was from a “do not reply” address, and that was that.
I had heard quite a bit about how Niantic does absolutely nothing about reports of cheating, but I figured that it would be different now, because I had proof. That was silly of me, and now I’m quite skeptical of their ethics as a company. I have already told them that I won’t be purchasing any more Chaotic Matter, until there starts to be some changes, either to their Terms Of Service, or to their enforcement of the current TOS. If you aren’t going to punish people who breach the TOS, then make them a lot more lax, so that there is a level playing field for everybody. If nothing is cheating, then everyone can spoof and multi-account, therefore making the game even.
This post is as much about how poorly they enforce things as it is about the people they should be enforcing. I should have been banned from playing, just for openly accusing SANT0RI of cheating and calling him and his friend illiterate in comms. That’s just going on the assumption that nobody has reported me for cheating, with my confession. I figure that if they accept the homophobic slurs like, “the sales of vasoline goes up this time of year, they are considerate of each other.” when referring to my friendship with the enlightened players, my paltry, and true, accusations probably don’t even register.
I say that now, but they probably will boot me from the game now that I have openly admitted everything, and leave him alone for the abuse that I have instilled upon him. If that happens, I guess I will focus my gaming attention on Resources. It’s pretty cool, and it has a lot less drama. If we both got booted, I would be satisfied with their choice, as long as the list of alts got banned as well. You probably think that I’m talking about a couple of accounts, but I’m not. It’s enough that last weekend I was broken down across the road from a remote portal when a level 5 blue portal went to a level 8, then was Jarvised to a level 8 green portal. One pickup truck did all of that in less than 30 minutes. The seven tiny people then went to our town and Jarvised almost all of the blue portals, smashed them, levelled a few to 8 and put frackers on them, then Jarvised them again and left the town grey.
On a good day, SANT0RI couldn’t get seven other Resistance together in his city, let alone a portal that’s half an hour from town, and then he just happens to be hanging out with JimmSlimm and the rowdy crew that shows up every once in a while, at any given location, and destroys a solitary portal.
One day Chikens, a green alt, drove to the 73 Rd, right past several other portals and smashed a portal that had a bothersome link. I assumed it was just some spoofer, so I got on open comms and called out the green spoofer. The only reply I got was from SANT0RI about how I now had the enlightened paranoia. I don’t know why he would have even responded with anything but how the frogs are just a bunch of cheaters. I didn’t even have a clue it was his alt until I saw the name on the petition.
I digress. I will make a category on here with all of the posts about SANT0RI that I am sure to have. I do not respond to him in comms anymore, so I will be defending myself here. I will respond to everything he says to/about me or anyone else that I see fit, and I will share this post in comms every time that he tells a new or used player about how I’m a turncoat or any other bullshit that he decides to spew. Through the advice of a very smart person, I won’t engage firsthand with somebody that is obviously unstable and puts so much importance on a game.
I want to. I want to get mean and cruel; to personally attack in retaliation, but what good would that do. It would only make someone who is bitter about something, be even more bitter and volatile. I have thought about trying to mend fences, but I can’t do that with somebody that only knows how to spit venom. I probably shouldn’t have engaged when I did, but one of my faults is telling it like I see it, so here we are. It’s not like it’s only me that he has a hate on for, but it seems that I’m the target now, so I guess I will try to deal with it in a manner that I think will make it easier for myself and others to chat in open comms without having to endure abuse from another player.
I tried calling him out in comms, but that violates the TOS and makes other players uncomfortable. I have ranted about him in crossfaction hangouts, but that’s not really fair when he isn’t there to defend himself, so I will do it here, where I have the freedom to say what I want, and he can leave a comment if he wants to rebut. I will also be posting every time I see an accusation or slanderous comment to anyone in comms.
I was going to quit this game two weeks ago, because all of the enjoyment had been sucked out of it for me, then I was sad about not playing anymore, so I contemplated switching to the slimy frog pond. I just couldn’t bring myself to do it, even though I like that team better than my own. In the end, I figured that I would try to make the game fun again, and try to keep as positive as I can while trying to bust ne’er do wells for ruining people’s fun.
I told you it was long and Ingressy.