Wow. This blog ended up neglected rather quickly.
Like all addictions, Ingress starts out as just recreation, something you do every once and awhile. Pretty soon, you’re playing every day. Then, you’re neglecting friends and family in order to hack one more portal.
I kid, but Ingress is definitely habit forming, for certain people.
One of the things that makes Ingress so addicting is the constant state of flux the game is in. One of the common complaints from certain types of players is that there is really no way to play a reasonable defense against anything but low-level players. A Level 6 player with a pocket full of bursters, a handful of power cubes, and a willingness to stand there can blow away a fully shielded Level 8 portal in a few minutes. That means that “your” portals are constantly being neutralized, which means you have to go out and retake those portals. If you had built control fields around those portals, you have to reconstruct those as well.
Since Ingress is played in the real world, that means getting to your portals via car, bus, bike or foot, doing your activities, and then returning home or to work, or whatever. That can add up to a rather big time commitment without you realizing it, and that’s before you go do anything new or offensive in nature.
The more you play, the more you can do. The more you can do, the more you want to do. The more you do, the higher your level. The higher your level the more you can affect the game. The more you can affect the game, the more you feel you should/could/would do.
The genius of Ingress is that you can play for just a minute or two, or given the willpower and free time, a day or two. The whole world is your game board, and new players come and go continuously. Just when you think you’ve dominated all the players into leaving your home turf alone, along come some high level players from another part of town, attracted by your grown control fields and concentration of blue (or green) portals.
Even trickier are players leveling up and growing in strength. That new Level 2 player who used every bit of gear they had without being able to take down your shielded Level 7 portal as you remotely recharged it, is a Level 7 player hammering your guardian portals with piles of L7 bursters and a stack of power cubes.
In the end, “one more portal,” is the call of the Ingress addict, and I find myself saying it more, and more, every day.