Ingress Coronavirus loophole problem

edited April 2020 in General

As an ENL from the New England region, I know many people around the world are dealing with current events of the virus and doing the best they can. However, in the United States, or most regions, there have been 'stay at home' orders or 'shelter in place' initiatives to keep people safe.

My biggest concern is players attempting to play and field over in an area where others cannot go out as an unfair advantage when ordered to stay home. There have been stories of police now monitoring state borders in the United States to ensure safety and awareness, but not necessarily to pull them over even though that can happen.

Niantic should take responsibility to crack down on players who go out and play too much over others who are stuck at home on purpose during the Coronavirus situation. I don't care if they're going around by car just because they're a freelancer working from home, or walking/biking to practice 'safe distance' when in reality, they could be in certain areas they shouldn't be during the 'stay home' orders or areas that are closed down which could be considered trespassing.

I'm aware Google and other companies are now tracking down people's movements to determine the 'flattening' of the curve so if Niantic is letting people play outdoors in spite of these government orders, who is to know that the players could be asked by authorities to return home/leave or 'shelter in place'. I know for a fact that right now people will, in my region, be given a ticket or thrown in jail by law enforcement for violating the 'shelter in place' order if they continue to do so.

I know this is a game and only a game, but an un-necessary one during this crisis when people have to go to stores to get necessities for safety's sake. It's one thing to encourage others to go out for a walk locally for exercise on your own, but not in a dense or rural area where you know others are staying home stuck based on 'stay home' orders and then field over them.

So I'm asking Niantic to take this issue seriously and find a way to bring balance to the game during this coronavirus situation. Thanks.


  • mortuusmortuus ✭✭✭✭✭

    well why did they do the double r8 and increase output? u dont need that if u sit home.. but o wait not everyone has a portal they reach from home- so this only encourages some ppl to go out lol.. ingress doesnt have much u can do from home.. no mini games, no pvp or anything :s......

  • HydracyanHydracyan ✭✭✭✭✭

    For those who got out being able to perform their actions fasters. Getting stronger xmp easier to destroy faster. More hacks and speed means less time farming. Stronger and more cubes means more days without the need to go out to refill.

    It's not the whole world that is currently needing a lockdown, and it's not Niantic problem. If people are disrupting the law, risking themselves and family for a game.

  • A few years ago when I first started the game, the local players were very active and long before the coronavirus situation. And when I say 'play too much', I meant to refer to the compulsive behavior which I should've been clear about. Back then, it was normal to see some agents play for more than 3 hours, even up to 6 hours especially with some specific players I know locally. I used to do it a lot about 4-5 years ago right around when I suffered pneumonia, guilty as charged, but nowadays not so much and have had to scale back to watch my physical limit and focus on my studio work at home. I'm very mindful about how much time I spend on Ingress versus work and live in a small town at an apartment and am literally the only agent of my side in this area, let alone one other guy who's 'on and off' at times versus 2 or 3 RES ( one of them is very compulsive/obsessive ).

    I can't put it in algorithmic terms because it's so wide and varied, activity wise.

    You're right that outdoor exercise is allowed especially here in my state. I've no problem with that as long as guidelines are followed. I do it all the time by walking since I live in a small college town. Very easy walk. No need to drive around unless necessary and the 'essential' grocery and pharmacy needs are a mere block or two away. I rarely ride my bike except only in warmer seasons and I don't ingress by car long distance which would be a huge waste of gas. If one were to drive for groceries or pharmacy, that's fine. Even to portals that are less than 5 miles away, maybe?

    And there are several ski resorts high up on mountains that are portals as well that are closed down at the moment to the public. And there are hiking spots still actively being used which is understandable.

    I totally understand if the agent needs to field out to gain AP or to level up/gain milestone badges, but if it's to take advantage of the current real world event that people have to stay home, even other agents, it's another thing. I'm not sure how Niantic can address it let alone let agents be safe and mindful.

    I just looked at the Intel map and noticed many tiny to medium/large fields. If you look at NYC ( Long Island ), you can see the pattern. I don't live there but much further up. And look at California. It's fascinating. It's like they're fielding around each other but not necessarily OVER each other, although I'm seeing some of that too. Even in Ohio, my former home state.

    If this was like any other normal day without the coronavirus, more activity would pick up. Since the lockdowns or 'shelter in order' mandates have occurred, many events have been thrown out such as local fencing tournaments ( literally 24 hours prior to the event last month that was to be on a Saturday ), shops, and galleries, etc. And schools.

    I just hope agents stay safe and sound.

  • I get the game is GPS based. No question about it. If you live from home with no portals nearby, you can't link or field and by that I mean by 'desk portal' where you sit on one location to play it off from. I literally have to walk a block or two to reach them in my area due to the small town size. But in larger cities, I'm sure it's a different story altogether.

    It's not a matter of spying on other players, but rather it's a question if agents take 'advantage' of a real world situation that people have to stay home and can't do much about it due to circumstances out of their control. And yes, the authorities will handle it which is obviously what they're supposed to do. What is true is that Google and other phone companies are observing movement to see if the curve is being flattened. I'm sure Niantic can see that via the Intel map.

    Right now, there is a phony police officer going around, being reported, in my area approaching people and pulling drivers off for 'violating a Governor's order' ( which is untrue since there is no such thing ) so I don't know who it is yet. Could that affect Ingress players here? It could if they're not careful.

    If only a real world ADA or AI exists, that would be something of a different story :).

  • It's one thing to go out and get supplies from hacking but it's another to use the knowledge that local agents in the area have to stay home, if the mandate is official, due to the coronavirus and attempt to field over them or play to get ahead. Right now, in my state, a group of people are not supposed to be together outside unless they practice safe distancing, or they risk getting approached by law enforcement to be given a warning or face a fine if they continue to do so. I haven't seen any of that in my area but in a larger city, there are stories going around.

    If it's for going out for an exercise, that's fine. It's what I do to keep my cholesterol down to walk/bike. I think it's just a matter of playing it fair until things go back to normal which probably will be a long while. And upcoming warmer weather could be a two handed sword in enticing agents to get out of the house when they shouldn't be.

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