VIFS - Portal Density Requirements - Open Letter to Brian Rose
*** ISSUE HAS BEEN RESOLVED AND VIFS MCMURDO IS A GO***
Subject: Urgent info required for [email protected]
From: IngressFS FevGames <[email protected]>
Thu, Jun 4, 2020 at 1:10 PM
Hello Organisers, Thank you for organising an [email protected] event for June 2020. We are preparing a unique and exciting new passcode challenge for events this month and it requires that your event's base portal is in a portal dense city. We haven't been able to generate the puzzle for your city due to insufficient portals surrounding your base portal. Can you please update the Base Portal on your event registration within the next 24 hours to a portal dense city (at least 100 portals spread out within a 5km radius) and let us know by replying to this email once you have done so. You will not be receiving a Passcode email unless you change your base portal and let us know within the next 24 hours. Solving the passcode puzzle is mandatory for your event to be eligible for the IngressFS badge for June.
This mandate completely invalidates our site for being able to be used. There aren’t 100 portal within 5km on the entire continent. We are hosting our virtual FS at McMurdo Station, Antarctica.
When thinking about virtual FS, it became clear this was a unique opportunity. Choosing McMurdo Station was about picking a place most agents would dream of going to but will likely never be able to attend an event at. In my six years as an agent I have realized unique experiences are what makes Ingress fun and sets it apart from any other game. The virtual FS format gave me a chance to host an event with a cross faction friend from the other side of the world. Robdoggz is from Australia and I am in the USA. The ability to host an event with a cross faction friend that I would likely never have a chance to, in a place that both of us would love to go to was just a chance neither of us could pass up; so after carefully reviewing the guidelines, ensuring we could pull this off between the rule set given at the time, we registered on May 10th.
- As Robz and I saw this as opportunity to have a First Saturday in the true spirit of the game; unique experiences in new places. As we can’t actually go to McMurdo, we set up a telegram bot command that gives out random facts about Antarctica to teach agents about the area. Agent @Engrish decide to join our event. He has actually been to McMurdo and shares pictures and stories about being there. Currently he is actually on his way to Palmer Station in Antarctica but will still be joining us from the research vessel he is on.
- In order to accommodate agents from all over the world, the time of 1700 McMurdo was chosen because it was the ideal time to get most agents during waking hours. Placing 2am-4am time slot in the middle of the Atlantic. In order to ensure that everyone could figure out their time slot, four different options were made for people to find this out with a bot command.
- Media was created for this event. A custom event themed tg sticker set, a telegram mask set which agents could apply their own PPE mask and a coloring page for the sign to hold up for the pictures. On top of which, one agent created a Spotify playlist with Antarctica/cold/winter themed songs in which other agents could add too.
- Two more agents were brought on to help with the verification and moderation of the chat because of the overwhelming positive response and so many agents registering for the event. @FeatherCuffs & @AgentSuperior became event "penguin herders" in order to ensure everyone had a good time, we wanted to make sure no matter the hour of the day, there was always someone there to watch the chat. We even set basic rules/guidelines for the chat. However, despite the large number of agent from both faction, our chat has been smooth sailing for the most part. As we didn’t want to violate the Niantic rule of excluding people, in the one instance of an issue, we just gave the agent a one day mute and the issue was resolved.
- Combot was employed in our chat in order to disseminate information and share all the features we had set up. It has had positive feedback with agents being able to access information at the click of a button/tap of a screen.
- One of our event admins even went out and secured a zoom pro membership to make sure we had the capability to host an event with this many members.
A week after registering our event, on May 16th there were accusations made by IFS-UN about our site being a troll on the IFS slack. This being done without directly contacting either of the POCs of the event. Jordon Mizzi even stated there would be a vote on whether or not we should even be allowed to host our event. One of the IFS-UN members accused us of using a flashy portal and bending ToS; saying just because we can we shouldn’t despite them approving our site and having met all guidelines set forth in registration. Other non IFS-UN members advocated for our site in the slack channel Screenshots of those accusations and statements are available if wanted. On May 17th, , a recommendation was made that we should have 50+ portals within in order to crack the code for the badge. On May 23rd there was an announcement made in the IFS-UN that there needs to be 100 portals within 5km. Then today on June 4th, I received that email. Additionally, their email is going out to sites that have over double recommended 100 portals within 5km.
This requirement is baffling to me and this is why I am writing to you today; asking for your advice and help on this subject. We have over 180 member in our telegram channel and over 200 registered for the event. Our event admins don’t want to let them down. Agents who have basically retired have become engaged again. Newer agents have something exciting and different to experience to keep them going while staying at home. Even former vanguard @Claudija and community manager @halette joined in our telegram chat.
Now, more than ever, is it important for agents of all walks of life, cultural, racial and ethnic background to come together. Even if it is just for an Ingress social event. Agents in our tg chat are constantly discussing different foods and portals from all over the world. Sharing pictures of where they are. At any given hour of the day you can pop in the channel and people are just sharing things about their local areas or discussing music. Nearly every morning I wake up to one agent saying “Good evening from Malaysia”. Agents from the Netherlands are sharing their weekend adventures to boating portals. To deny them this event because of lack of portals is not something I would want to be a part of. It was not in the guidelines when we registered and the guidelines kept changing without ever stating that the portal density is mandatory. This is very discouraging for our members and had it been a rule and not a recommendation, stated at the time registration was opened, I would not be writing to you this evening.
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