Dev Diary: Black Lives Matter Beacon
If you haven’t already, please read our Taking action blog post that outlines specific steps Niantic is taking to help bring sustainable, long-term change. This internal memo sparked a conversation within our team and our Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) about what we could do—specifically in Ingress—to allow Agents to show a visible sign of support with the Black community.
Today, we've added the Black Lives Matter Beacon to Ingress, which displays above a Target Portal for 4 hours. It’s an optional, free (0 CMU) item in the Store that Agents can choose to acquire and use; we will never charge CMU for this Beacon. The raised fist logo has been used by other movements in the past; we use it here as a symbol of solidarity and support. At launch, we set the redemption limit up to 15 Black Lives Matter Beacons per Agent, and we can revisit this going forward.
Finally, we want our community to continue to be one that welcomes everyone. Rainbow XM for LGBTQ+ Pride Month is also one way for us to share this message. That Ingress brings people together around our shared interests in exploration and discovery is very special. And it’s why we felt it was important that we add the Black Lives Matter Beacon to reiterate that we recognize the Black Lives Matter movement, and we stand in support.
Thanks, maybe we get 15 free every month?
Ingress (as well as other games / hobbies in the past) has helped me meet and befriend people of very different backgrounds from me, and for that I am very grateful. People whose social circles I would be unlikely to come into otherwise.
While on this subject, I'd like to point out that First Saturday makes it impossible for Jews who observe Sabbath to participate. They could perhaps join virtual IFS thanks to time zones (I'm not a religious scholar, so maybe I'm wrong) but changing it from "Saturday or Sunday" to "Saturday only" made it impossible to have them attend in person.
Good to see that niantic takes position in this type of social movement. ✊
Thanks!!!😘😘😘 We always grab all 15 free in each months!!😎
This is awesome! Thank you!
With all due respect to each and every individual and his/her personal/community ideological identification, I humbly and respectfully request that Niantic PLEASE leave the politics and controversy out of Ingress! WHY venture out into slippery-**** territory?!
I am certain that virtually ALL members of the Ingress community unconditionally believe in human rights and condemn discrimination and racism of all forms. But these recent issues upon which Niantic has decided to publicly take a stand and choose a side ... are not so black-and-white (no pun intended)!
Many people who might be, in general, genuinely sympathetic to those who suffer from bigotry of various forms ... might nevertheless legitimately and respectfully take serious issue with certain aspects of the way those causes are being advanced by their activist supporters.
So why venture out into such sensitive territory that, at least for certain non-tiny portions of society, amplifies divisiveness and conflict?!
Ingress has always been a healthy game that, beyond its external competitiveness, could actually serve as a force to unify people. The superficial "divisiveness" of Enlightened vs Resistance, or Green vs Blue, had about as much real polarization behind it as the famous "Pro-Skub" vs "Anti-Skub" 'debate'. And the real beauty of Ingress could be seen in the many cross-faction collaborations that Niantic encouraged -- and often even arose spontaneously.
But now, by taking such a public stand on such sensitive and complex issues, Niantic is effectively forcing controversy into the faces of large numbers of people who might legitimately and respectfully privately take issue with aspects of the corresponding "politically correct" view, while seeking to avoid any "activist" confrontations. These are people who wish to enjoy playing Ingress and interact with people from both factions, while actively avoiding any thoughts regarding with what political parties, religious denominations, racial groups, **** definitions, or socioeconomic class they might identify.
Why defile the beautiful unifying potential of Ingress with the ugliness of politics and controversy?
And where will this stop? What will be the next "pet controversy" that Niantic might choose to take sides with next -- again almost certainly offending a legitimate minority (and non-PC) opinion?!
I shudder to envision how this could quickly spill over into geopolitical conflicts, internal partisan politics, or even geeky flamewars à la: vi vs emacs, Windows vs Mac, Android vs iOS, and Chrome vs Firefox.
So, PLEASE, Niantic. Don't ruin Ingress! Please keep it pure and fun for ALL!
I am extremely disappointed Niantic. People of all stripes play video games to get away from politics, the divisive issues of the day, and problems of everyday life. Instead of letting us escape from reality for a while, you have to virtue signal and rub the cause of the day in our face, without considering all of your players that may not agree with you. The raised fist has also been the symbol of Marxism, which incidentally BLM ACTUALLY ADMITS THEY ARE. If you don't understand how many millions of deaths Marxism is responsible for, y'all should educate yourselves. What's next, the removal of statue portals because someone finds them offensive? How about the black police officers that have been killed by people supposedly fighting for BLM? How about the black lives lost in the CHAZ/CHOP? In short Niantic, you've jumped the shark. You will never see another penny spent by me on your games.
I felt it was important for us to release the Black Lives Matter Beacon as one small way we, and the Agents who optionally choose to use it, can show a visible sign of support for this movement. Part of being a real world game means we intersect with the real world and real world events. If I'm in a fortunate enough position to be able to choose to say something or to say nothing, then I'm choosing to say something: Black Lives Matter.
I don't think there is any controversy in saying that Black lives matter, too. We should also be sophisticated enough to know that attributing the undesirable actions of a small number of people to a larger class is a fairly large logic fail. If you think that black lives matter, too, then awesome! If you find that sentiment objectionable, then that's your right. Speak your truth, 👑King! This isn't a matter of politics unless you make it that way.
Human rights and wanting everyone to be treated equal isn't a political or sensitive topic. Everyone should have access to the same opportunities in life regardless of skin color or orientation inhibiting access.
However, in today's world this isn't true. In many countries, being gay is illegal and can be punishable by d eath. In the United States the Black Lives Matter movement has forced the conversation of the inequities that Black people face every day into the forefront. Every day, videos and stories are published highlighting the issue. With video cameras everywhere the issues can no longer be denied and swept under the rug.
It can be an uncomfortable topic for some. But it is only sensitive due to people making it one. It should be as natural and comfortable as talking about which Marvel movie was the best. With as advanced a society as we are, there are people who believe the world is flat in 2020. Bias exists. Subjectivity influences thought. But none of that makes the injustice that Black people and the LGBTQ+ community experience any less real. Their experiences is reality.
Niantic has a platform that can amplify messages of societal change. Change that I am confident history will judge as the right message to amplify. Keeping the conversations out of video games doesn't make these issues go away or help to move past them as a society.
Basic human rights is not a "pet controversy". Labeling as such is disgusting and disregards all the lives lost of people who were just being themselves and wanting to live their lives the same as you or me. Equal rights isn't the same thing as a geo-political issue. People are born Black. No one is born a Republican, a military general, or a landmine. Comparing human life and the struggle for equality to Chrome vs. Firefox -- a web browser -- is utterly reprehensible.
❤️ getting mine now!
What y'all are also forgetting: No one, absolutely no one is forcing you to get the beacons. If you for some reason have an issue with them, just don't get them.
Why on earth would this make anybody mad? Ohhh, that's right. Those people are part of the problem.
Human rights and the desire for equal treatment for everyone is not the issue.
One of the issues is the Marxist politics of BLM foundation's leadership, and the fact that the lionshare of the funds they receive in donations go to a Democratic Super PAC and not to those affected by racism or bigotry. An other is the fact that the common tactic of BLM supporters is to gas light their opponents by insinuating that they are -ists or -phobes just because they say they do not support BLM.
I came here to find out what worthy charity was getting the proceeds from the sale of these beacons, then I saw that they are free.
Classy move, thanks.
BLM is not a single monolithic organization.
PLEASE leave the politics and controversy out of Ingress!
The Niantic blog post linked to https://blacklivesmatter.com/ (Black Lives Matter Foundation, Inc.) So yes, criticism of that specific organization and their political views do apply.
Can we get "Free Hong Kong" beacons? Can we get "Crimea is Ukraine" beacons? How about "Wear a mask, they save lives" beacon? /s
But seriously speaking, Niantic is just another company jumping the bandwagon. While I totally support LGBT (and all other communities), doing rainbow XM only during LGBT month is just that - following the trend. Why not randomly do it for a few days several times a year, not just in June?
And now, a message from [Brand]®️:
I am incredibly proud of Niantic. Thank you. 👍️
Please fact check before you post incorrect information and perpetuate conspiracy theories. You are doing the very thing you blame others for doing.
The super PAC claim was started by a conspiracy theory Instagram account and later shared on Facebook by a Students for Trump supporter.
FactCheck.org is a great resource. You'll be able to read the comment from Black Lives Matter Global Network’s managing director, Kailee Scales who said that the claims about the money being routed to Democrats are part of “an organized disinformation campaign against BLM, from actors clearly trying to blunt the growing support for this movement.” and more importantly, "All contributions to the DNC are publicly reported to the FEC and review of FEC reports will confirm there has never been any donation from this organization,” she said.
Releasing a new batch of 19 during Juneteenth every year could be a thing. Great to see either way, I probably would have paid for it if all of the proceeds went to charities supporting BLM.
Gotta be honest, if it is trendy to do the following... I hope more companies follow these trends. The world would be a better place.
"The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice."
Black Lives Matter is a "Movement to fight for Freedom, Liberation and Justice"
Thank you Niantic for this gesture in support of social justice. You're on the right side of history, And to my fellow agents that stand with BLM movement, you inspire humanity.
PS: If the mere existence of a BLM Beacon offends you, then refrain from using it. If the mere existence of a social justice movement offends you, then I would, in all due respect, highly recommend serious self reflection.
"BuT iT's A pR mOvE" Yeah so what? If the companies are actually pulling through with their promises, they at least still did something, PR move or not.
EDIT: Meant to reply to the comment you were replying to, apologies.
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Please leave politics out of this game. Ingress has always been neutral and fair. These additions cause unrest. Why wasn't colored XM optional also?
Thanks Niantic, for doing the one thing guaranteed to bring the racists out of the woodwork of our communities: saying a group of people deserve to be treated equally.
This is the final straw for me - I play games to provide an escape and entertainment not to get pushed into group identity politics and political correctness. There is too much of that in the real world if I wanted to seek that out.
Gay pride month and rainbow XM, Black lives matter and Raised Fist Beacons, what social justice movement am I going to have shoved in my face next? 7+ years ago I signed up for Ingress to play an altered reality game and I enjoyed it so much I was at one point a top 100 player in the world for my faction. Ingress today is a shadow of its former glory and if the endless ghost cities I drive through are any indicator it is a game that has been headed in the wrong direction for some time.
Gay versus straight, black versus white, man versus woman - all of these things are meant to divide people not unite them. Dissenting opinions and nonconformists are labelled racists, bigots, nazis etc.
It's my turn to take a stand against this corruption in our society by refusing to support those who support it and so with that said I'm submitting my request to delete my account. I've had enough.
Well done! I have my 15 and will happily get more if made available. Thank you for doing the right thing.