Brian's Blog: Aug 2021
When I was a kid, I thought the Activision Explorers' Club was the coolest. A patch and a letter signed by Pitfall Harry himself — are you kidding? It was the original video game achievement badge! So when we launched Ingress and we watched players climb the ranks from new recruits to seasoned pros, our team created a physical Level 8 patch to celebrate and congratulate the first 5,000 players to unlock L8. I hand wrote each letter of congratulations for every Agent, thanked them for playing our game, and mailed them out.
Over time, more and more Agents unlocked L8, and hand writing and mailing patches and letters wasn't exactly scalable to begin with. But I loved it. As hard as I tried, I never scored 20,000 points on Pitfall, but at least I could celebrate Ingress Agents' achievements with them. So we updated the design and made it Faction-specific, then created t-shirts and stickers to share with Agents we met through our live events.
We also continued sharing L8 patches when and where we could, including through dead drops and Easter Egg hunts at planetariums in the US and UK.
To the Agents unaware of the history of these designs, they hold a pretty special place in my memory palace, especially as we kick off our return to live events or meetups this evening with the NL-1331X US Summer Tour. I'll be joining the road trip in Texas, and hope to meet you out there.
Happy Level 8 Day,