Farewell Agents! - RedSoloCup
For over seven years, Ingress has been part of my daily life. About four years ago, I took a risk and was blessed with an opportunity to turn my passion of Ingress into a career when Niantic hired me as employee number thirty-six after they spun out from Google. It is with mixed feelings that I have to inform you all that Monday, December 30th will be my last day at Niantic. This was not an easy decision. I searched my heart though and through. Ultimately, I felt it was the right decision for me and the next chapter of my life.
I am proud to have contributed in ways both seen and unseen across the company when I look back on the last four years. One of my main goals when I accepted the position was to conduct myself objectively and without bias towards either Faction. I wanted people to know that I was not Enlightened Agent RedSoloCup the Ingress Global Community Manager (GCM), I was Andrew Krug the Ingress GCM. In a short amount of time you embraced me in my new role and recognized the difference between Agent and person. That enabled me to make human connections and have shared experiences that I never thought possible.
The community is the lifeblood of Ingress. Over the last seven years, this “game” has brought me an immense amount of joy. I established new friendships that have transcended the game. I have performed the wedding ceremony of two Ingress couples and have been invited to many more as a guest. However, it has brought me pain as well. Sadly, several friends I made through Ingress have passed away over the years too. The two that hit me the hardest was Frank Maxwell from Ireland, aka Agent Reviresco and Cadre Roony (Josh) from GORUCK. I was honored to have interviewed Frank on Behind The Scanner back in 2014. He was one of the truly good people who exuded positivity and was just fascinating to talk to as well. I was equally as honored to get to know Josh. We were born the same year, both had kids, both from the state of Wisconsin, and we both had a connection to the U.S. Army. He used to bring fresh cheese curds to events for me. It was a little slice of home that he shared. He also gave a lot of himself to his community, family, and friends as well.
As a community, we’ve pulled each other up and supported one another through illness, hard times, the loss of loved ones, and any number of natural disasters. As a community we’ve also celebrated the birth of Ingress children, cancer remissions, graduations, new jobs, weight loss, and many other positive things together. These are the things that make Ingress special in my opinion -- the human connection it reinforces. Thank you for allowing me to share in the joys and for allowing me to support you during the hard times when I could.
Your admiration and support over the years has been humbling. Making my portrait out of cross-faction fields!?! I will forever be in awe of that. I’ll miss reading the hundreds of letters you sent to my P.O. box and collecting the thousands of bio cards we’ve traded at events. To the Agent that cosplayed as me during a Japan NL1331 tour, your fake beard was impressive but it scared me a little too. I have shared meals with players from Alaska, Dublin, Tokyo and a ton of cities in-between. I have traveled this world visiting over two dozen countries and probably 100 unique cities to interact and meet with you. You invited me into your homes to meet your families. You have showered me with affection that I can never repay. From the bottom of my heart, thank you! These memories will be everlasting and have enriched me in ways I didn’t think possible.
I have interacted with so many diverse people and seen a side of humanity that few people ever will. I am blessed beyond words. I wish everyone on the planet could experience what I have. At a time when most of the news seems to be reduced to click bait or rhetoric designed to inflame the differences, we as human beings have; Ingress doesn’t care about any of that. Are you blue or green? That’s all that matters.
I’ll leave you with this advice. Try to respect one another. When you communicate with other people, be accountable for the words you choose. Don’t be rhetorical terrorists. The choices you make every day can impact those around you in a positive or negative way and you have no idea what a person is going through on a daily basis. You don’t need to hit the enter key on every message you type. Choose your words wisely and be constructive. Accept and embrace all the things that make us unique and different from one another. The world is not a perfect place and people are inherently fallible -- including myself.
Thank you for making these past four years as your Global Community Manager so rewarding. Ingress is truly more than a game.
Happy hacking, Agents!