[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zxeRX9f_edc?wmode=opaque]

Held in 7th February 2015, this was an inaugural event in this country.
To introduce, Ingress First Saturdays are community run but funded or sponsored by the “game’s” producer Google.
A special event to introduce new players to this great “game” that promotes physical movement and socialising.
“Players” or “agents” are in two teams, blue “Resistance” and green “Enlightenment”. Oh, they keep claiming it is not a game.

Not sure why it was held in the afternoon where it threatened to rain.

I got there using the Uber service. However the driver seems to have almost lost his way taking the same route almost three times!

I finally got there though. Snapped a picture of the “registration area”.

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There was a sizeable crowd there.
The event itself started off with some registration at the park’s hut as can be seen in the picture.
Then there was the first mission. Some waypoints, known as “portals” in the game require passwords, others require just a “hack” (meaning to collect items). The first two waypoints were so distant from one another, literally at opposite ends of the park!
Other waypoints require some action such as a “capture”, where you have to make it your own team’s colour by placing a “resonator”, or an “upgrade” where you can upgrade a “resonator” that is at a lower level than yourself,
One has to be mindful of the resources available as there are only a finite number of resonators and “XMP Blasters” (weapons), hence the need to “hack” other waypoints (“portals”) for more items.
It is a simple game and there are good guides all over the internet to get you started on it. It goes on 24/7, and this “First Saturday” event is one of few events that helps the community unite.

Protips: –

  1. Always have a power bank or two. These are auxiliary batteries that you can plug your phone into, since the game is a mobile app that uses the data connection and GPS. All at once. Keep them charged.
  2. Have a good mobile data plan.
  3. Try not to ridicule new players. I had an encounter during the event when I remarked that I was running low on batteries.
  4. If you are at a lower level, get a higher level person from your own team or “faction” to buddy with you and help you along the way. Also do not be so trigger happy. Only once you are past level 5 then the fun begins.
  5. Join the local community. It is an international level game, and if you travel a lot, you are bound to find other “portals” and local communities in other nations.

At the end of the event’s missions, the sun sets, and the scores are tabulated. You also get a nice series of bonafide badges like this if you complete the mission series in order. Each circle is a mission, and some tasks in the mission are hard. Particularly at this event where there are two teams, and you have to “connect” or link two portals. It was funny and frustrating seeing the singular portal turning blue then green then blue then green.

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I only got this after the event thanks to a “buddy” I met who positively encouraged me even on my last juice of battery. Never got his name though. 🙁

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Panorama of the event near the end. Note the beautiful sunset.
All in all, it was a really great event, and though it was in a bit of an inconvenient location. You get to walk around a huge park, and also might bump into old friends like I did.. Or make new friends!