Ingress and Cemeteries

Since I started playing Ingress I’ve found myself walking down streets I’d never normally walk, staring at buildings I’d never looked at before, and finding details that bring joy to the few who are willing to notice. But there’s a moment for every Ingress player when they start appreciating cemeteries.

The St. Louis Cemetery in Louisville, KY
The St. Louis Cemetery in Louisville, KY

The backbone of Ingress is walking around from portal to portal. Portals can be nearly anything that is interesting, unique, or brings value to a community. Artwork and murals are popular portals, and nearly every church is a portal. But sometimes a bar in the right neighborhood is a portal too — or maybe that stone pig outside of the BBQ restaurant is a portal even if the restaurant is not.

Cemeteries are valuable to Ingress players because they almost assuredly contain multiple portals. With so many beautiful sculptures, and the way so many cultures venerate death — it makes sense that agents battling each other over the future of humans’ minds would be concerned with how we treat a hallowed ground.

In the real world, I want little to do with cemeteries after my passing. I don’t like asking for anyone to take care of me now, and I certainly wouldn’t expect it after I’m dead. Cremation just makes more sense to me. But I’ve taken a few walks through cemeteries for Ingress now, and I really do like the peace they project.

Since I go in there to hack portals, I also get drawn to specific works less than the idea of “cemetery” as a whole. The various crosses and simple rectangles are nice, to be sure, but when someone has built a pavilion of ionic columns surrounding a life-sized sculpture of himself — with an angel on its roof, no less — it’s hard not to take a look while in you’re in the neighborhood. I guess that’s why they built it that way in the first place.

Their memory will be honored with my level 8 resonator.

Advertisements