Between Real Reality and Virtual Reality: the Third Option

We have to keep in mind the hybrid nature of Ingress if we want to understand how people build their Virtual Identities inside the game and how these Identities interact and affect the Real Identity.

Ingress has many features common to many social games and augmented reality games:

  • multiplayer game
  • augmented reality game
  • locative game
  • role playing game
  • social game

So this is the pattern:

a player plans his strategy on a computer, then moves to the warzone to interact with the environment enriched of fantasy elements, and he needs to collaborate with other players in order to succeed and gain levels and powers.

We can say Ingress players move in a Mixed Reality: a virtuality continuum made of different levels of blended or mixed reality between the real environment of the physical and the virtual environments generated entirely by computers.

They move into what we can call Hybrid Ecologies: though the players interact with other real players, these interactions are mediated by the technology.


So how can we determine what’s real and what’s fantasy?

How do Ingress players feel these interactions and how do they experience them?

It’s all about perception.

Humans are programmed to detect and decode other human beings behaviors.

Furthermore our mind use some clues in order to discern reality from fantasy: to put simple, the more the senses involved, and the more the realism of other players behavior, the more we perceive the scene as real.

This is true with games where players and AIs are mixed, so it’s more powerful when players interact with real players.

The embodiment strengthens this feeling.

Maybe we will be pure spirits one day: until then our bodies play a main role in our lives.

Even when we stay in front of a computer, we stay connected with our body and its signals: in fact we watch the screen by our eyes (and feel them tired after some hours), type by our fingers (while we hear the sound of our typing and touch the keyboard), command by our voice (while we hear the voice itself), and feel exhausted after a long day spent in front of a PC.

We use our body to be present in a scene too.

By moving and getting around we create new paths, we explore new territories and settle down.

We use this presence to prevent someone else to steal our flag.

In Ingress these movements are guided by a smartphone GPS.

So while the GPS interact with us, we interact with the GPS.

We dialogue with our technology in a double way feedback.

All of this often happens in an already known environment: by Ingress (as well as other locative and augmented reality games) we create new meanings to the World.

Is this the Third Option between Real Reality and Virtual Reality?

While I go further with my study I want to know your opinion:

Have we already entered a Cyber Reality where Human Beings and Machines blend together as a whole?

Do you think Ingress is a good attempt?

Write your opinion in the comments!

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How many Identities do you live?

Some days ago an Ingress group planned to fly to a place and collect some artifacts to be transferred elsewhere.

Nothing new for a power Ingress player…until you think that the place is in one of the most dangerous warzone: Dagestank, in the Caspian Sea (Respubliki Prokuratura).

The USA and UK Governments claim that Dagestan remains the most violent region in North Caucasus, with more than 60 percent of all accidents in the region.

Dagestan Respubliki Prokuratura

What happened then?

What made some players to take a so high risk?

The question is very complex (as Human Beings are…), so in this post I’ll discuss about Identity.

While Identity development starts from the fetus with the genes and the first interaction with the surroundings, the process becomes more and more complex as the person grows up, adding another important element.

The Interpersonal Identity

It develops by the interaction with the environment and with social interactions: it has a boost while socialization becomes a more and more important part of our Lives.

We are who we feel we are (Self Consciousness)…plus we are who we believe people think we are (Social Approval).

That’s why labels are so influential in our Lives: tell a child he’s a thief, and he will move to confirm it, tell a child he’s a good person, and he will act in order to confirm it.

Though these are not the only factors of a behavior, they are very influential.

Then the Web led us to another Identity layer…



The Virtual Identity

This is a projection of our mind attitudes, desires, self awareness.

It’s not our full Real Identity for it’s mediated by our goals, our expectations, the platforms design, etc…

It’s a representation, an image of a part of ourselves…plus something more…

As you can see it’s easy to influence this Identity by labels and roles.

As we play this Virtual Identity, it interacts with the Real Identity, entering a circular process where one influences the other, and vice versa.

The more they interact, the more their boundaries blur and dissolve, until a new Identity raise: the Hybrid Identity.

That said, the Identity of an Ingress player starts from the beginning by choosing the faction, but think what happens when he becomes a power players!

How about you?

How many Indentities do you live?

Share your experience in the comments and tell me your opinion.

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Ingress: what’s in it for you?

While studying Ingress and how players live and perceive the game, I came across a great post describing how MUDs (Multi User Dungeons, ) present 4 recurring kinds of players, depending on their purpose inside the game.Though Ingress is not a MUD, I studied these categories and found they may fit well with our game.

Will you help my Research?

Please click the link below and answer these few anonymous questions.
In my next post I’ll present you my results and the link to the original MUD’s research…

Thank you!

PS: you are invited to share this questionnaire with your friends.

New generations will build Starships, and will surprise [VIDEO]

It all started with a simple request:

Ivan let me hear my favorite song!

Then all began…

I take my smartphone, open Spotify and start to play the song.

Then Luca, a 10yo child, takes his Nintendo DS and starts recording it, trying to sync it with my player.

We listen to the recorded song, Luca disappoints the volume is too low, despite we tried our best to make it the most loud as possible.

So he takes another Nintendo DS and starts to record the recorded song.

Then he played the two recordings at the same time and he smiles: now the volume is high enough…

Some days after he shows me a video he recorded with the Nintendo DS in his room: they are two tutorials where he explains how to shoot like his favorite soccer anime character.

Luca doesn’t have a YouTube account yet, but he created a WhatsApp group with his classmates and shared the video.

People who have children, or work with them (like me) are more and more surprised about this ability: it seems they were born with a smartphone in their hands.

When I talk with adults I’m used to say: “At 20yo they’ll build starships and we’ll have a coffee on Mars”.

In the meantime, on the other side of the globe, a young girl started to record cover songs on her own room using just few simple tools in realtime, and the results are surprising!

She has a great website and a Kickstarter campaign: she made above $28000 of $3000 pledged.

Here is a cover:

This is my story. What’s yours?

Share it in the comments…

What if you’d discover your Life is a videogame?

Yesterday I installed Ingress and my Life suddenly became a videogame.

While I was coming back home from my main office (about half an hour for 30 Km) I left the game on, and I found myself immersed in dark matter, blue and green fields.

Simple buildings and facilities suddenly become portals to an ancestral secret.

I found myself looking around while driving my car and watching the World from another point of view: I started to see the landscape overlayered by those energy lines and fields.

Then I asked to myself: what will happen when the wearable devices will be more sophisticated and powerful?

What will happen when we’ll wear our glasses and our usual World will change into an alien landscape?

While we wait to see the answer someone managed to bring your favorite game into your real World.

Look at the video below…

How about you?

When you found yourself like living a videogame?

I wait for your answer in the comments…

Hopeful: how may a kid overcome bullying? [VIDEO]

Hopeful: how may a kid overcome bullying?


I could express myself through what I was writing down
The real story of a bullied kid who found his own way to overcome the harassment from Mr Bully : the Music!
I suggest you to listen to the whole song for it describes all the event.

PS: if you want to be notified of other posts join my Toward the Cyber Era mailing list HERE:

============ Lyric ============
(the bold is mine)

Check it out
Oh no
Here we go

*Please help me God, I feel so alone
I’m just a kid, how can I take it on my own*
I’ve cried too many tears, yeah, writing this song
Trying to fit in, where do I belong?
I wake up every day, don’t want to leave my home
My momma’s askin’ me why I’m always alone
Too scared to say, too scared to holler
I’m walking to school, with sweat around my collar
I’m just a kid, I don’t want no stress
My nerves are bad, my life’s a mess
The names you call me, they hurt real bad
I want to tell my Mom
She’s havin’ trouble with my Dad
I feel so trapped there’s nowhere to turn
Just goin’ to school
Don’t wanna fight I wanna learn
So please mister Bully
Tell me what I’ve done
You know I have no Dad
I’m livin’ with my Mom

Just be hopeful, yes I am
Hopeful for today
Take this music and use it
Let it take you away
And *be hopeful, hopeful
And He’ll make a way*
I know it ain’t easy but that’s okay
Just be hopeful

Why do you trip every single day?
I didn’t ask to be born but now I have to pay
I ain’t got no money, you take all I have
When I give it to you, I search through my bags
I feel so scared when you shut me down
You kick me, punch me, throw me to the ground
When I ask you, yo, what have I done?
You hit me again, and make fun of my Mom!

I’m hopeful, yes I am
Hopeful for today
Take this music and use it
Let it take you away
And be hopeful, hopeful
And He’ll make a way
I know it ain’t easy, but, that’s okay
Just be hopeful

What I wear is all I have
We lost our home, I’m livin’ from a bag
Yo mister Bully, help me please
I’m flesh and blood, accept me please
Hey mister bully, I don’t know what to do
My mind, it can’t explain what I did to you
Mister Bully, take in all my please
Every single day you bring me to my knees

Hopeful, yes I am
Hopeful for today
Take this music and use it
Let it take you away
And be hopeful, hopeful
And He’ll make a way
I know it ain’t easy, but, that’s okay
Just be hopeful.

The Levels of the Reality


What Level are you Living In?
We live many lives, and while days pass by we create more and more levels of Reality.
This is what I see when I walk the Web: different levels of the same Reality.
So an online relationship is just another relationship, a friendship is just another friendship…
And when you feel something for your Virtual Friend, when you struggle for his struggles, when you feel his desires, how can you tell the difference?

How social networks may prevent suicide

The Web is just a tool: we can use it to harm ourselves or to protect ourselves.
So we always talk about Online Groups as places where people look for confirmations of their issues (i.e.: pro-ana forums).
But what if Social Networks would have the power to protect us, i.e.: preventing suicidal behaviors?

This is my next essay: the mind map is almost finished.

> Click HERE to get the MindMap <

Here what you get from it:

The Power of the Social Networks for Teens support

  • Social support
  • Container
  • Peer support
  • Favored channels to be contacted
  • The protection of the screen
  • The next step
  • Going Glocal
  • The first protected steps

The 5 Red Flags about Suicidal intentions

  • Arranging ways to take their own life (such as buying a gun or many pills)
  • Suddenly changing behavior/mood
  • Depression
  • Conscious/unconscious arranging their “last affairs”
  • Change in physiology behavior­and­suicidal­behavior/overview.html­99a7­f3f5­e2a64a5a8beaadd8

The “Suicide Concept”

  • Life has come to an end
  • Time to disappear

> Click HERE to get the MindMap <

Connecting Dots

Connecting Dots
Sometimes people come to my office because they are unable to find a meaning in their Life.
The dots of your Life sometimes appear as random objects that enter your World and then fade away.
But have you ever tried to watch them in their whole pattern?
Even a butterfly flight has a purpose…

Meeting your Online Friends in Real Life – Booklet

Meeting Online Friends

> Get the booklet for FREE: click HERE! <

The first Online contact
The power of the Avatar

How do you perceive your Online friends ?
It’s all in your Mind

What if the Magic would break?
I’m not so perfect…and he/she will realize it!

At last Offline, and the Cathartic Experience
The Ah­ah moment…not so Ah­ah…

Don’t push the river
Keep your own pace
Offline step by step
More intimate instant messaging (ie: WhatsApp)
First meetings in a protected environment
Clubbing events
Crowded places

> Get the booklet for FREE: click HERE! <