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The Niantic Project - Ingress
Reports from Ingress players this morning indicate that a number of players gathering for an Anomaly event in Alexandria Egypt were detained by local authorities. The players in question have since been released, but the event raises questions over the way Google-owned Niantic Labs runs their public events.

While information is sketchy at best, it appears that 14 players spent some time in jail after local authorities in Alexandria – unaware that the Anomaly event was taking place – mistook the gathering of players as a gathering of protesters.

At some point in the last few hours. Niantic shut down the official event on Google+, citing “safety concerns”.

In Ingress parlance, an “Anomaly” event occurs in a particular physical “real world” location where players from both factions gather to do battle in the game’s augmented reality world over the space of a few hours. Anomalies are typically hard-fought but ultimately friendly encounters and determine the direction of the game’s intricate plotline.

It’s not officially communicated, but players in Anomaly events have found that local authorities are generally unaware that the event is taking place. It’s thought that seeking permission to run the events might lead to additional costs, or that permission might simply be denied.

Anomaly events instead take place in public areas in the cities involved, where it’s usually okay to gather a crowd and hold them together for a few hours. This can attract the ire of local authorities even when the gathering is (or should be) permitted and legal – players in Melbourne report being told to move on during Anomaly events in the past.


Egypt isn’t known for being a place where large public gatherings are looked upon favorably. It’s easy to blame Egyptian authorities for overreacting, but events in recent years in the country make the reaction understandable even if undesirable.

Ingress’ in game storyline currently features a number of fictional events that take place in the region. Additionally, players gathering around signs and banners with faction symbols wouldn’t have helped the perception is the event.

While theres a #JailedForIngress hashtag gaining momentum, it’s worth remembering that the players involved weren’t actually jailed for playing the game. The alternative #SupportIngressEgypt hashtag might be a better alternative.

The saga is a good reminder to be sure you’re adhering to local laws no matter where you’re playing Ingress. Our thoughts are with the – now freed – players who went through this ordeal.

Source: Egypt Anomaly+[redacted].
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Before discovering the Nexus One, Jason thought he didn't need a smartphone. Now he can't bear to be without his Android phone. Jason hails from Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane depending on his mood and how detailed a history you'd like. A web developer by day with an interest in consumer gadgets and electronics, he also enjoys reading comics and has a worryingly large collection of Transformers figures. He'd like to think he's a gamer, but his Wii has been in a box since he moved to Sydney, and his PlayStation Vita collection is quite lacking. Most mornings you'll find him tilting at various windmills on Twitter - follow @JM77 and say hi!
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Brendan Wallach

I wonder how this might play out now that pokemon go is out there.

Darren Ferguson

I was actually wondering about this the other day, because a huge crowd gathers in a random city and then disperses shortly after. Kind of funny that the whole thing is organised and run from afar for some sites with no Niantic employees on site.

I had my 3rd encounter with police on Sat night for playing Ingress. They are usually OK about it.

Natalie Andrews

Well although Niantic isn’t responsible for this kind of thing… they could be proactive and call the local police departments and let them know…not an easy task but with the resources that Google has it shouldn’t be too much of a problem…

Andrea Tene

Oh my god, unbelievable. Arresting them because they are playing a game!! What the f*** is that!

Raymond Andrews

How the HELL does this say anything about how Niantic runs their events. If people have to live in a country where they cant play a harmless game without fear of the government. That’s the fault of the government. Had they all gathered to play hopscotch would it say something about the chalk manufacturers ? I give credit to Niantic for ingress and giving these people something enjoyable in their lives even if their government is determined that enjoying yourself is a menace


Alf la ba2s 3alikom, kafara ya 3ial. Na2sakom ya 3alam ya Haifa


3andak 7a2 ya 2a5 3at3ot. 3eial tafha we sees


Guys, calm down, the kids were just playing and having fun. No reason for being jailed. It is just a game. But officers have the right to catch them, especially these days according to the law of taware2

Valerie Wallace

Not kids, adults. The game has to be played on a smartphone. While I know a lot of kids have smartphones these days, this game is mostly played by adults.


Look at the pictures you will find most of them are teens, not adults. Kids now are watching porn anyway. Adults or kids this is not our big problem. So trivial and silly thinking

Valerie Wallace

I’ve been playing the ‘game’ since the first week of Beta. I run the local communities. I have *2* players under 18, and over 100 above 18, and most of us are in our 30’s and 40’s. I’ve also attended many events and met a lot of players in several countries. I’ve rarely encountered teens in any of these events, and when I did, they were accompanied by parents who got them started playing because they were playing themselves. In fact, in the early days it was against Ingress TOS to play if you were under 18. I can assure… Read more »


Yes but with this sort of game you have to be careful in certain way. In retrospect I doubt that anyone much is surprised that this could happen. We’ve got rules (unofficial I think) which stop portals being placed at schools – particularly primary – to avoid loitering suspiciously concerns. That said, even here in Oz there are portals which could cause you issues if you’re not careful. Such as near/on military bases where they can be suspicious of people using phones in a rather focused manner.

Sayed elgen

That’s why this game is dangerous, especially days. No blame on egyptian police, 14 guys at 4 am, what the hell are you doing here? They answered : we are playing.
Playing? Really! So come with me to see who you are.


El le3ba di aslan Lel 3alam elfadia ya ostaz 3at3ot, be esmak el to7fa da.


La2 yad enta eli esmak wahmi ya a5 7alof

Yehia El Zeiny

العالم الفاضية …آه .. على فكرة يا أستاذ .. أنا بشتغل IT في شركة في حاجة اسمها E2E

وبشتغل حاجة تانية غير ده …

لما حضرتك تقول عالم فاضية .. يا ريت اعرف حضرتك بتشتغل إيه ؟


آه عالم فاضية انت يعني رايح أربعة الفجر بتعمل ايه! جرحتك قوي عالم فاضية؟ ثم عالم فاضية مش مقصود بيها عاطل. انا دبلوم صنايع و بشتغل في ورشة ابو عطعوط. و أوقات الفراغ بشتغل مزين

Anwar abo tefafa

Ya 3am abo el 3ata3it, e7trm nafsk we etkalm 3edl. Badal ma nigi nlebak. Law ragel to2oli enta fein. We Ana a3rafak el hayafa


Ana saken fe 7aret abo 3at3ot motafare3a mn share3 el 3atawta, madinet el 3ata3it el gedida. eldor eltani.
Tab ma t2oli enta fein we Ana agilak badal ma at3eb ganab ahalk.