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Catch up on the plot of Google's real-world MMO Ingress

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A pair of videos recaps the past year of Ingress, a massively multiplayer alternate reality game from Google's Niantic Labs played in the real world on smartphones.

The first video, above, catches players up on the basic premise of Ingress: A research project discovers something called "Exotic Matter" or "XM," a mysterious force that seems designed to spur on humanity's intellectual and cultural development. XM hotspots exist all over the globe, concentrated in centers of human progress like major cities.

Two factions arise: the Enlightened, who believe XM and the mysterious Shapers who wield it are benevolent and responsible for mankind's current state, and the Resistance who believe XM is dangerous and seek to modify the hotspots to a safer, more stable state.

The second video below recaps the actions of the game's playerbase over the past year; players gathered at real-life XM hotspots to make storyline decisions regarding the fate of the game's characters and tip the balance of power toward the Enlightened or Resistance.

Ingress is currently available on the Android store.