After months of planning, the time had come last Saturday: A group of Austrian Ingress players, women and also a male support team, went to Bratislava to set a new world record. The goal was to set up eight times eight L8 portals (the highest level) that are equipped only by women. You need eight people from the same faction to set up such an L8 portal. In this case, the mission was executed by the green faction, the Enlightened.
As the connections with the players in the Slovakian capital are very good, this city was chosen for the attempt and the details of the attempt prepared in advance so that the project could be completed as well and quickly as possible. Under the motto "GirlsEight," the players got to it and set the record in about three hours.
There have been similar missions on other continents, but not to this extent. The first "women-only" L8 portal was set up by in Australia in the spring, and then eight of them in Canada. The 64 "female" L8 portals have surpassed the record by far.
Even though more and more women are starting with Ingress, the augmented reality game is still dominated by men. Google has not released any official numbers, but there are unofficial statistics – which are cited by people including Ingress inventor John Hanke (futurezone interview here ) – that indicate that women make up a small minority of barely more than 10 per cent. Hanke also noted that women play a major social role in the game and that they often organize and manage missions and events.
Missions like last weekend can help to draw more attention to female Ingress users in any case. Details about the organizers, participants and supporters of the Ingress mission can be found here.