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Duane Reade isn't playing around with participation in virtual gaming experience

Duane Reade's participation in Ingress is the latest example of how retailers are thinking of new ways to engage their consumer base

NEW YORK — Duane Reade on Tuesday announced the Niantic Labs new mobile game Ingress would be integrated across the chain's more than 250 locations in an effort to increase 'share of voice' and customer engagement. Duane Reade, part of the Walgreens family of companies, is one of the first retail partners in the New York Metropolitan area for "Ingress", which blends the physical and virtual world to create a one-of-a-kind gaming experience, Duane Reade stated. 

"Customer engagement strategy via location-based gaming has elevated to new levels and Duane Reade understands that," stated Calvin Peters, PR/online manager for Duane Reade. "Strategically engaging gamification experiences that utilize LBS platforms are becoming increasingly relevant as mobile concentration within the retail space continues to expand. It's important for us to be where our consumers are, including the virtual world."

An Ingress logo is located on the front window of Duane Reade stores around the city signaling players of the company's participation and the existence of a value-added game asset located inside the store. Each asset will display its own unique code, which gives players a range of resources for playing the game including energy, offensive and defensive game objects (resonators, weapons, shields) and possibly media objects. Each code may be used only once, but can be shared with each player's online community. As the game evolves, cooperation across neighborhoods, cities, and countries will be needed to achieve the ultimate victory for either faction.

The game's premise involves a team of scientists in Europe that have unearthed a mysterious energy called Exotic Matter which is believed to be influencing the way humans think. Players in the game will choose a side, either "The Enlightened" seeking to embrace the power that this energy may bestow or "The Resistance" working to defend and protect against that same power. Once they have picked a side, players will have to move through the real world around them to discover and tap into sources of this energy. They will be able to acquire objects to aid in their quest, deploy technology to capture territory, and ally with other players to advance the cause of their faction.

A global collaborative effort, "Ingress" players can interact with other players around the world, plan their next steps and communicate via an Intelligence map. An Investigation Board filled with cryptic clues and secret codes await each player as the story evolves daily with secrets and game elements ready to be unlocked. 


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