By  on February 5, 2013

Duane Reade is entering the world of digital gaming.

The retail chain has integrated Niantic Labs’ new mobile game Ingress, designed to blend the physical and the virtual world. The game, which can be played globally, is centered around the premise of a team of European scientists who have unearthed a mysterious energy called Exotic Matter, said to be influencing the way humans think. Players set out to either embrace that power or protect against it by joining one of two teams, The Enlightened or The Resistance.

In order to play, users acquire virtual resources at real-world locations. To that end, an Ingress logo — each with a unique code — will be located on the front window of the company’s more than 250 stores to signal the “existence of a value-added game asset” inside the outpost.

Once in the store, participants can acquire gaming assets — weapons, shields and other media objects — on their mobile devices to give them an advantage in the ongoing battle.

“Customer engagement strategy via location-based gaming has elevated to new levels, and Duane Reade understands that,” said Calvin Peters, public relations and online manager. “Strategically engaging gamification experiences that utilize location-based gaming 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.”

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