Dreams of a better tomorrow – XF-CC Spotlight

I discovered this organization as many others did at the Persepolis anomaly in Portland, OR. I didn’t really understand its full meaning at the time, and was going through a bit of a rough patch with cross faction relations myself. Intrigued, I reached out to #XF-CC to find out more. I had the pleasure of interviewing the founding agents, DannoReg and Vaximily, along with one of the main moderators, agent BlastinBlossom.

My friend Zer0lad and I taking a picture with the #XF-CC mural (with November Lima in the background).


For the interview, I’ll be using chat heads to represent who is speaking:


fev_avatarFev    danno_avatarDannoReg    vax_avatarVaximily    blast_avatarBlastinBlossom



fev_avatarCan you tell me what #XF-CC is?

danno_avatar It stands for Cross-Faction Communication Cooperative. The idea of the name is that we’re a bunch of agents on both sides that like to foster communication on both sides in an effort to defuse situations before they become too intense. Communication being the key, but also, we operate under an umbrella idea of honor and respect and being able to get away from holding other people accountable and holding ourselves accountable. That’s what #XF-CC is.

fev_avatarI love what it is, and what it stands for. I think that’s what drew my interest greatly into the project, especially someone like myself that has a bad track record. I’m known as a troll, known for all the things that this doesn’t stand for… And I want to see change. It’s been a transformation for me.

blast_avatarI think it’s a rite of passage. I was a pretty loud mouth, I didn’t take guff from anyone in COMM, I was the only BlastinBlossom, and they knew it. I’d have a few drinks downtown, they’d say something snarky, and I’d lay into them and belittle them, and I know I did.

danno_avatarWe were talking about this earlier, it’s a pendulum effect an agent goes through (usually between L1-8) where they find out whats right for an ARG game vs console games like Call of Duty. You have that level of aggro and that level autonomy on either side and there is a pendulum effect of how far is too far, then you react back, then you put yourself back out again until you get it just right. It’s a rite of passage where they end up going too far, retract.




fev_avatarWhat is the origin of #XF-CC? How did it come to be?

danno_avatarVaximily and I have had pretty similar experiences independently growing up in Ingress. #XF-CC is a combination of going through these common phases of agenthood that we all go through, which is the initial “how do I play the game”, then how you get into the social dynamic, how do you not be a troll, how do you avoid getting trolled, what do you do when you get trolled. Rage quitting is always a thing. Joining communities, leaving communities is always a thing. I’ve gone though all of that. #XF-CC is kinda my glimmer of hope in all that I can find other people who maintain the same kind of optimism for the game that I do among all the bullsh*tery that happens. Vaximily and I met randomly at a party, started talking and found we had the same kind of interests. We decided to roll this out, and see what happens. Just like in the beginning, when you come into Ingress, none of this was written. No body knew how to act in the game or what they were getting themselves into. There’s definitely a natural evolution to agenthood in the game. To me, #XF-CC represents level 17.


blast_avatarIt’s telling people, it gets better. They love the game, but they hate the game… Like when they have that struggle, it can get better. You just have to work through it.

danno_avatarPart of it is providing hope, part of it is setting an example, which is absent in a lot of these communities that I see. You have all these people who want to say, “I’m the victim”, this happened, or that happened, and feel sorry for me.. But what we don’t see a lot of is people taking responsibility for their actions or apologizing for their actions. That’s why I think the focus on self-regulating is kinda the answer to solving animosities between two agents.

blast_avatarMy counterpart in Florida was passionate about doing cross fac, and was the only enlightened that did at the time. She set something up and I messaged her saying what can I do to help set things up and keep things drama free. Who do I need to keep away, who do we need to know is coming in advance so we know how to prepare. Without that meeting, we would have never had a FS, we would never would have had November Lima, all those things that happened in our little city happened because we set an example that you can be friends and not ruin OPSEC (field planning and farms information being the best examples).

danno_avatarOne great thing about what were doing and what the membership is about is that you don’t need anybody’s permission to become part of #XF-CC, you don’t need anybody’s permission to do anything cross fac in the game as it is. You get a lot of crap from people all about OPSEC and that you’ll be giving away information, because to those people, the idea that a green is talking to a blue, or a blue is talking to a green is evidence on it’s own that they are not trustworthy.. And I think that’s a real wrong way to measure someones fortitude, that’s the wrong way to measure or not that they can keep a secret or have integrity based on who they talk to. Those are ideas that have been cast out on society decades ago and here they are coming up in an augmented reality game.

vax_avatarYou know, one of the things for me with Ingress is, drink beer. It’s what I do. For me anytime I would see anyone say “they’re the enemy”, I drink with anybody, no matter who you are. They’re not the enemy, they’re my opponent, but as soon as I put my scanner down, they’re not my enemy, they’re my friend. I always tried to steer people away from the word enemy. They’re not our enemy, I don’t dislike this person.

Beergress design credit to Alexa Mayer.

danno_avatarInevitably, every agent that believes that will come into a situation that is called into controversy. Because they’ll meet somebody they like, and in normal circumstances would be someone they’d hang out with… I’ve got 9 out of 10 things in common with you, but I can’t talk to you because some person who has been playing Ingress longer than I have says I can’t be your friend. Everybody is going to run into that one moment where they will have to challenge that. It’s kinda sad when someone decides their faction is more important than their life or their friendships.

fev_avatarThere is an artificial hate created. Especially with old players.

danno_avatarAnd it’s not based one anything! Someone could join the ENL tomorrow and not know anybody in the group, but then there’s probably more than a dozen people in town that will instantly hate them because they choose green instead of blue.



fev_avatarDid you guys expect the massive response you’ve gotten so far?

danno_avatarNo, we did it because despite our own experience, Vaximily and I came to the same conclusion a long time ago. We did it more because we felt there was a need for it, not because we wanted to see how popular it could be.

blast_avatarIf you build, they will come if they need it.

danno_avatarOur goal is to lead by example, and if someone doesn’t like that example they don’t need to do what I do, or like what I like.. I’m doing what I feel is right. I’m operating under my own ideas within the structure of the game and my own morality. I can justify all the choices I make, or I can apologize for them if I make a mistake. The idea that I’m out doing those things on my own without having to answer to someone else as to if those things are wrong is the idea of a sovereign agent. There are sovereign agents all over the country that think joining a community means you have to do what the OG’s (original gangsters) tell you.

vax_avatarOne of the things we’ve run into is people saying “you’re just another cross faction group, what is the point, and what are you guys even doing?”. They want to be convinced to join somehow, and I straight up tell them, I’m not going to sit here and defend #XF-CC. If you like it, and think you’ll be involved, and that’s what you’re interested in, then join! And if you’re not, and you think it’s dumb, I’m not going to sit here and tell you why it’s not dumb. If you don’t see the value in it, fine.. Don’t join, that’s your choice.

blast_avatarBut if you’ve ever had an opportunity for an agent to contact you about the other side, or about something that they heard, “oh somebody was negative towards so and so”, or “I’ve heard a lot of reports of cheating”, or this or that and I don’t know how to handle it or approach the other side. When people come to you for advice on that, it only has to happen once or twice before you realize there needs to be an open forum, there needs to be a repository where people can kick around these ideas and talk about how do we have those conversations with the other side in a constructive way without completely destroying both communities, running off players, or changing the landscape of the game in that city.

danno_avatarThe easiest conclusion we’ve come to for that problem is that we aren’t the police, we’re not here to monitor other people, we’re not here to judge their actions, and we’re definitely not here to get them in trouble. We’re here to talk about the things the things we’re doing to make Ingress better, not to talk about what people are doing to make Ingress worse.

blast_avatarReport and move on, report and move on, and that’s a really big deal. I think sending in your first report for cheating is almost a rite of passage for an agent. A lot of times, it’s based out of anger or frustration more so than validity or evidence. That’s part of that evolution we were just talking about.

danno_avatarYou’ll notice in our community, we don’t have any categories to talk about how to give someone anger or how to deal with a tense situation. The closest thing we have is Success Stories. Tell us about something that happened that you were able to spin a situation into something good. You get a lot more traction out of those kinds of stories because lessons come from that over a “poor me” retribution post. Let’s face it, we all have the same scanner, so therefore we all have the same problems, dealing with the same kind of people, with the same kind of mind sets. The lessons that can be gleamed out of success stories is far more valuable than somebody saying “poor me” because other people have had that same experience.



fev_avatarIf there is someone interested in joining #XF-CC, what steps would someone need to take to apply?

vax_avatarThey can contact one of us, they can check the G+ community (which is all publicly visible), request to join, and fill out their request to join form with a counterpart. We reach out to them and ask who their counterpart is because we want everyone to join with a counterpart from their community. More than anything we ask they request the standards of the community with a desire to make Ingress xfac better.

blast_avatarMultiples of pairs from a community are welcome. It doesn’t just have to be OG’s that run the communities, everyone is welcome. We don’t dictate what goes on at IngressFS, who runs what, or any of that other cross faction stuff, so I want to be clear on that because I think there was some confusion at some point.

vax_avatarIf you don’t have a counterpart, we’ll help you find one. While we do want counterparts, we’re not just going to exclude someone because they don’t have one already. We understand some communities are so damaged enough that they aren’t even on talking terms at the moment.

danno_avatarWe’re calling it hitting Level 17.

blast_avatarI’m only Level 14, I have a ways to go…

danno_avatarThat’s the thing, you can hit Level 17 before you hit 15 if you’re willing to talk to someone on the other side with positive intent.


vax_avatarOne of the thing’s we’re able to help facilitate is opening people’s minds to that.



fev_avatarCould you describe the birth of the #XF-CC mural and how it evolved into what it is today?

blast_avatarIt’s a mecca now.

danno_avatarIn my mind, we needed something that represented unity between the factions. What was happening at the anomalies, just wasn’t cutting it. You had your announcements before and after, and then everyone splits for their faction only parties. There wasn’t much going on to unify the factions and I felt like we needing something visual, and something physical to look at, touch, and feel. Something to bring everyone together. The mural kinda took shape on its own. It was a six week artistic project and my first mural ever. It’s a success story in a sense that everyone instantly recognized what it was and instantly recognized its value. It was signed by over 200 people from all over the world and I think the best part of this project for me was when I realized it wasn’t my mural anymore. I had spent six weeks putting this thing together, being meticulous about every detail, and then half way through the anomaly it had some many signatures on it that it was unrecognizable. It became property of the community, and that’s the moment when I realized its true value.

vax_avatarUnity is the key word here. I’ve traveled all over the county for anomalies, been to quite a few of them. Every time I go to an anomaly, I end up hanging out with a cross faction group of people. They don’t care what color you are, they like to drink beer. There are people everywhere you go that are #XF-CC minded.

fev_avatarSo tell me more about the mural, what happened after Persepolis?

danno_avatarAfter Persepolis, we clear coated it, and it got placed in a local public park here in Portland on display ever since. It’s been visited by so many people out of town, it’s become a mecca at this point. We’ve had people coming by and signing it after the fact. The portal for the mural went live within 24 hours using the hashtag #portalgems, and we’re really proud of that. There was no special coercion or favoritism here either. This was just agents working really hard to make Ingress really fun and I assume Niantic took that in to account and wanted to help us make Ingress better. We truly appreciate that.

fev_avatarThey saw the value in it and that’s probably why it went live so fast! They like the idea and what it meant.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

15 - 3



fev_avatarWhat do you think is the biggest threat to cross faction communities?

blast_avatarPoor community management on the faction side.

danno_avatarI’m leaning towards lack of involvement or participation by its members.

fev_avatarWhat about trolls?

danno_avatarFor me it’s not about the troll. For me, it’s about me. If a troll has something positive to say, they can say it, that’s fine. If a troll has something negative to say, but has merit.. I’ll still listen and might even change my behaviors if they have a valid point. A troll may not have every comment be meritorious, but there are definitely meritorious things that can be learned from a troll. If I hear or see someone say negative things about me in COMM or in a chat, I’ll instantly block them cause I don’t want to deal with that kinda bullsh*t in Ingress ever. I was over that a year and a half ago, and I’m just done with that.

blast_avatarAnd they won’t know and are probably still cussing you out.

danno_avatarAnd I have no idea about it and I’m totally happy about that! They can say whatever they want because it doesn’t reach my ears. Why? Because other people are watching, and other people are listening, and other people are saying, “Well wait a minute.. DannoReg has this other thing going on right now where he is working on cross faction, he is working on building community… Your voice doesn’t have as much merit as his.” I don’t even have to defend myself to anybody because there are people out there who have my best interest in mind, just like I have theirs, and that’s the whole reason why this works. That’s why trolls are a non-issue. We’ve created a venue where a trolls opinion means zilch.



Fev: Do you have any future plans for #XF-CC?

vax_avatarOne of the things that we’d like to do is set things up with a finale site so they can set up their own mecca. Maybe not even just finales.

danno_avatarWe plan to travel to as many anomaly sites as we can with our very limited budget (which is our personal budgets). We saw a huge success with our friendship rally at the Persepolis anomaly and plan on doing more of that. We also want everyone to know that we’re not bringing #XF-CC to a community or an event. What we’re hoping to do is leave it there! We want to show that we can all work together, we’re all doing the same thing, we can all high five before and after an anomaly without compromising our integrity in the game. More than anything we want to find those people in all these communities that are willing to take this step to reach Level 17 and work on being that example themselves for all the other OG’s around them that have forgotten how to have fun with Ingress.





All of this hits home for me personally. I’ve been the OG that refuses to see change and the troll that has gone too far. I want to see change! Not only in myself, but in my local community as a whole. Be the change that you want to see, and if want to see change in your community, I encourage you to take the step to find a counterpart, and get involved with #XF-CC today! I’ll be applying the #XF-CC values to my own Ingress lifestyle and will hopefully be reporting my own success stories within the community soon.