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Geocaching: Sport Or Game?


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It doesn't take long to see that there are two distinctly different types of Geocachers in this forum.

 

Type One: Recreational. Participates on purely an individual level for the enjoyment of the activity. Although they are aware of the structure of Geocaching and the rules involved, they play the way that makes them happy. This type of cacher doesn't really put a lot of thought into the way others play and is unconcerned about stats.

 

Type Two: Competitive. Stats are a driving factor in their participation and this cacher usually holds a very strong opinion on the activities of other cachers. Very well versed and invested on GeoCaching procedures and standards and have probably reached a higher skill level. This type of cacher generally feels that Geocaching and it's true intended spirit is currently in jeopardy.

 

It's my own personal observation the gap is widening between Recreational and Competitive Cachers. The differences between these two camps are very often at the root of several rifts in this forum. While they both have legitimate places in GeoCaching, continuing to attempt to mold them into one type is a recipe for disaster.

 

I think it's time to stop trying to fit the round peg of a game into the square peg of a sport.

 

I propose a new designation of Geocache player be formed, for the sake of this discussion let's call it a Master Cacher and give them their own icon. To obtain this designation or status, each logged find is examined under a tighter set of criteria (such as no multiple logging of archived caches at events.. see thread "What is going on here?"). All finds would be subject to the review of a review board. Better yet the sport could police itself and any other Master Cacher can audit a logged find of another Master Cacher and challenge it’s legitimacy. Any unresolved disputes of legitimacy would then go to a review board similar to the cache reviewer looking at new caches. If the guidelines were clearly stated (note they would have be rewritten) challenges would be rare.

 

This way, a GeoCaching purist is well defined and appreciated. A recreational cacher can feel free to be creative on how they log their finds or just do what they want within the less restrictive guidelines. A side benefit would be that a casual player would then have a defined set of standards to aspire to once their skill reaches a higher level. Or perhaps a Master Cacher would grow weary of competition and want to return to being a recreational cacher and give up the icon.

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I'd personally actually say it's much more of a sport than a game. I'm not hugely in for the numbers, but I do look at them and care that mine go up. I'm even in a friendly competition with a couple other cacher's that started around the same time as myself to stay even or ahead of them...but it's all friendly.

 

I'm going the "sport" route because in many ways it seems like it to me. Heck, golf is a sport and you see the same arguments about numbers there as here, we just have one big large forum to compare the numbers ;)

 

And in reality, I'd say its more of a sport than a game for the simple fact its getting a ton of computer geeks away from their online games and out into the real world...no simple "game" could expose that many computer people to sunlight :D

 

Celticwulf

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I don’t fall under either category since I cache when I feel like it and don’t cache when I don’t. I’m not competitive at all, and the only issue I have with stats is that they be true, not based on lies and deceit. There are more faults in your logic than I can reasonably address.

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It's a recreational activity sport hobby. RASH. Games end, caching goes on.

 

RK got it better than I did...I think part of my issue is that it has NEVER felt like a "game" to me, and every time people try to call it that it really irks me for some strange reason...like you're dismissing what I do because "it's just a game..." ;)

 

Celticwulf

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I don’t fall under either category since I cache when I feel like it and don’t cache when I don’t. I’m not competitive at all, and the only issue I have with stats is that they be true, not based on lies and deceit. There are more faults in your logic than I can reasonably address.

 

Please stay on topic. You say neither and it is therefore noted.

 

Next?

Edited by Team GeoBlast
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It is a game that at times requires sports.

 

I again say "it's not a game" (really like the "how can it be a game when nobody wins?" comment above) but I found the most definitive proof that it should be a "sport": from http://www.geocaching.com/about/

 

Geocaching Resources

The Geocaching FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Everything you would like to know about the Geocaching sport.

 

;)

 

Celticwulf

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It is a game that at times requires sports.

 

I again say "it's not a game" (really like the "how can it be a game when nobody wins?" comment above) but I found the most definitive proof that it should be a "sport": from http://www.geocaching.com/about/

 

Geocaching Resources

The Geocaching FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Everything you would like to know about the Geocaching sport.

 

;)

 

Celticwulf

 

"

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Frequently Asked Questions About Geocaching

 

If you don't find the answer you're looking for here, ask it in the forums!

 

What is Geocaching?

 

Geocaching is an entertaining adventure game for gps users. Participating in a cache hunt is a good way to take advantage of the wonderful features and capability of a gps unit. The basic idea is to have individuals and organizations set up caches all over the world and share the locations of these caches on the internet. GPS users can then use the location coordinates to find the caches. Once found, a cache may provide the visitor with a wide variety of rewards. All the visitor is asked to do is if they get something they should try to leave something for the cache. "

 

hmmm, it looks like we have come to a draw my friend. :D

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A zen master placed a metal pitcher of milk on the temple floor and sat with his students studying it. "What is this?" he asked.

 

"A pitcher of milk." replied one student.

 

"You have much to learn." Said the master.

 

A second student spoke, "it is something you drink, something you taste, something which nourishes you."

 

"But what *IS* it?" asked the master. The students began to argue, but none could agree on the essence of the thing before them.

 

One student stood and walked to the pitcher. He looked at it. He lifted it to his lips and tasted it. He emptied it out in a cold torrent over his own head. Then he dropped the pitcher and listened to it's metallic sound as it hit the floor. He kicked it watched the sunlight glint from it's edges as it spun slowly to a stop.

 

The room fell to silence. The student looked up and said, "I can not tell you what it is master. You will have to experience it for yourself."

 

The master smiled.

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hmmm, it looks like we have come to a draw my friend. B)

 

ROFL!!! I knew I should have kept looking further ;)

 

OK, I've now looked up the Wikipedia article about "game" here and will now admit I can see how some people MAY think of it as a game. I still don't want to think of it as such, and will go with the RASH that RK called it, mainly due to people that don't understand being able to dismiss our activity as "bah, it's JUST a GAME..." :D

 

However, it is interesting to note that the article states "Taking an action that falls outside the rules generally constitutes a foul or cheating"...which is what the OP was feeling the angst over, but if it IS a game, then there can be "cheating" so...how does this throw a wrinkle in the original argument B)

 

Celticwulf

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A zen master placed a metal pitcher of milk on the temple floor and sat with his students studying it. "What is this?" he asked.

 

"A pitcher of milk." replied one student.

 

"You have much to learn." Said the master.

 

A second student spoke, "it is something you drink, something you taste, something which nourishes you."

 

"But what *IS* it?" asked the master. The students began to argue, but none could agree on the essence of the thing before them.

 

One student stood and walked to the pitcher. He looked at it. He lifted it to his lips and tasted it. He emptied it out in a cold torrent over his own head. Then he dropped the pitcher and listened to it's metallic sound as it hit the floor. He kicked it watched the sunlight glint from it's edges as it spun slowly to a stop.

 

The room fell to silence. The student looked up and said, "I can not tell you what it is master. You will have to experience it for yourself."

 

The master smiled.

 

and then the master said; "What make you certain that is not a Geocache?"

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Frequently Asked Questions About Geocaching

 

If you don't find the answer you're looking for here, ask it in the forums!

 

What is Geocaching?

 

Geocaching is an entertaining adventure game for gps users. Participating in a cache hunt is a good way to take advantage of the wonderful features and capability of a gps unit. The basic idea is to have individuals and organizations set up caches all over the world and share the locations of these caches on the internet. GPS users can then use the location coordinates to find the caches. Once found, a cache may provide the visitor with a wide variety of rewards. All the visitor is asked to do is if they get something they should try to leave something for the cache. "

 

hmmm, it looks like we have come to a draw my friend. :anibad:

 

If Groundspeak edits that and removes the word game will you throw in the towel? It's not a game for a number of reasons.

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Definitions courtesy Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary

Game: 1 a (1) : activity engaged in for diversion or amusement : PLAY (2) : the equipment for a game

 

Sport: : a source of diversion : RECREATION b : sexual play c (1) : physical activity engaged in for pleasure (2) : a particular activity (as an athletic game) so engaged in

 

So my answer is both.

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Use experiences to define words. Don't use words to define experiences.

 

Words are flawed creatures. All words have definitions are and all definitions are imperfect. Use words to communicate experiences to others, because we have little else that is of any use for that task. But don't let your words restrict your experiences...

 

I have tasted the milk... I have kicked the pitcher... So have you. Now let the experience be what it is. Let it flower and bloom within our souls. Let it live free from restrictions.

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To me, any game can turn into a sport. Mazes for example... a maze is a game. Mundane it is, but if you wanted to you could make it into a sport... who can solve a series of mazes the quickest... for example. Chess is a game, obviously a sport, too. Video games recently turned into a sport. My friend makes his living playing games like Halo 1 and Halo 2 professionally (placed 6th in the world in a Halo competition 2 years ago).

 

And even though I am a newbie, right now I see Geocaching as a GAME. It would not suprise me if it turned into a sport at some time... but not now. Right now it is the sole (one person or a group) effort to find a few caches for the day and not really compare your efforts to others. However there are people who are comparing numbers... we call them STAT WHORES in Counter Strike. hehe.

 

I think this poster understands the topic I was trying to open up for discussion. There are people that treat Geocaching as a game and there's people that treat like a sport. It's two entirely different approaches to Geocaching and you see it loud and clear in these forums. I think there should be some designation or special icon for those who are serious enough about it to adhere to certain higher standards because it's delusional to think that everyone is going to fall in line and start doing what they do.

 

Somebody tell me why this wouldn't save hours of bellyaching?

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Sport or game? This reminds me of the Miller beer ads where the two sides would argue: "less filling!!/tastes great". My take on this (I'm not a deep philosopher) is like the beer ads - both sides are right for their own reasons. Whether you view it as a sport or a game, geocaching is like looking into a mirror: the reflection is what you want to see. Either way it can be an enjoyable way to pass the time.

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I don’t fall under either category since I cache when I feel like it and don’t cache when I don’t. I’m not competitive at all, and the only issue I have with stats is that they be true, not based on lies and deceit. There are more faults in your logic than I can reasonably address.

Whichever category one falls into should there not be one common denominator? Whether you are a purist, a numbers hound, a pocket cacher, or a recreationalist ... you should at least have SOME fun participating. Geocaching should be like 'spanking your monkey', do it as much as you want or as little, do it for any reason you like, do it till the cows come home but for God's sake ... have fun doing it.

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For someone who's been caching for less than a year, you certainly have much to learn still. This activity is about bring people together not driving them apart, comparing their differences or apply over-inflated titles of grandeur to oneself. Listen and learn grasshopper, a "master" becomes a true master when he learns that greatness is a measure of willingness to learn and experience all aspects of existence.

 

A piece of advice from my father: A person who is great does not need to shout it to a crowd. When you're great people will know. You won't need to tell them. <_<

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For someone who's been caching for less than a year, you certainly have much to learn still. This activity is about bring people together not driving them apart, comparing their differences or apply over-inflated titles of grandeur to oneself. Listen and learn grasshopper, a "master" becomes a true master when he learns that greatness is a measure of willingness to learn and experience all aspects of existence.

 

A piece of advice from my father: A person who is great does not need to shout it to a crowd. When you're great people will know. You won't need to tell them. :tired:

 

I'm not sure who you were talking to.

If you're talking to me then you're obviously taking this thread way to seriously.... <_<

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For someone who's been caching for less than a year, you certainly have much to learn still. This activity is about bring people together not driving them apart, comparing their differences or apply over-inflated titles of grandeur to oneself. Listen and learn grasshopper, a "master" becomes a true master when he learns that greatness is a measure of willingness to learn and experience all aspects of existence.

 

A piece of advice from my father: A person who is great does not need to shout it to a crowd. When you're great people will know. You won't need to tell them. <_<

 

My suggestion was generated from another discussion on legitimacy of finds and watching some more experienced cachers with a lot of finds coming down really hard on some others for being creative in the way they log finds (the discussion was about pocket caches). There was a distinct division of responses in this forum. Some didn't care what others do or if they have 1000s of finds that were logged in whatever possible way while the other camp went so far as to tell people they were cheating and lying by not logging by the strictest definition of a find.

 

I was taking a position that Geocaching activity is and should remain a personal preference of each individual playing the game. In no way was I suggesting any segregation of players, as you seem to be insinuating. In fact, it was said in the hopes that it would help people get along better. I hold a respect for people that have a very tight personal standard and understand their feelings of the devaluation of a find when a cacher gets creative in logging. I also totally supportive of people that just want to have fun and not worry about comparing themselves with anyone. What I felt was missing is some sort of way to make each way to the play okay. My position is that this can only be accomplished by the recognition (and definition) of a standard of play and adherence to that standard by those who wish to do so.

 

I'm proud to admit that I learn something new about Geocaching on a very regular basis. I learn by reading these forums but mostly from participating. Truthfully, I hope that never stops because it is what keeps me interested. Just curious, how'd you become so knowledgeable that you feel comfortable telling others "they have a lot to learn" in six months?

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It is a game that at times requires sports.

 

I again say "it's not a game" (really like the "how can it be a game when nobody wins?" comment above) but I found the most definitive proof that it should be a "sport": from http://www.geocaching.com/about/

 

Geocaching Resources

The Geocaching FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Everything you would like to know about the Geocaching sport.

 

<_<

 

Celticwulf

 

nevermind - okay, here's my 2 cents: Geocaching is "Geocaching" it's not a sport, it's not a game but it is a game and a sport. Ultimately it is Geocaching.

 

Okay, problem solved...Next?

Edited by Da Freaky 1
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For someone who's been caching for less than a year, you certainly have much to learn still. This activity is about bring people together not driving them apart, comparing their differences or apply over-inflated titles of grandeur to oneself. Listen and learn grasshopper, a "master" becomes a true master when he learns that greatness is a measure of willingness to learn and experience all aspects of existence.

 

A piece of advice from my father: A person who is great does not need to shout it to a crowd. When you're great people will know. You won't need to tell them. <_<

 

I'm not sure who you were talking to.

If you're talking to me then you're obviously taking this thread way to seriously.... :tired:

 

Hey! Go find someone else to insult you, it was me that he insulted.

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Geocaching is a sport governed by the rules of geocaching.com. I disagree with all this "It's what you make it" crap. That's like going out to play softball and deciding, "I play softball by running the bases backwards". Well, you are more than welcome to run backwards, but you will be called out and hurt your team.

 

There are definite rules that must be followed in this sport. If you don't like the rules, there are other sites you can go to, but then you aren't a "Geocacher" anymore. If you go to terracaching, you become a TerraCacher, not a Geocacher. I've already gotten all the terracaches within 50 miles of my home (That would be a total of 1). <_<

 

Short Answer: "SPORT"

Edited by ReadyOrNot
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Geocaching is a sport governed by the rules of geocaching.com. I disagree with all this "It's what you make it" crap. That's like going out to play softball and deciding, "I play softball by running the bases backwards". Well, you are more than welcome to run backwards, but you will be called out and hurt your team.

 

There are definite rules that must be followed in this sport. If you don't like the rules, there are other sites you can go to, but then you aren't a "Geocacher" anymore. If you go to terracaching, you become a TerraCacher, not a Geocacher. I've already gotten all the terracaches within 50 miles of my home (That would be a total of 1). <_<

 

Short Answer: "SPORT"

 

Wow.. I thought you SNORTED there for a minute.

 

Do you think that the rules of GeoCaching.com are that clear cut? I think you'll find of shades of gray if you really read into them. If there's going be a sport where fair competition and scoring (finds) exist, there's more work to be done in my opinion.

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Geocaching is a sport governed by the rules of geocaching.com. I disagree with all this "It's what you make it" crap. That's like going out to play softball and deciding, "I play softball by running the bases backwards". Well, you are more than welcome to run backwards, but you will be called out and hurt your team.

 

There are definite rules that must be followed in this sport. If you don't like the rules, there are other sites you can go to, but then you aren't a "Geocacher" anymore. If you go to terracaching, you become a TerraCacher, not a Geocacher. I've already gotten all the terracaches within 50 miles of my home (That would be a total of 1). :tired:

 

Short Answer: "SPORT"

 

Wow.. I thought you SNORTED there for a minute.

 

Do you think that the rules of GeoCaching.com are that clear cut? I think you'll find of shades of gray if you really read into them. If there's going be a sport where fair competition and scoring (finds) exist, there's more work to be done in my opinion.

 

I agree completely. There are definitely things that need to be worked out, but it's getting there <_<

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For someone who's been caching for less than a year, you certainly have much to learn still. This activity is about bring people together not driving them apart, comparing their differences or apply over-inflated titles of grandeur to oneself. Listen and learn grasshopper, a "master" becomes a true master when he learns that greatness is a measure of willingness to learn and experience all aspects of existence.

 

A piece of advice from my father: A person who is great does not need to shout it to a crowd. When you're great people will know. You won't need to tell them. :(

 

I'm not sure who you were talking to.

If you're talking to me then you're obviously taking this thread way to seriously.... :(

 

Hey! Go find someone else to insult you, it was me that he insulted.

 

Dang! Well, I'll keep looking. There must be an insulting person around here somewhere. :ph34r:

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