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dadoskawina

Why virtuals where introduced and gradfathered?

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My question is not about the new action of current virtual reward. I'd rather ask you for reminding the history of virtual caches. I'm too short in the game to know what has happened. So, if you have a knowledge to answer the following questions, it would be much appreciated.

 

1) Why virtuals were introduced (and when)?

2) When and why virtuals were restricted and grandfathered? Was it done immediately or was it a longer process (eg. first some new publication rules, and later swithing off the possibility of publication)?
3) Why they become grandfathered, not entirely removed from the game like locationless caches?

 

I did some simple research which shows that the most virtuals has been published in 2002 (about 4000 virtual caches) but they were still being published until 2005:

 

Here are some numbers:

2000: 11 virtuals

2001: 628 new virtuals

2002: 3941

2003: 2226

2004: 567

2005: 62.

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This was written more than 10 years ago. It really should be an FAQ entry. I think it answers all your questions.

 

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21 minutes ago, niraD said:

This was written more than 10 years ago. It really should be an FAQ entry. I think it answers all your questions.

 

Thanks, that's a great explanation indeed, however doesn't contain dates. As I suppose (by looking for numbers of publications), 2002 or early 2003 was the time of introducing the first "Wow" requirement and in 2005 any new submission were prohibited. Am I correct?

 

The last question is still unanswered. Why the old virtuals wasn't switched into waymarks and remained in the game?

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9 minutes ago, dadoskawina said:

Why the old virtuals wasn't switched into waymarks and remained in the game?

I suspect that many of the old virtuals are waymarked, if there's a category for them. Not the same as "switching them over", though.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, dadoskawina said:

1) Why virtuals were introduced (and when)?

2) When and why virtuals were restricted and grandfathered? Was it done immediately or was it a longer process (eg. first some new publication rules, and later swithing off the possibility of publication)?
3) Why they become grandfathered, not entirely removed from the game like locationless caches?

 

I know this topic is repeating time to time, but I appreciate these questions and would love to read simple, comprehensive answers from oldtimers too.

 

1) I don't really know :)

2) I THINK - they became too many, too mundane, too difficult to review "WOW" factor as one of the requirements. I THINK there was one cut-off date for stop publishing any more listings.

3) I THINK because they were sustainable as grandfathered cache type. Unlike LL caches, which were increasingly difficult, if not impossible to log by their design. You, as the geocacher had to find and log i.e. sundial anywhere in the world - but! - a new one, which has not been logged before yet! It means you had to go through all the logs to discover, whether "your" sundial was logged before (and you have to find another one) or not (and you are eligible to log it). Simply, LL caches could not sustain any more traffic in their original design. Waymarking is much better platform for them, I think it works very well there, but the site needs much more love from HQ. It's like forgotten orphan :(

Edited by Rikitan
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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, dadoskawina said:

1) Why virtuals were introduced (and when)?

2) When and why virtuals were restricted and grandfathered? Was it done immediately or was it a longer process (eg. first some new publication rules, and later swithing off the possibility of publication)?
3) Why they become grandfathered, not entirely removed from the game like locationless caches?

 

1) Cache types were in a sense invented by players - within Geocaching.com (begin Sept 2000) website all caches were simply Geocache.  The site developed  types and sizes to try to categorize what players were doing.  May 7, 2001 Jeremy announced types: Traditional, Multi-cache, Letterbox Hybrid, Virtual, Unknown (Mystery), Event -  and sizes: micro, regular, large, and unknown/not chosen (notice no small size).  A.P.E caches also May 2001,  Webcam between Jan and Feb 2002,  Locationless Sept 2002 (visit link) CITO Events April 2003 (visit link) etc.

 

The first Virtual is Rift Valley GC53 - 15 June 2000. This cache was virtual from its inception. Other Virtuals with older placed dates were changed to Virtual by their owner when original containers went missing.   I'm not sure when owners lost the ability to change types, I think it may have been at the guideline update of July 2002.

 

2) Guideline revision of July 2002 included a definition of Virtuals;  they couldn't move, they needed to be semi-permanent objects, they needed to be something discrete (not a "a beach, a view"), referenced by coords, they couldn't be commercial. 

March 2003, another guideline update that further defined and restricted Virtuals; requiring that they be something special, the "wow factor", and made the statement that physical caches were preferred.  It suggested any place you wanted to put a Virtual could likely be the virtual first stage of a Multi-cache instead. 

Virtuals were much harder to get  published after this. They ended completely in late 2005, with the opening of the Waymarking site.  

  That guideline revision also announced a moratorium on Locationless, and added the cache saturation guideline and within it the powertrail guideline ("don't go cache crazy and hide 10 caches because you can. If you want to create a series of caches, create a multicache. Why hide two caches when one will do?")  Saturation applied to Virtuals and virtual stages of physical caches. 

 

3) The Waymarking site is a near perfect match to Locationless, and not a match for Virtuals*.  

Also as Rikitan as posted above, on a Locationless, each find was to be unique and not reused! If I logged a carillon,  no other player was to use that one, they had to find their own. This is unsustainable over time. It was poorly enforced (mostly not enforced) . Cache owner needed special tools to try to keep track, and mostly, they just didn't.  

 

* Locationless Carillon cache was to find and log a carillon.  A category was defined, you searched for something that fit it. That something was only to be used ONE time. Had there been Carillon Virtual, it would have been a specific Carillon - all logs would be of that one object.  

Edited by Isonzo Karst
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5 hours ago, Isonzo Karst said:

March 2003, another guideline update that further defined and restricted Virtuals; requiring that they be something special, the "wow factor", and made the statement that physical caches were preferred.  It suggested any place you wanted to put a Virtual could likely be the virtual first stage of a Multi-cache instead. 

 

I began reviewing in May 2003, and enforcing this guideline was THE most difficult, time-consuming and flame-inducing task out of all my duties.  I groaned every time I saw a virtual cache submission for an historic marker or other common object show up in my queue.

 

The term "wow factor" was invented by my daughter, who was nine years old at the time.  After visiting a virtual cache that took us to a street sign at a residential subdivision intersection, she said "Daddy, I don't like virtual caches like this.  I like virtual caches where you say "WOW" when you get to the coordinates."  The strict controls were necessary because some geocachers were submitting anything and everything as virtual caches:  street signs, a lost sneaker in the woods, a decaying animal carcass, etc.

 

The great thing about Virtual Rewards is that each recipient knows they only get one chance to do it right.  The "wow factor" becomes self enforcing: the lucky virtual cache owner is not going to waste their opportunity by featuring a street sign.

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46 minutes ago, Keystone said:

The great thing about Virtual Rewards is that each recipient knows they only get one chance to do it right.

 

Perhaps they need to apply this strategy to cache hides in general. ^_^

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