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Waning interest in puzzles

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1 hour ago, Korichnovui said:

 

Actually I thought the analogy was good. Throwing a party for your friends can be a lot like a gift. Even more than a gift sometimes. You put time, effort, and money into it. Making a cache for the community can feel similar. Anyway, the analogy worked for me. But it won't work for everyone. Different cache owners view things differently.

 

Yeah, whatever.  So if I understand you, you would throw a party for a friend where you required them to first perform some set of tasks exactly to your specifications.  If he or she did not, then when they showed up you would tell them they couldn't attend their own party because they hadn't done everything like you told them to. 

 

Or perhaps you throw  party for a friend and have games planned, but your friend says that they would rather not play the games you intended, so you throw them out of their party.

 

Yeah, thinking on this, maybe it is a good analogy for your point of view.

Edited by fizzymagic
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6 hours ago, arisoft said:

Let me make an analogy. You organize a surprise party for your friend, as a gift, you invite friends, etc. Then your friend arrives and says, "thank you for the party", and leaves immediately with the gifts. Are you planning a party next year?

 

A cache is not a gift to a friend, or even to one person, it's a gift to strangers that keeps on giving no matter how many accept it. Be patient and eventually someone will come along who totally gets what your cache is about and loves what you've created, then it doesn't matter how many others just grabbed the coordinates from a cheat site to claim a +1 smiley.

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3 hours ago, fizzymagic said:

Bad analogy.  A party is not the same as a gift.  A party would be analogous to an event.  I am talking about a cache.  Thanks for trying.

Not so fast. OK, a gift. You give your friend a gift for his birthday, and he says "thanks" and throws it in the trashcan where the two of you are standing. Next year?

 

I agree 100% with your position. I suppose it's fair to say that, in some ways, I learned it from you. So I still think it's a mistake to see finding the cache without solving the puzzle as anything but a lesser positive. But I have to admit, arisoft's example gives me a glimmer of the other side.

 

35 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

A cache is not a gift to a friend, or even to one person, it's a gift to strangers that keeps on giving no matter how many accept it. Be patient and eventually someone will come along who totally gets what your cache is about and loves what you've created, then it doesn't matter how many others just grabbed the coordinates from a cheat site to claim a +1 smiley.

Exactly. The problem with arisoft's analogy is that a cache is one gift to a community of people. One person not appreciating it fully doesn't detract from the other people that do appreciate it. To properly adjust arisoft's example, it's not throwing a party for a single individual, and them stomping off without attending. It's throwing a party for everyone. One person walking away doesn't nullify the fact that the other attendees enjoyed it.

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1 hour ago, dprovan said:

Not so fast. OK, a gift. You give your friend a gift for his birthday, and he says "thanks" and throws it in the trashcan where the two of you are standing. Next year?

 

I agree 100% with your position. I suppose it's fair to say that, in some ways, I learned it from you. So I still think it's a mistake to see finding the cache without solving the puzzle as anything but a lesser positive. But I have to admit, arisoft's example gives me a glimmer of the other side.

 

Exactly. The problem with arisoft's analogy is that a cache is one gift to a community of people. One person not appreciating it fully doesn't detract from the other people that do appreciate it. To properly adjust arisoft's example, it's not throwing a party for a single individual, and them stomping off without attending. It's throwing a party for everyone. One person walking away doesn't nullify the fact that the other attendees enjoyed it.

 

Arguments from analogy are usually quite poor, and this one is no exception.  In this case:  I said that a geocache is a gift.  And the reply was that a party is a gift, so that means a geocache is like a party.  Huh?  A bear is an animal and a fish is an animal but a fish is not particularly like a bear.

 

And my original point was not an analogy. When I place a geocache, it is quite literally a gift to the community.  Not like a gift, an actual gift.  The container itself will probably one day disappear or be degraded to such a point that I throw it out.  A puzzle, once set free, is no longer my property.  If I give a friend a gift and they throw it away, then I will likely try to do better next year, not have a tantrum and promise never to give a gift again. If they enjoy the gift, that is wonderful because it means I gave them joy. I don't judge them for not enjoying the gift in the right way or for not showing effusive enough appreciation. Because the joy of giving a gift is in the giving, not in the thanks.  Really

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6 hours ago, fizzymagic said:

Bad analogy.  A party is not the same as a gift.  A party would be analogous to an event.  I am talking about a cache.  Thanks for trying.

 

We have event caches. When you arrange an event it is not a gift to the community?

 

10 hours ago, arisoft said:

Are you planning a party next year?

 

You forget to answer this. The answer is the way to understanding why some puzzle makers, except you, consider to stop making new caches.

Edited by arisoft
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3 hours ago, dprovan said:

Exactly. The problem with arisoft's analogy is that a cache is one gift to a community of people. One person not appreciating it fully doesn't detract from the other people that do appreciate it. To properly adjust arisoft's example, it's not throwing a party for a single individual, and them stomping off without attending. It's throwing a party for everyone. One person walking away doesn't nullify the fact that the other attendees enjoyed it.

 

This is what I am trying to tell. When making puzzle caches you must focus on those who are really participating your adventure and forget free riders. The number of free riders is growing because it is the official way to play.

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16 hours ago, arisoft said:

You must understand that when you create a great refector field puzzle cache, some players will start from the beginning and follow the reflector path to the cache but some other players will go directly to the cache without participating the adventure you have made. It is the way the HQ have decided the game to go - so be it. In guidelines there is not a word about participating the orgnized adventure, only log and forget.

 

Yep, and I gave up caring about that. At issue is not that people don't do what's intended. It's more about how they go about doing what not intended.  I would rather be told "yeah, we didn't bother with all the stages and just found the cache" than "yeah, we didn't have an issue with the excellent fun stages and signed in at the final, all is well" - and then finding out it wasn't signed and it needs maintenance.

 

14 hours ago, fizzymagic said:

Put simply:  when I hide a cache, I consider it a gift to the caching community as a whole.

 

Yep, like I said, it's no longer, to me, about whether people did what was intended. It's how they did it. That's a personal, relational matter, not a technicality.

I want people to find my caches; I'm open to talking, working through, giving tips, even going with. I like to be someone open and friendly and willing to help.

 

6 hours ago, dprovan said:

Exactly. The problem with arisoft's analogy is that a cache is one gift to a community of people. One person not appreciating it fully doesn't detract from the other people that do appreciate it. To properly adjust arisoft's example, it's not throwing a party for a single individual, and them stomping off without attending. It's throwing a party for everyone. One person walking away doesn't nullify the fact that the other attendees enjoyed it.

 

Or to extend farther, everyone but 2 people come to the party you spend weeks planning and decorating, then look around, and leave.

 

Or better yet, you create a surprise celebration for your friends for whatever reason, and you watch from afar for the candid camera experience, hoping to see everyone enjoy the surprise. 2 people show up. They enjoy it, even though there were a couple of technical glitches in the setup. Then all your other friends tell you "Yeah, it was a blast, we had lots of fun, great food, good music, we sure were surprised."  <_< (now imagine if there was public reputation for having attended - and they start telling people they attended so they can claim that reputation)

 

Some people might be able to focus on just those 2 people. But there's no arguing that the fact that most of those people are lying to you is a great discouragement - and at that point it's not about the technicalities of the party or the gift - it's the fact that you feel they believe you're worth lying to. That's the discouragement.

Edited by thebruce0
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5 hours ago, fizzymagic said:

And my original point was not an analogy. When I place a geocache, it is quite literally a gift to the community.

I'm not sure why the analogies aren't working for you, but the important point is that "to the community". arisoft's analogy doesn't make a good argument because it was critically different: he was talking about something done for a single individual. Whether your gift is a puzzle or a cache or a party is immaterial to his point.

 

56 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:

Or to extend farther, everyone but 2 people come to the party you spend weeks planning and decorating, then look around, and leave.

I have to admit, this might be a part that I (and fizzymagic) might not be able to grasp. In our area, so many people enjoy a good puzzle that the people that don't aren't a big factor. If a CO's caches aren't appreciated in general, I can see why they'd be discouraged. But that's entirely different than some cachers not solving the puzzles while just as many do solve the puzzle.

 

1 hour ago, thebruce0 said:

Some people might be able to focus on just those 2 people. But there's no arguing that the fact that most of those people are lying to you is a great discouragement - and at that point it's not about the technicalities of the party or the gift - it's the fact that you feel they believe you're worth lying to. That's the discouragement.

I don't like when people lie, but the solution to that isn't to complain about people not solving the puzzle but finding the cache. Knowing a CO doesn't like that is why people lie about it. If you don't want them to lie, make sure it's obvious that you enjoy and accept all finds and celebrate the puzzle solvers as a bonus.

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8 minutes ago, dprovan said:
1 hour ago, thebruce0 said:

Or to extend farther, everyone but 2 people come to the party you spend weeks planning and decorating, then look around, and leave.

I have to admit, this might be a part that I (and fizzymagic) might not be able to grasp. In our area, so many people enjoy a good puzzle that the people that don't aren't a big factor. If a CO's caches aren't appreciated in general, I can see why they'd be discouraged. But that's entirely different than some cachers not solving the puzzles while just as many do solve the puzzle.

That analogy wasn't about a specific region, it was just demonstrating the point, the feeling. And yes, again, it's not about the technicality of people just finding the cache without solving the puzzle (thus the 2nd extended analogy).

 

9 minutes ago, dprovan said:

I don't like when people lie, but the solution to that isn't to complain about people not solving the puzzle but finding the cache. Knowing a CO doesn't like that is why people lie about it. If you don't want them to lie, make sure it's obvious that you enjoy and accept all finds and celebrate the puzzle solvers as a bonus.

I agree. Which is what I said. :P It's not about merely people finding a cache without solving the puzzle. And to quote myself: "I want people to find my caches; I'm open to talking, working through, giving tips, even going with. I like to be someone open and friendly and willing to help."  And when people feel that is a person worth lying to, it can be discouraging to the point of just giving up on it entirely. And that's what can happen with many puzzle/multi creators. And it can ruin friendships.

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I am reminded of a conversation I had with several artists about the experience of creating public art. It turns out that creating a mural, sculpture, or other work of art that will be displayed in a public space is VERY different from creating art that will be displayed privately.

 

Of course, creating public art involves working with government organizations or similar entities. But creating public art also means accepting (perhaps even embracing) the fact that one's creation will not be treated like a piece displayed in a private gallery. Kids may climb on it. Critters may crawl over it or perch on it or worse. All kinds of people will view it and pass judgement on it, no matter how uninformed about art they are. And it will be subject to the forces of nature, to the abuse of vandals, and to the general neglect of people who don't care. And years later, someone may take offense and try to get your piece removed.

 

Creating public art isn't for everyone. Some of the artists I spoke with said that it was an interesting experience, but they would never do it again. Others enjoyed the challenge, and looked forward to the next opportunity to create public art.

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5 minutes ago, niraD said:

I am reminded of a conversation I had with several artists about the experience of creating public art. It turns out that creating a mural, sculpture, or other work of art that will be displayed in a public space is VERY different from creating art that will be displayed privately

Absolutely. A geocache isn't a personal gift, it is essentially "public art". And that's why if you want to enjoy creating and publishing geocaches, you do in a sense have to grow a thick skin, when it comes to people doing it the way you intend.  I love finding alternate ways to solve puzzles too. And I love when other people find alternate ways to solve mine (in fact I often build in hidden easter eggs for people who do, if I can).

 

But it's hard to come up with an analogy relating being lied to about your geocaches with private and public art :P

 

I do try to encourage people to remember that the only "rule" is to sign the log book in order to log online - it's not "cheating" if they do. That means that getting upset about people skipping to that part of geocache finding is a personal threshold you can choose to set. And it's much nicer not to get infuriated so often when people do that. It's a happier life =P

 

...but being lied to.  That's not an issue with the cache owner, that's an issue with the cache finder and community perception of geocache finding. That's a value shift on to the smiley and away from respecting people and owners.

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52 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:

Or better yet, you create a surprise celebration for your friends for whatever reason, and you watch from afar for the candid camera experience, hoping to see everyone enjoy the surprise. 2 people show up. They enjoy it, even though there were a couple of technical glitches in the setup. Then all your other friends tell you "Yeah, it was a blast, we had lots of fun, great food, good music, we sure were surprised."  <_< (now imagine if there was public reputation for having attended - and they start telling people they attended so they can claim that reputation)

 

 

This. ^

 

It's happened to my caches several times, especially when groups visit. If I hide a cache it's guaranteed to happen again, especially if that cache is a non-trad. 

 

It's mostly groups that cache in my area these days. They range from 10 to 75 people. The groups get bigger and bigger over the years, especially groups who cache regulary. I think because this area was part of the experiment that allowed group caching to be an event. So groups get the extra bonus of an event icon, and we get event-size groups.  Events have always been popular here. (Is event group caching still in the experimental stage?)

 

Generally, everyone claims a find but only one or two people lay hands on the cache. Maybe a handful actually lay eyes on it. Everyone else claims they visited the cache too. 

 

 

 

 

 

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I gave up caring about group caching. I might tag along a bit for some on a list, but only log the ones I visit, and the group can get so big and messy it's just confusion anyway. It's not fun. And it's very mob-like.  But as a cache owner, if a group passes through, I just shrug it now, generally. Or if I'm looking at logs and I see a group cacher's log, I skim until a different day (usually many pages of uninformative group-caching logs). That, to me, is not worth stressing over any more.

 

I've taken up the challenge of creating puzzles that are either not worth the effort to skip, or are more fun not to skip, or I can make legitimate changes when I feel it necessary to help thwart coordinate sharing (that's usually demonstrated after there are some DNFs right after the move).  But if a name (or group caching name) is in the logbook, whatev.

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Unlike most 'gifts' a cache typically requires ongoing attentiveness and effort.

 

A laissez-faire attitude makes perfect sense up to a point. I can't imagine many puzzle creators having a problem with a solver finding the corresponding cache in the company of friends. (Though these massive groups L0ne.R describes are surely pushing it!)

 

But it's not that difficult to imagine a situation where the coordinates for a mystery cache are so widely shared over time that the majority of the finds are by people who have no understanding of the puzzle. I don't think it would be entirely unreasonable of the owner of such a cache to be a little disappointed, if only because the average log no longer makes for interesting reading! I'm not convinced this necessarily reveals a need to have one's ego stroked.

 

I wouldn't even think it pathological for such a CO to decide to archive and recycle the location or container for a new cache. That would just seem like one acceptable response to sheer boredom rather than a "tantrum". (I tend to agree that logs by non-solvers of puzzles are, on average, the least satisfying out there; I certainly recognise that air of evasiveness thebruce0 describes.) 

 

Basically the CO should be allowed some self-defined minimum level of amusement in return for their ongoing maintenance efforts without accusations of personality flaws!

 

 

 

Edited by BendSinister
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10 minutes ago, BendSinister said:

Basically the CO should be allowed some self-defined minimum level of amusement in return for their ongoing maintenance efforts without accusations of personality flaws!

I agree that it's reasonable for a CO to decide a cache of any type has run its course. I thought we were talking about people that got so incensed that archived all their caches and gave up.

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This is interesting thread. I only started caching in 2018 and while less than 20% of my finds are mystery caches, I can say that the more difficult mysteries are invariably the most rewarding ones. There's nothing like finally seeing the bits of a solution to fall into place. So I definitely seek and will continue to seek mystery caches. I am not that good at solving them, so there's ton I just can't get handle on, but that's natural. Maybe one day I'll get more experienced and will solve them.

 

As for hiding mysteries: I have hidden two (D4 and D5) and they have found their audience and were well received. I am entirely content with them having few finds after all the local guys capable of solving them have found them. If they rise to the top of the list of long unfound caches, that's even better ;-) After all, caches that are rarely found need very little attention from me as CO. I am also planning more mysteries in the same vein: Distant location, hard puzzle, few finds.

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