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GeoElmo6000

The old geocaching "challenges"

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Remember the old geocaching "challenges"?  They came and they went in the 2011 - 2012 timeframe.  First they counted as finds.  Then they counted as a separate tally.  Then they were deleted completely.

 

Does anyone have information on them, such as:

1) When they started and ended?

2) The email announcing the removal of challenges?

3) A screenshot of when they were part of our accounts (but as a separate tally)?

 

Thanks in advance!

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15 minutes ago, GeoElmo6000 said:

Remember the old geocaching "challenges"?  They came and they went in the 2011 - 2012 timeframe.  First they counted as finds.  Then they counted as a separate tally.  Then they were deleted completely.

 

Does anyone have information on them, such as:

1) When they started and ended?

2) The email announcing the removal of challenges?

3) A screenshot of when they were part of our accounts (but as a separate tally)?

 

Thanks in advance!

They started about August 2011, If I have my information correct:

 

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Posted (edited)

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say they were gone by December of that year. But that was a long time ago, and maybe I'm not remembering accurately.

 

Edit: Browsing all my forum posts on Challenges, I don't see any after September 2011. That may mean nothing, I'm just pointing it out.

Edited by Max and 99
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I took a look at the page http://www.geocaching.com/challenges/ via archive.org, and it seems to have been live until around December 2012. The November archives show the real page, and the December 12th archive announces the retirement of Geocaching Challenges.

 

I recall having installed the Android app and just started to look at the local Geocaching Challenges, and then the next week the announcement came out that they were going to be retired.

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14 minutes ago, niraD said:

I took a look at the page http://www.geocaching.com/challenges/ via archive.org, and it seems to have been live until around December 2012. The November archives show the real page, and the December 12th archive announces the retirement of Geocaching Challenges.

 

I recall having installed the Android app and just started to look at the local Geocaching Challenges, and then the next week the announcement came out that they were going to be retired.

Wow, I didn't think they lasted over a year!

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6 minutes ago, Max and 99 said:

Wow, I didn't think they lasted over a year!

Yeah, I recall a lot of silliness early on, and I basically ignored them. And then I read a comment that they had started to settle down and people (including Groundspeak) had started figuring out how to use them in interesting ways. So I installed the Android app, looked around, decided that they were being used in interesting ways now, and read the announcement of their retirement.

 

Sigh...

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I didn't like how they went poof and vanished in a cloud of invisible smoke.  No history, no trail, no memories.

 

I vaguely recall, I threw up one of those things, didn't really own it, some people logged it, some people faked it; I couldn't control the fake logs, poof.

 

At least with this game, even if it vanishes completely, I'll always have the diary of my 15 years of logs, the adventures, archived safely offline via that GSAK macro.

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12 hours ago, niraD said:

I took a look at the page http://www.geocaching.com/challenges/ via archive.org, and it seems to have been live until around December 2012. The November archives show the real page, and the December 12th archive announces the retirement of Geocaching Challenges.

 

I recall having installed the Android app and just started to look at the local Geocaching Challenges, and then the next week the announcement came out that they were going to be retired.

 

 

 

 

Edited by MartyBartfast
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They were in a sense a version 1 of lab caches - location-based non-physical task-based claims to a +1. But Geocaching Challenges were much more limited and at that time there was a much larger contingent of haters who flooded the system with bad logging and cheap challenges. General opinion was also that being so hands-off meant there was real way to control, police, or improve content, and it just slowly went downhill. Now Adventure Labs have improved greatly on the concept and rather than the 'challenge' requiring a photo to claim, labs require a passcode and allow much more content and functionality. Still fairly hands-off and disconnected, but I think also introduced at a better time of mobile smartphone tech and landscape where that style of play is almost late to the game.

The original challenges had the potential to be great (and there were some great ones), but they also had the potential to be a waste of time, and so of course they trending downward.

If I ever get one, I could create an Adventure Lab from the Geocaching Challenge series I'd made which I thought was pretty neat (of course who doesn't think their own ideas are neat? heh)

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I think the biggest problem when Challenges was that they had a different set of guidelines for how they worked (e.g no formal review process) yet many wanted them to work like geocaches.  In 2012, power trails were becoming rampant.  There was a strong all about the numbers mentality and along comes a game that, IMHO, was not about the numbers.  My impression was that challenges were not about how many challenges one could complete (and show a big number on their profile) but how one completed challenges.  It seems silly to do a challenge that required taking a picture of a frog if all you were doing is counting that you took a picture of a frog.  If, however, you viewed the challenge as trying to find a unique frog and attempted to create an artistic photograph, then meeting the challenge was more about how you completed it, rather than just taking any old picture so that you could get credit, and add a +1 to your profile.  It was a different game yet many wanted to play it with the same goals as they did for geocaches.  

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7 hours ago, NYPaddleCacher said:

It was a different game yet many wanted to play it with the same goals as they did for geocaches.  

Right, and the extreme flexibility and lack of guidelines meant that people would publish them just so that they were out there, rather than putting creative effort into the experiences, and the average 'quality' (for lack of better term) trended downward along with the negative sentiments. Eventually they were just cut off because HQ didn't want to 'improve' the system (and thankfully just before implementing the QR Geocaching Challenge, around the same time the game-that-shall-not-be-named was taking off with the idea). They effectively started from scratch and turned the experimental Lab Cache concept into Adventure Labs.

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I sort of remember these.  Did a few but found them rather silly so stopped and didn't really miss them when TPTB killed the whole idea.

 

The only one I sort of really can bring to mind is "kiss a frog" where you posted a picture of you kissing a frog. Sorry can't find the picture.

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9 minutes ago, captnemo said:

I sort of remember these.  Did a few but found them rather silly so stopped and didn't really miss them when TPTB killed the whole idea.

 

The only one I sort of really can bring to mind is "kiss a frog" where you posted a picture of you kissing a frog. Sorry can't find the picture.

One of the first things I noticed was geocachers around the world treating location specific challenges as if they were a worldwide challenge, or whatever the name was, like kissing a frog, where there was no set location. 

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I completed a few.  Not many.

 

I put out a photo challenge for cachers to share photos of themselves at the Ziggurat of UR.  I don't think anyone completed it before challenges went away.

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1 hour ago, hzoi said:

I completed a few.  Not many.

 

I put out a photo challenge for cachers to share photos of themselves at the Ziggurat of UR.  I don't think anyone completed it before challenges went away.

 

I put out a few as well.  Just prior to having it shut down I put out a challenge to take a photo at the Olympic Rings at Squaw Valley (winter olympics 1960).    There are actually a few places where there are Olympic rings at Squaw Valley but the location for the challenge was up on the mountain at a spot accessible via the tram (theoretically one could hike up, especially in the summer). That location has an exceptional view.   Considering the number of locations around the world, a take a photo of Olympic rings at a location where the Olympics were held would have been a good location-less challenge.

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I remember the challenges. They came and went not long before my long hiatus that I'm trying to come back from with geocaching. The only one I can remember, for whatever reason, was one that had you take a selfie (or just a picture?) in front of a Dollar General.

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17 minutes ago, DarthJustice said:

I remember the challenges. They came and went not long before my long hiatus that I'm trying to come back from with geocaching. The only one I can remember, for whatever reason, was one that had you take a selfie (or just a picture?) in front of a Dollar General.

I really liked my challenge of posing like Olympic gymnast Shannon Miller in front of her lifesize sculpture at the library until people  around the world started logging visits posing at home.  Then it was no fun at all. 

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6 hours ago, on4bam said:

I ignored them.

 

Same here.   "Challenges",  I thought, were sillier than locationless.

Still Challenge cache free as well...       

Do now have one LPC and one guard rail cache found though ...   Both for that "days" grid for the other 2/3rds.      :)

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4 hours ago, cerberus1 said:
11 hours ago, on4bam said:

I ignored them.

 

Same here.   "Challenges",  I thought, were sillier than locationless.

 

Many were. But they had the potential to be so much more, and there were some great ones. But that was the problem - way to open with little to no management or control. That's why they died

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On 4/28/2020 at 2:28 PM, thebruce0 said:

 

Many were. But they had the potential to be so much more, and there were some great ones. But that was the problem - way to open with little to no management or control. That's why they died

 

In other words, the flaws were not entirely due to how Challenges were implemented, but how Challenge creators used the system.  The fact that they were open allowed people use their imagination in creating challenges.  Creating a Challenge involving taking a picture at a Dollar general is just one example of a lack of creativity.

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2 hours ago, NYPaddleCacher said:

Creating a Challenge involving taking a picture at a Dollar general is just one example of a lack of creativity.

But taking a photo at Dollar General while wearing a George Washington costume (and maybe green face paint) would be cool...

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3 hours ago, niraD said:

But taking a photo at Dollar General while wearing a George Washington costume (and maybe green face paint) would be cool...

So long as George Washington is there to verify the correctness of the costume.:P

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