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Ghost town 1 person geocaching army thought experiment

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Thought experiment: This is probably against the rules but my guess is it has happened a time or two. Picture a small town with no geocaches in it and a tiny population. Say a place like Seipäjärvi, 99520, Finland for example. Imagine one of the townsfolk discovered geocaching on a trip to the nearby city and got hooked, but there are zero geocaches within 5 miles of them. They could hide some and hope people find them. They could try and get some family and friends into the game and they could each hide some. 

BUT, imagine they decided to pull a 'castaway' move and create a bunch of fake accounts (sock puppet accounts?) for people that don't exist, like Wilson the volleyball in the movie 'Castaway'. Then they could have a bunch of geocaches  created by themselves and their fake accounts and have them all find each others. It would look like a thriving town with a healthy geocaching community. Nobody would know unless there was an event and another real person showed up and just saw one lonely person in a room.

I'm pretty sure something like that is against the rules. I know there are a few exceptions justifying multiple accounts or sock puppet accounts, like reviewers who are anonymous but also play the game, but ignore that for the thought experiment. I can also totally see someone doing that. I'll wager something like that has happened somewhere on the planet, even just to kickstart the geocaching in an area. What do you think?


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If you place it, they will come. You don't need decoy ducks to lure in geocachers. In fact, many cachers are even more enticed by caches that haven't been found. Logging your own remote caches seems like a way to drive away the outsiders who may have considered driving further in search of an FTF.

Edited by TheLimeCat
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1.  Situations like what you described is a big reason why there's never been an absolute rule to find at least X number of geocaches before hiding one.

2.  Yes, what you've described has happened before.  After a few times, it's likely that the Reviewer will catch on.  When we identify sock puppet accounts, we can ask "what's the real account behind this brand new one?"  We can also ask HQ to help with researching accounts.  And, if a sock puppet is used in a negative way, the account can be suspended by HQ.

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1 hour ago, CheekyBrit said:

...thought experiment.

Scenario 1: There's an area with  one cacher, very few caches,  and not enough critical mass to get it going, so it remains a cache desert.

Scenario 2: Someone "artificially"  invents some cachers, places plenty of caches, and creates a critical mass which brings people in thinking "hey this is a thing, looks popular, I'll give it a try", before you know it there's a decent little community.

#2 seems the best option to me.


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The biggest problem with the OP idea is almost nobody has the patience to undertake such an elaborate scheme. They're usually going to end up bored and quit entirely. 


That said, place a critical mass of hides - even by a new cacher in an area with no other caches - will draw seekers without the need for sock puppets.


What's a critical mass? Depends on the remoteness and accessibility of the area. Could be 5, could be 50.


If the hide would fill a gap in some geographic challenge then just 1 cache might be a big draw. For example, there's a county in Central Georgia (USA) with exactly two active geocaches, and one is a caboose. Almost any new hide in that county will get a lot of Finds from people who need a cache there to fill their Georgia county map.

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On 11/1/2023 at 3:59 PM, JL_HSTRE said:

That said, place a critical mass of hides - even by a new cacher in an area with no other caches - will draw seekers without the need for sock puppets.

OOOOH I like that. The critical mass of hides I guess is the real essence of the thought experiment. 
I have definitely been trying to build my local area into something that would be more 'on the radar' of other geocachers, building geo-art, different types, wireless beacons, gadget caches, challenges and all that jazz.

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