Jump to content

What Is It About Virtuals, Part III


Followers 0

Recommended Posts

Here's a brief history of the site (as it relates to virtuals):

Geocaching.com began as a listing service for geocaches. Some land managers (namely, the National Park Service) decided that they didn't want us placing containers on "their" land. The virtual cache concept was conceived to allow us to continue playing our game on NPS land, but without containers. Soon, people submitted virtual caches for places that had no restrictions on containers. This prevented some others from placing a physical cache at that location and controversy ensued.

 

Maybe the debate over virtuals will never end, however I think a summary of Part one and Part two of this topic may help everyone understand the conflict.

 

In Part one, Renegade Knight gave the best explanation of why virtuals are worthy of being listed that I've ever seen.

Part of geocaching is about getting out and seeing what there is to see. Virtuals fit that.

 

Part of geocaching is about how to respond to not being able to find a box (because the NPS banned them). Virtuals fit that.

 

Part of geocaching is about fun. Virtuals fit that as much as a lame urban micro does.

 

Part of geocaching is using your GPS. Virtuals fit that.

 

Part of geocaching is the "Log" and telling your adventure. Virtuals fit that.

 

Part of geocaching is about the numbers, yours, others, your next find, etc. Virtuals fit that.

 

Part of geocaching is about finding something hidden, or at least not so obvious. Virtuals do fit that even if what you seek isn't a box.

 

In Part two, Team Sagefox suggested an alternative to putting virtuals in their own category like benchmarks.

Hopefully a solution might be, as some suggested here, to eliminate the setback rule for virtuals.

 

Some have suggested that TPTB aren’t doing anything about virtuals because they bring no money in for Groundspeak. Well, I suppose that’s somewhat true. People buy stickers to place on containers. They also buy shirts, hats, and keychains to put into those containers. All these things bring money in. There is another section for travelbugs, and at $5 or so each it’s obvious where the money comes from to maintain that section. It must be about the money, right?

 

Oh wait, what about benchmarks? How much money comes in from people hunting benchmarks? Obviously it must be quite a bit, since benchmarks have their own section. :lol:

 

Guess what? Groundspeak is a business. TPTB have every right to support those things that bring money in before any other part of the site. Quit complaining about it being a business, that’s not going to change!

 

There are other projects that TPTB feel are more important than moving virtuals to their own section (like benchmarks are now). Yes, this is an idea that is “in the works”, but its far enough out there on the timeline that we shouldn’t bother discussing it.

 

What would be a good way of handling virtuals for say, the next year or two?

 

Currently, the approval process is subjective. You have to prove the “WOW” factor to someone that may or may not like virtuals in the first place. Approving a virtual for that spot prevents someone from coming along 6 months down the road and placing a container there. Virtuals were designed for areas that don’t allow containers, so you shouldn’t expect to get one approved if a container can be placed there.

 

My proposal is to use Team Sagefox’s idea and eliminate the setback rule for virtuals. This would mean that you could place a virtual within 0.1 miles of a physical and visa versa. This would eliminate a virtual “hording a spot” that could support a traditional cache. It would also allow the virtual seeker the opportunity to focus on the virtual item instead of the logbook 50 feet away. Besides, if you’re looking for a virtual, you won’t mistake a nearby ammo box (or other container) for a historical marker. Likewise, if you’re looking for a traditional cache, you won’t accidentally email the owner with the information you found on a nearby marker.

 

Link to comment
Obviously it must be quite a bit, since benchmarks have their own section. 

 

I'm an avid benchmarker and I do purchase Groundspeak merchandise and do maintain a premium membership.

 

Benchmarks are worthy of their own section since they are not geocaches. I love geocaching and I love benchmarks.

 

Just yesterday I found a 118 year-old benchmark which involved quite a trek and a couple of months of 'red tape'. Here's the link:

 

http://www.geocaching.com/mark/log.aspx?LU...36-de2af3c04360

 

I love finding something that someone 'hid' over a century ago :unsure:

 

I didn't mean to derail the thread, but wanted to let everyone know that many of us that are active benchmark hunters are also active geocachers and we do 'pay our way' :tongue:

Link to comment
Since virtuals came-about as a result of the NPS banning traditionals, I feel that virtuals are geocaches i.e. a virtual is allowed on NPS land whereas a traditional (container) geocache isn't. Did that make sense? :lol:

So what of virtuals that are placed where traditionals are allowed?

 

This is, of course, the point of this thread. Should those virtuals prevent a physical cache from being placed there? Should those virtuals be allowed at all?

Edited by Team GPSaxophone
Link to comment
hey, i like a virt as much as a micro or whatever. I'm a thing finding slut and i think there's very little that i wish i hadn't hunted.

That goes double for me. Especially the slut part. :lol:

 

Actually I'm not a huge fan of virts, therefore I don't hunt them a great deal. Is there something about this issue that is more complicated than that? I understand the argument that it stops someone from hiding a traditional, I guess that just isn't a problem in my area. That's all I have to say on the subject. Thank you and good night.

Edited by JMBella
Link to comment
Some land managers (namely, the National Park Service) decided that they didn't want us placing containers on "their" land. The virtual cache concept was conceived to allow us to continue playing our game on NPS land, but without containers.

Virtuals were *not* created in response to land managers turning against traditionals. The move by the NPS against caches came in March of 2002, long after virtuals were relatively common. The first virtual was listed on the site in June of 2000 (a month after Dave Ulmer's original stash); heck, even my first virtual hide was listed a year before we had any inkling that the NPS would become anti-caching.

 

In more recent times, however, there have been instances of land managers pushing virtuals over traditionals. It has been these instances, as well as a desire by some to submit hordes of mundane items as virtuals, that led to a tightening of guidelines on them.

Link to comment

I think it will be interesting to see what happens after another year of "tightened" virtual rules. Last year I was bounced on three virtual placement attempts until I finally got what the new rules meant. Eventually this should help with the problem of virtual preventing physical.

 

I still like the idea of eliminating the setback rule for virtuals if it does not present new problems to do so. If it is eliminated I think the "wow" requirement should remain in place.

 

I visited a virtual cache site in a 500' x 600' park in Sacramento last month that I believe is an example of the problem being voiced here. A mostly "lame" virtual that locked out the park for a physical cache. (This was NOT a MikieP or Uncle Al virtual - those guys know how to show you a good time!)

 

Because of this discussion I've reviewed my virtuals for wow factor and to see if they might be blocking a physical cache. When I get back form our Oregon caching trip I will make a second review and either post a note on some of our virtuals offering the space if someone wants to place a physical cache or will just archive it outright.

 

This topic series has been good for generating discussion. After I got over my initial reaction ("Oh no, virtuals under attack again!") and settled in a bit I was able to actually read the comments objectively.

Link to comment
...In more recent times, however, there have been instances of land managers pushing virtuals over traditionals. It has been these instances, as well as a desire by some to submit hordes of mundane items as virtuals, that led to a tightening of guidelines on them.

Even though I strongly defend virtuals and less restrictions on them, if this becomes the prevailing land manager attitude then I would have not problem getting rid of all virtuals so it's not even an option.

 

Until then though...

Link to comment
...My main point in posting to this thread was to state that those of us that enjoy finding benchmarks do financially support Groundspeak.

 

Jeff-

 

Congrats on that way cool benchmark find. First, I was glad to hear you got permission to hunt the benchmark, and I felt your write-up was well done. It would make me feel real good to find a benchmark that was that old... Way to go...

 

Anyways, I personally like virtuals. Of course, I like the "hunt and find" of traditional caches, but of the virtuals I've done, none of them were "lame". One virtual took me to a war memorial in Greeley that I would never have known about. It was incredible. Also, in Loveland, Colorado, they have hundreds of statues located throughout the town. A lot of these are "hidden" along bike paths, in small parks, etc. You would never be able to view a lot of them unless you knew "where" to look. Virtuals allow you to do this.

 

I agree with Renegade Knight's "write-up" of how virtuals definately could be concidered "caches" and I hope they get re-instated soon.

 

I also agree that the rule should be changed so a regular cache could be located within .1 miles of a virtual.

 

Just my personal opinion.

 

Brad

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Followers 0
×
×
  • Create New...