“Geocaching in SL”April 4, 2007
by Osprey Therian
The sport of geocaching is a twist on the older letterboxing activity that began in nineteenth century England. In letterboxing walkers solve clues to find the site’s log book and stamp, then mark both their own book and the found log book to mark its discovery. Geocaching in real life uses GPS coordinates for hidden caches that contain something the discoverer takes. In its place another little object is left for the next explorer.
In Second Life geocaching is a wee bit different. For one thing, the cached object can be anything – size doesn’t matter, and neither do the concepts of “going bad,” “intangible,” or “animate.” Theoretically one could find a tiny, hidden cache containing an elephant juggling fireballs.
Underlying it, surely though, must be the same love of exploration and thrill of discovery that make both letterboxing and geocaching popular pursuits. I decided to sign up and take a look at the SL process, starting at the SLGeocache website.
I registered and poked a button that was for finding a cache. After entering (you don’t have to change the fields but I did) EASY, TRADITIONAL, and picking a sim name (that sounded nice to me), it spat forth a place to look for a cache. All right – off I go!
Doh – I have to join the group Geocaching in SL… I stand at the cache area for ten minutes trying to decide which group to leave so I can join it. (I note the existence of another geocachers’ group – I’d better look into that later.) OK! Off I go!
Doh… what am I looking for? ===:O I suddenly realise I have no clue. I run back to the SLGeocache website where I learn that, “.” Yay! It was easy, of course, as that was what I’d chosen. The loot was a company T shirt – this seemed like an advertising ploy more than anything else. I’d better try another cache before deciding that, though, as one doesn’t tell me anything.
Hmmm… well, after trying another cache I have to say that maybe in the future this will become something interesting. At the moment, however, it seems to be a way businesses are trying to lure people into patronising their establishments. /me hates shopping.
Verdict: Needs to get a lot more interesting before I’d bother.