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Geocaching in SL Revisited

May 18, 2007

profilepic.jpgBy Osprey Therian

Back in April when I wrote the post about Geocaching in SL the group was only a few weeks old. To be fair – and because a passionate group member contacted me – I went back and investigated a little more to see what had developed. Taja Beatty is an avid geocacher in both First and Second Life and she was eager to spend time both talking to me and showing me around. Has anything changed?

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Taja hunting cache where the eagles fly.

Looking Back
The reason I was disappointed at first, when the group was new, was that the two caches I looked for were in singularly uninspired locations. It wasn’t that I expected great prizes – that had nothing to do with it. If I am going to spent time looking around an area, though, the area should be a place I will be glad to be in. In fact, as SL is huge now, the number of places I’d LOVE to explore but have never heard of must be in the bazillions. A find-the-cache hunt aided by a few clues, and introducing hitherto-unknown spots would be a great way to spend some time, and would appeal to the many who like to have games or tasks to complete, or who like to explore but are overwhelmed by having nowhere to start. I assessed Geocaching in SL by saying “maybe in the future this will become something interesting.”

Fast forward to now. Taja is giving me a look at a couple of sites but more importantly, is telling me about her own love of geocaching. “There are beautiful places that geocaches are hidden in – not just businesses. I have been a part of geocaching (in real life) for about 3 years. My brother introduced it to me. Basically it is a treasure hunt and the fun is in the hunt….in trying to find the container.” I am curious if she is an officer in the group – no, she was not (she is now, though).

Taja introduced me to Nichiren Dinzeo, who founded the Geocaching in SL group back in March. A very pleasant fellow, he explained a bit about the new STATS for finds, and said regarding the number of user involvement, “we have a real good community growing.” He is adding an intriguing spin to geocaching, “I am working on a cache series based on historical places and people in SL.” I asked, “Are there any on Linden land?” Taja answered, “Not yet but I am working on them.” /me imagines a cache in the Great Wall.

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Taja and Nichiren talk to teh Os

Taja and Nichiren explained how the cache site arrangements are made.: “We go to sites we think would be good for a geocache and try to contact the owner,” – who most likely has never heard of geocaching, says Taja. Nichiren responded to my question about the difficulty in getting people to support cache sites by saying, “I get about 1 out of every 5 that I solicit. If I get a chance to actually meet the owner its usually 100%,” There’s no downside to supporting geocaching by sponsoring a cache site unless you don’t like strangers on your land. The cache is a one-prim low-activity-script object that the certified group hiders (well I made that “certified” part up) place, then transfer to the parcel owner (i.e. “buy original for 0L”). Interested in having a geocache on your land? Contact Nichiren Dinzeo or Taja Beatty.

Quick stats:
About 55 members
About 30 caches right now
Special events on occasion – there’s one in the planning stages right now.

Verdict: Worth trying – it’s developing nicely (and fairly quickly, too).

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