Wk 12 – Art Experience – Location Based Gaming

Coordinates of my Cache:
N 33° 47.000
W 118° 08.000

Finding the Cache:
I went looking for the “Where’s the Tree?” Cache. I went by foot from my dorm building with not much time to spare this weekend in hopes that I would located the nearest Cache to me and take photos. I was sorely disappointed when I arrived within footsteps of the logged coordinates and found nothing but two dumpsters near a Toyota repair shop. I looked around in the area for anything matching the description and hint (which detailed that the extra small object should have been four inches from the ground) and found nothing. Meanwhile I was getting strange looks from the mechanics at Toyota while I milled around their dumpster area for about five to ten minutes looking for the cache.

I felt that finding a Cache was a good idea in theory, but in actuality it’s hard for students. I think that this assignment would be easier if students were simply asked to place a cache. I felt like I was wasting my time when I went out looking for one, and indeed I did waste my time because I didn’t find what I was looking for and I didn’t have the time to try to locate another one afterwards. The cache I was looking up turned out to be from 2010 and I am sure that’s why I couldn’t locate it, because it is no longer there. Overall, I was quite disappointed with that half of the experience.

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Placing a Cache:
On the other hand, I felt that placing a Cache was fun and relevant to the course. I took a few items that represent me and the college life quite well to place in my Cache: a paperclip, safety pin, Snow White movie pin, a Werther’s Original candy, and a rubber band. This shows a glimpse of my interests and experiences here in the dorm building, which is where I placed my cache. I put all of the objects in a red playing cards box. I placed it above a fire alarm along with a small college ruled handmade log book nearby. I named the Cache “Red Zone” because of the red playing cards box and the red fire alarm.

I understand that Geocaching is meant to be a fun experience to find and place things for other people to see and I got a glimpse of that fun in getting to place a Cache in my dorms. I hope that it sticks around, but I would understand if it at some point gets removed over time. Even so, I feel the place I put my Cache was creative and quirky, just like me.

Overall:
I feel in a way that the stories of the people who place Caches are imbedded in the Cache through what they leave behind. In the same way, people who hunt for Caches leave a part of themselves with the Caches they find when they make trades and enter things in the log book (if there is one available.) In this way, Geocaching is like a global storybook of the people who travel the world in search of new and interesting things in the thousands of Caches on the globe.

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