B+L, on 26 June 2012 - 08:39 AM, said:
The Jester, on 26 June 2012 - 07:17 AM, said:
And putting everybody who doesn't agree with you in some group with a derogatory title ("puritan", "control freak owner", etc.) is an even bigger indicator, and has gotten tiresome.
Mr. Namboku's use of such pejoratives apparently predates the forum guidelines and his name-calling has been grandfathered.
B+L's mangling of my name and trying to make this about some terms I use, instead of arguing the points is what is getting tiresome.
At first I was going to apologize to The Jester for lumping all challenge cache owners together. Instead I think I will just clarify why I used the term.
Clearly some, if not most, challenge cache owners are motivated because they enjoy accepting and achieving challenges, and they know that there are many others who feel the same way. They place the caches with the hope that others will enjoy doing the challenge and with the knowledge that someone who doesn't want to do the challenge or spend time documenting it, can either ignore the cache or post a note instead of a find if they 'must' look for it.
There are probably only a few who spend time thinking of diabolic challenges that have little appeal and are difficult to document. And I think, for the most part, Groundspeak and the reviewers have done an excellent job in approving only "reasonable" geocaching related challenges.
But that doesn't mean I don't have issues with challenges. First of all, I think there are better ways of putting forth challenges than using geocaches. These challenges evolved in the period when ALRs were allowed and so it was an easy way to go about it without Groundspeak needing to create any special infrastructure. The initial challenges were the ones like The Jester's where you emailed the owner for the final coordinates, presenting the list of caches you used to achieve the goal. From the start many reviewers were uncomfortable with this setup because it was an exception to the guideline about needing to contact the cache owner to solve a puzzle cache. There were also questions because some of these challenges were tied to a commercial product. Clearly, someone at Groundspeak liked the idea enough that it was decided that limited number of these challenges could be posted.
However, that was not enough for people who wanted to make their own challenges. I'm not sure there was much demand at first, but when the ALR guidelines were written to allow ALRS if the cache was listed as an unknown cache type, challenges became part of the flood of ALRs. By interpreting the challenges as simply ALRs where the cache was at the posted location but in order to log a find you had to convince the cache owner you met the challenge, volunteers had no problem publishing them. The flood gates were open and soon every conceivable geocaching statistic was being put out as challenge.
Now, for sure, many were interesting and conceivably enjoyable to do. But some ran into issues. Groundspeak soon banned challenges that involved hiding caches, based on guidelines for "breeder" caches with ALRs requiring a new cache be hidden. And for other challenges, either the hider had to show they had met the challenge or that a substantial number of cachers could meet the challenge. There is no doubt that some challenges were submitted with the same intent of many of the more esoteric ALRs - so the cache owner could delete someone's log.
But let's just talk about "reasonable" challenges where the cache owner intends to put forth a challenge some people might enjoy doing. My objection is the use of the online smiley as a reward. Now, this might not be how the owner views it. They seem to feel that the "challenge" is part of finding the cache just like solving a puzzle, climbing a tree, going on an overnight hike, or anything else that makes a cache difficult. The problem here is that if I manage to find one of these caches and sign the log by some means other than what the owner intended, most will agree that I can log a find online. Only the challenge cache retains the ALR flavor where I can still get my log deleted, even after I've signed the log. The physical cache logging guideline have to explicitly make this exception.
I'd prefer challenges where my reward for doing the challenge is the challenge itself. So far I haven't seen a convincing argument for using caches to promote challenge other that that is was has been done historically and the alternatives, so far, are less than satisfactory as a way to publicize the challenge.
I would not mind if there were a challenge type that didn't involve a cache. If you met the challenge you could log a "challenge" met. Whether or not it counted in your find statistics wouldn't matter to me, though I suspect that we would hear the same outcry as we did with Challenges.