Geocaching gains popularity

An old game, but new app sends students on a GPS hunt


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Geocaching is not a new game, but the app has been gaining popularity recently. The app combines age-old scavenger hunt techniques with GPS technology, allowing participants to log on from anywhere in the country and begin their hunt.

Participants must simply download the game to start their hunt while following three simple rules: 1) if you take an object out of the geocache, you must leave something of equal or greater value 2) record your achievement in the physical logbook left at most geocache sites 3) share your experience with others.

The app provides users with a fun and adventurous activity especially in residential and city areas where activities run out.

“I think it’s a good way to get people to exercise who normally would not on their own,” junior Zita Venetianer said.

Like Pokemon Go, the app encourages users to follow a map to a destination where they will receive a reward; consequently, also encouraging outdoor physical activity and problem solving.

In McLean, there are multiple geocaches downtown, there is even a geocache on the outskirts of McLean High School.

Geocaches vary in size, the one near the high school is a medium size, which means that slightly larger and more valuable items may be stored in it. The smallest of geocaches will be hard to find, but more sentimental to those who locate them.

Again like Pokemon Go, the app promotes a basic level of interaction and competition among friends as people are allowed to add others and track their progress in the area, even being able to message each other.

With this, the app ironically functions to have people rely less on their phones and technology to find fun activities and engage with others.

The downside to the app is the inability to go much farther than experiencing satisfaction at one’s achievements, unlike Pokemon Go, users cannot do much more with the app after finding all the geocaches.

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