In the last week, mobile game sensation Pokemon Go has captured the attention of the world. The game — which is available for all Android and iOS devices — allows players to walk around the real world in search of cartoon monsters and a little one-on-one competition. However, this take on augmented reality is hardly the first of its kind.
Since 2000, adventurous travelers have been playing their own little game. It’s called geocaching, and its an extreme, international scavenger hunt where total strangers trade items and notes on a game board that stretches to the farthest corners of the world. Try finding a Squirtle at the top of K2; it won’t happen. While a lot of these randomly scattered caches may not contain items of real material value, the hunt for each item and the satisfaction you’ll feel when stumbling upon a prize is way more satisfying than any thrill Pokemon Go could provide.
As one geocaching veteran explained, “The cool thing about geocaching is that you get outside and see things and go to crazy places. Some people leave some pretty neat things behind and there’s a story behind every cache.”
Geocaching is a way for anyone to experience an exciting treasure hunt (with a real payoff) that just might help them feel a little bit more connected to the world around them.