CacheCrazy.Com: Chopper Command

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Chopper Command

Some time ago I came across one of those plug-in joysticks that has all of the 1980s Activision games on it. I was like, “Far out! Old-school Atari!” I decided to grab a sixer of colas, pop in some Greg Kihn Band tunes, and try to break a few of the high scores from back in the day. It didn’t take long for the mechanics to come back. The sound effects! The graphics! The nostalgia! The simplicity of one button! Oh man, this was going to be hours of fun…!

…But after I played for awhile, some disappointment started to set in. Perhaps it was because I don’t really dig video games or because I’d rather spend time outside or play with the kids. Perhaps I just have a short attention span. Perhaps I really wanted to read a book or shoot my bow or go fishing or geocaching…

…Or perhaps it was because I finally accepted the truth…

“Chopper Command” is actually pretty lame.

I walked away let down but wiser for the experience.

Maybe it’s not Chopper Command for you. Maybe it’s “The Phantom Menace” or a McDonald’s Shamrock Shake or a tube of Mighty Putty. Maybe it’s those boats that you have to paddle by using foot pedals…

Here’s where I’m going with this. You go after a few geocaches with high expectations. You’re baited in by the cache page description and the attributes and the high difficulty and terrain rating, but in the end you come away let down. For awhile, you may tell yourself that these hides were a ton of fun, but eventually you admit the truth. They were just so-so. A seventy percent, friends. Barely passing.

Now with the millions of geocaches world-wide, statistics tell us that a few duds are inevitable. And I don’t have any illusions of superiority. Maybe some folks consider DLC hides to be on the weak side. That’s fine. I can take that. Everybody has a different taste. But it’s something that preys on my mind – Is a DLC cache considered a full-blown “Chopper Command” by someone else? Now THAT just might bum me out.

So here is the challenge for all of us. Don’t let your caches be a Chopper Command. You find enough Chopper Command caches and it’s likely that someday you’ll wake up to discover that this hobby you once enjoyed is really quite dull. That horrible feeling is something I don’t want to experience or cause somebody else to experience. That’s not why we play this game.

In the end, all we can do is try, but try we must. Don’t put geocaches out there just for the sake of it. Give them a theme. Make them fun. Load them up with prizes. Take people to some place really cool. If other cachers criticize your hides, you can consider whether it’s worthwhile criticism or whether it just should be taken with a grain of salt. If the effort is there, at least you can say you gave it your best shot.

Let’s not be Chopper Command hiders.

By the way, I’d love to hear from folks on this. Is there something that just didn’t live up to the hype for you? Something you maybe had built up a little bit too much in your mind? Tell us about YOUR Chopper Command!

Now back to my game…

“I wonder if those trucks have nüvis in them?”



This is really a great post! I totally remember all of those Old School games and you are correct, they have lost their luster to me as compared to Black Op’s anyway. My mission is to improve geocaching one cache at a time and this is in line with my quest. Great message!
My “Chopper Command” has to do with a cache that I busted my ass setting, made it a 4/4 and posted all kinds of warnings on the cache page, only to find out that there is a path within 30 feet of GZ. The path starts at a parking lot only 500 feet away and forced the cache down to a 2/2! Calling Chopper command, come in Chopper Command!

BigAl said...

Chopper 1 this is Security Control, what's your 20? Loved the article. I too remember those old games. Every once in a while we pull out the OLD computor and play some old games on it. Digman and such. My chopper command also has to do with a cache. I was out with my boys at the LSP caching and we had just found the Kennedy Creek Cache. As we walked along another cache came on the screen. I asked the boys if they wanted to hit it too and they said yes. I then told them it was straight up the hill, and it was steep. I told them it must be a 5/5. Well we climbed forever and finally got to the top. We found the cache (GC7A6) and as I was logging the find my son said 'hey dad look over here, there is a path'. Not far from the cache was the trail. It turned out that it was a 2.5/2.5 and I was disappointed; Not with the cache, but with the fact I had not checked it out before hand. That's why I want a cell phone to do paperless caching. Chopper 1 you're cleared for landing.

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