Geocaching with Lord British


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At KansasFest 2009, Ryan Suenaga presented a session entitled "Geocaching for Noobs by a Noob", in which he gave an overview of the pastime known as geocaching. This hobby requires using a GPS-eabled device to find hidden treasures that other players have planted and then logged the coordinates of at Geocaching.com.

Ryan isn't the only Apple II user with an interest in geocaching. Richard Garriott — aka Lord British, the creator of the Ultima RPG series — is also an avid geocacher, proving a love for gaming that extends beyond the electronic. But Garriott, who never does anything halfheartedly, has taken this sport to new heights — and depths!

In October 2008, when Garriott became the first second-generation astronaut, he took the opportunity to plant a geocache on the outside of the International Space Station. At an altitude of 250 miles, it became the world's highest geocache. Five years earlier, he'd left a geocache at the Rainbow Hydrothermal Vents, at the time the world's deepest geocache at 2300 meters below sea level.

Recognizing that most terrestrial geocachers would find these troves beyond their reach, Garriott has manifested his love of gaming in this real-world haunted cache. The description for the Mystery Cache Necropolis of Britannia Manor III indicates that this cache has eight chapters, a dozen secret instructions, and numerous hints and codes — an adventure worthy of an Ultima veteran. If you still can't figure it out, you can even join the Facebook group for this specific cache and get help from over two hundred other fans.

If you have a Geocaching.com account, you can view Lord British's profile and all the caches he's made or found.

Although this activity does not require an Apple II, it's evidence of the creativity the Apple II can inspire in its founding programmers, even three decades later.

(Hat tip to Bitmob)