Free As In Speech

There is a concept in software that an application can be “free as in beer,” meaning something is given with no cost, or “free as in speech,” meaning users are at liberty to use, alter, and dispose of it as they see fit. For the most part, I think of geocaching in a similar way. Sure, it has reviewers and a (for lack of a better term) bureaucracy that makes and enforces the framework of things, but cachers can chase or create almost any experience they can imagine. One of the reasons I started this blog (oh, how I despise that word) was to demonstrate that caching is for anyone, despite certain social restraints and complications that can arise therefrom. Other people have restraints and complications that are physical rather than social in nature. I know Groundspeak is sensitive to this. They probably wouldn’t even have considered wheelchair accessibility if they weren’t.

I’ve done a couple of Whereigos where sound has been useful. Heck, one of the most interesting Multis I’ve ever done involved calling a phone number to get a recorded message containing clues to the final container, so it’s a good thing I wasn’t deaf. As time has gone on, sound has become more and more popular in caching. If caching is for everyone, there should also be a way to allow for those physical issues. There’s a petition circulating asking Groundspeak to add an attribute similar to the wheelchair attributes to help deaf cachers better choose caches. Take a look at it. It may not be the best or only solution, but it should definitely be considered because caching should be free for everyone. Everyone should be as welcome as possible.

2 thoughts on “Free As In Speech

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