Player of the Week: Rebecca Wilken (denali0407)

As Munzee has grown over the years, the game has evolved in so many more ways than any of the co-founders could have imagined. We’ve certainly had our fair share of growing pains, but in its essence Munzee has tried to stick to its core goal of getting people out into the world. No one knows this better than those players who have been with us since the beginning. This week’s Player of the Week is Rebecca Wilken (denali0407).

Who are you?

My Munzee name is denali0407. Yes, 0407 denotes my April 7th birthday. Not terribly original, but it turns out it’s quite the happy little subtle reminder of the day for one & all, so, hey. I’ll keep it. (Oh, the year? Move along. There’s nothing to see there.) Denali National Park is a place I’d very much like to visit one day. (Maybe after someone plants a virtual garden there? [Because if there are no Munzees there, why go, amiright?])

Where in the world do you live?
In a small town west of Fort Worth, Texas. I’ve been in Texas for a number of years now, but I still claim both Iowa as home (though I’ve never technically lived there [oodles & oodles of family there]) and the Pacific Northwest as home (my favorite of all the places I’ve lived, including Hawaii [Navy brat]). I might could even claim to be a native Texan, since technically I was born here, though I left before my first birthday [that Navy brat thing].

How long have you played Munzee?
The better question might be how deeply do I play Munzee. But I probably don’t want to admit to that, so I’ll go with my start date of May 30, 2013. I was sitting in my car in the middle of nowhere, waiting for the interminable (and wretched) train to pass, and on a whim downloaded the app. As it happens, in that tiny little speck on the map (look for Cresson, Texas on the map. There’s nothing there but a train changing station that stops traffic for a criminal amount of time during rush hour [not rushing to that speck on the map, but rushing between Fort Worth and Granbury]), there were actually TWO Munzees. Right there in the middle of nowhere. Naturally, I had to cap one after that blasted train finally abandoned its attempt at suicide-by-angry-commuters. The next day my favorite aunts arrived for their first annual visit so I didn’t touch it again for two weeks, but after that? Oh, it was ON. But it was on in large part because my mother (Pippin) got interested and it was quite lovely spending time wandering the countryside with her. The woman is a workaholic so it’s a joy to drag her off to do things for the pure FUN of it. And FUN is something Munzee has in spades. (Preaching to the choir here, I know.)

How did you find Munzee?
I belong to a perfectly delightful, fundamentally life-sustaining, and certainly life-enhancing online community of essential friends who initially met in the forums of a wearable exercise tracking device (read: a new sort of pedometer). This was a dozen years before Fitbit, mind you. All these years we have hosted amongst ourselves monthly step challenges to entertain us and keep us moving. Our challenge in the month of May, 2013 was themed around geolocation games. One of those discovered that month was Munzee. Fun fact: The host that month, who introduced the game of Munzee to us, didn’t have a smart phone and couldn’t play it herself. But still, she’s responsible for tipping several of us down into the Munzee rabbit hole. (I’m undecided. Should I send her flowers? Or an invoice?)

What do you most enjoy about Munzee?

Let me think about that. Is it my updated tetanus shot (thanks to some rusty rebar)? Is it Pippin’s broken bones and possible torn rotator cuff (thanks to an uneven sidewalk on an unlit street)? Perhaps my terrifying credit card bill? Is it missing out on a mythological by 12 seconds – repeatedly – to the same local Munzeer? My shattered phone screen? Yeah, no. Probably not. It’s the adventure of it all – we all know that, right?! YES! The adventure. The thrill. The challenge. The triumphs. The badges. THE SPECIALS. The 3:30 AM trek down a trail in the dark with (the extremely happy) dog as a bodyguard to capture Frankenstein’s arm. It’s dragging Pippin 30 miles out of town at 10:00 PM for a cupcake (“It’s a HUNDRED POINTS! You can have it, let’s just go!”) It’s being accosted in a park by some random guy jumping out of a truck to yell, “Hey, are you looking for bacon?!” It’s questioning our sanity and our good judgment wondering if we should call search & rescue from the face of a mountain, certain we’ll not survive the trek back down. It’s battling impending heat exhaustion and flagging down passing cyclists begging for water because there was ‘just one more Munzee’ to chase down. It’s tramping through the snow and 2nd degree sunburn. It’s the strategy behind deploys and the delicious anticipation of planning events and the excitement of scoping out new Munzee types. It’s the travel. It’s the people. Ohhh, THE PEOPLE. How I do love the people. [Usually.]

Also, admittedly, I may be ever-so-very-slightly addicted to creating event tags for Munzee events. Just a teensy bit. Or a lot a bit. Whichever.

What is on your wish list?
…brace yourself…

The ability to upgrade an old virtual to a new kind of virtual – that can then be capped again by anyone who capped it in the previous iteration. I’d love to refresh some old virtuals this way. It would be a win/win for both deployer & local capper, and would keep the map fresh. (I’m thinking of you, Köln, Germany, and you, Franklin, TN.)

The ability to click on any deploy on our deployed lists and see how many cap-on points it has racked up for us. Oh, how I would love this! Also, clicking on any category of deployed Munzees to see how many cap-on points have accumulated from said category. This would be especially fascinating for Personal Munzees. Which reminds me:

Badges for owning a Personal Munzee with x number of cap-ons. Maybe 50, 150, 300? (Fiendish Friends, Convivial Cohorts, Sociable Stalkers?)

A Joker’s Wild Munzee. Double the points of the last two physical Munzees captured. (Ditto for the cap-on points.)

A virtual Prize Wheel (not blastable).

The choice to dismiss a Munzee private message when it pops up in app instead of ‘OK’ opening the message (still smarting over the virtual resort I didn’t get to deploy because of that).

An “accept all” option for coinz. Also, the ability to change my answer if I accidentally decline a request (basically a “Whoops! I didn’t mean it! button.) Maybe that would require a list of those requests that I’ve declined?

Hopelessly O.C.D. (Obsessed w/Caps & Deploys) badge. I’ll talk about this the day it happens 😉

Tell us about yourself!
I am stubbornly optimistic. Can’t hold a grudge to save my life (though I had a cat for 19 years who could hold a grudge like nobody’s business.) I am a painfully shy introvert. One on one, or in twos & threes, I’m pretty much okay. Put me in a group and I’ll immediately bolt to a corner or an edge somewhere. I thoroughly enjoy people. But sometimes I just need to curl up in a comfy chair with a good book and a purring cat. I love to travel, and I love coming home afterward. I am fiercely loyal to family. To friends. To the idea that chocolate is the breakfast of champions. I have 50 first cousins, and I’ve lost track of how many children they’ve produced so far (first cousins, once removed). Second cousins number in the hundreds. Myself, I was born to be an aunt and I enjoy it very much. And I have the best niblings ever grown, so yay me!

Other hobbies include:
There is meant to be life outside of Munzee? Oh. Yes. I took up digital scrapbooking after being sidelined over a marathon training injury. I took up Munzee after a back injury left me unable to sit at a desk long enough to really indulge in digi-scrap. (Apparently, I’m prone to injury. Thank you, genetics.) In the last year I worked back up to an easy 5k distance (although a recent tweak has set me back a bit). I’m a long way from my next marathon, but I’ll get there again one day (there’s that stubborn optimism thing). I live to read and I can’t go too long without creating something, even if it’s just a greeting card. I was once published in Paper Crafts Magazine for a birthday card I created out of aluminum flashing, cage wire, and leather. Go figure.

Any last words?
Somehow I suspect I’ve already more than exceeded my fair share of words sooooo I think I’ll just leave off now. Right after I thank whoever the blessed soul was who nominated me. So. THANK YOU. From the bottom of my heart. Thank you. I’m delighted to know you. Even if I don’t know who you are…

OH! I’d also very much like to thank everyone who contributed to the Mile High MHQ garden in Denver )(AKA the Denver, Texas garden) last summer. Thanks to your help we filled that garden in just a few days, and the cap-ons were lovely (and haven’t stopped). You’re the best, guys!

denali0407 also included some socials, so cap away!