Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Treasure Hunt for Olympics?

Treasure Hunt to be an event for Olympics Games.

Some may say it's crazy. Some may say it's impossible.

I'm dreaming for that.

Treasure hunt has grown to a popular recreation sports for some Malaysians. Gone were the days when treasure hunt is part of the British army's pastime. No more counting of coconut trees and lamp pole in Jalan Bangsar. Treasure hunt in Malaysia today is an intellectual challenge, where teams work and compete to decipher cryptic clues.

Well, in this posting, I am not going to talk about the history or the cryptic clueing of treasure hunt. Rather, I will write about the treasure ecosystem today and maybe ways to take the sports forward (hopefully).

I have tried to put into a simple ecosystem diagram of treasure hunt here.

Simple diagram of treasure hunt ecosystem.

In this diagram above, we can see that there are many parties involved in the ecosystem. I will try to explain the roles played by each party here.

1. The community. The community here refers to the context of the treasure hunt event itself. The community can be the general public for a open hunt. It can be staff of a company for a company event. It can also be the target marketing segment of the organiser of the hunt. The community can be beneficiaries of a charity hunt.

2. Treasure hunters. These are the people who take part in the treasure hunts. They may be first-timers, regulars, masters and CoC. The hunters may take part for many reasons e.g. for fun, to win something, as team/relationship-building, for charity, etc. Some hunters with very good command of the language with strong cryptic-solving skills are called masters (note that the definition of a master is debatable to some). I would like to think of the masters as mentors. Those who with great skills but also can see the win-win paradigm are the ones who knows that by sharing knowledge/know-how and making others better does not make them less competitive. But rather, it will increase the size of the pie and good for the sports in the longer-term. Some hunters are more passionate than others and they join many hunts and we may call them regulars. Some regulars eventually learned through many mistakes and experiences to become masters. Some treasure hunters also became Clerk-of-Course (CoC). CoCs are the question-setter and the event manager of the hunt.

3. Organisers. Organiser can be a company, a society, a school etc. The purpose maybe to reach out to the community for a commercial/marketing, social, or charity cause. The organiser may need the support of sponsors and media to make the event more successful.

4. Sponsors. Sponsors are important to the treasure hunts. Most hunters now are likely to be attracted by cash or good prizes. Of course, sponsors will get the attention and marketing reach from the community and hunters alike with the support of the media and Internet.

5. Media and Internet. Media and the Internet are the important means to reach out to the community and form a bridge between the other parties in the ecosystem to the community due to its extensive reach and connection.

So there you have it, a simple model of the treasure hunt ecosystem. I may be missing something, please comment then.

Is there anything we can add to this? Maybe a governing body for the treasure hunt sport? What is required to take the sport to a higher level? Sort of like an association to look after the hunters, the CoC, ensure the growth of the sport?

I think there are pros and cons about it. Some may agree, some may not. Those who agree may want a body to regulate/govern treasure hunts in Malaysia. Those who against may have reservation and feel that there is nothing immediate or urgent that requires such a governing body now (since treasure hunt has grown to what it is today without it).

Of course, there must be a charter and purpose for this body. Rather than inventing that purpose, it must be discovered. If there is a need for a body for a long-term good of the sport, I think it will be found. Hopefully, it can be a tiny step towards treasure hunt for Olympics.

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