Discover Dunedin from your armchair
October 30, 2023 | Stories

By Rosemary Baird 

Our Dunedin office staff recently took part in a filmed gameshow created by online tourist Chris Magnuson, based in Washington D.C.

Chris, a former geography and social studies teacher, who works in online learning, is fascinated by exploring different cities via Google Street View and sensory experiences. Every morning he gets up at 5am and spends 2-3 hours exploring the world via the internet. 

“I’ve always been interested in other cultures, but with over-tourism and environmental concerns, we need to be mindful about travel. This is a really cool escape – and with no jetlag.” Chris will also seek out sensory experiences from the overseas location he is exploring – listening to local radio stations or tracking down a food speciality. 

The gameshow approach started as a way for Chris to connect to people in the place he is ‘visiting’. The Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga and Dunedin City Libraries teams were challenged to identify culturally significant locations in Dunedin Chris had cropped from Google’s Street View.  

“Once contestants correctly identified the locations, we had a short discussion about each place and its significance,” explains Chris. “This format is a fantastic way to have a discussion about a place’s culture and history in a fun and engaging way. It really embraces hyper-local knowledge and deep nerdiness!” 

The Dunedin teams and one of their clues courtesy of Chris Magnuson
Our Otago/Southland Team, channelling University Challenge for their online gameshow.

Our Southland/Otago Area Manager, Sarah Gallagher, loved the experience: “We had an extremely good time and enjoyed facing off against our library friends from Dunedin Public Library who were such good sports despite being outnumbered. We all behaved like a bunch of Hermione Grangers – it was very competitive and noisy with a lot of laughter. It was interesting to see the clues that Chris picked; I think there was only one thing we didn't know. I will never forget Chris's face when I knew the location of the mystery student flat sign, it was absolutely priceless!” 

The Dunedin gameshow episode is the fourth in Chris’ first season of video quizzes and can be viewed on YouTube (see above).

If you would like to follow Chris’ online travels, check out his Instagram @StreetviewVangabond where he profiles a different city each week. 

Ōtepoti Dunedin
Baird, Rosemary (author)

Rosemary Baird | Outreach Advisor
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