Idea Bank: Go Big and Stay Home

Racers get a tour of Texas right from their screens.

What’s the great idea? Virtual Race Across Texas

Who’s doing it? Texas State Historical Association

What’s involved? On your marks. Get set. Click! Using an online game, TSHA took competitors through a three-week marathon last summer, virtually touring the Texas revolution, historic locations, and museums.

“As long as it’s an historical happening in Texas, we see ourselves as the umbrella organization, and we try to promote the state’s history,” TSHA CEO Brian Bolinger says.

Each morning participants visited a new locale through the question of the day. If they didn’t know the answer, the game let them reference TSHA’s Handbook of Texas, essentially the state’s encyclopedia.

“You basically will answer questions about whatever the historical event or the historical place is that we’re trying to promote that day,” Bolinger says.

Participants won prizes such as hotel stays and tours by earning points on correctly answered questions, inviting other people to join the race, or becoming TSHA members.

What are people saying? For TSHA’s second race, held in July, 15,000 people worldwide completed the game. Throughout the month, TSHA received emails from the competitors thanking the organization for promoting Texas history. “We’re really excited,” Bolinger says. “I can tell you there will be a third year of the Virtual Race Across Texas.”

Alex Beall

By Alex Beall

Alex Beall is an associate editor for Associations Now with a masters in journalism and a penchant for Instagram. MORE

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