“Block the Spawn Point”: Play and Games in the Hong Kong 2019 Pro-democracy Protests

Hanna Elina Wirman, Rhys Jones

Research output: Journal Article or Conference Article in JournalConference articleResearchpeer-review


The Hong Kong 2019 anti-government protests leveraged the potential of digital games
in an unprecedented breadth. Play and games were employed to gain visibility, create
a sense of belonging, and to explain wearing topics through a common language among
young people. Grassroot contributions and linking of immediate political events with
young people’s digital entertainment interests illustrates a new way of appropriating
game and play structures, logics, and discourses during societal crises (Sezen and Sezen
2016). This provides strong support to the idea that play can take place “everywhere”,
as the DiGRA 2020 conference theme suggests. Our aim is to document and categorise
(see Table 1) this innovative and wide-ranging utilization of games in a protest.
Original languageEnglish
JournalProceedings of the Digital Games Research Association (DiGRA)
Pages (from-to)np
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Hong Kong 2019 protests
  • digital games
  • political activism
  • grassroot movements
  • play and games in societal crises


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