Concern group creates online game to show the lives of residents in one of Hong Kong’s last interim housing sites

  • The educational game provides a virtual tour of two Shek Lei Estate blocks that the government has said it will clear out by the end of this year
  • Group members say they want people to learn about the situation residents are in and understand how ‘unreasonable’ it is to rehouse them in Tuen Mun
Sue Ng |

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The interim housing set to be cleared out by the end of this year is in Blocks 10 and 11 of Shek Lei Estate. Photo: SCMP

A Facebook group has made an online game to educate people about how the government is clearing out one of Hong Kong’s last interim housing sites by the end of this year.

On Tuesday, an online concern group for Shek Lei interim housing in Kwai Chung launched a game that provides a virtual tour of the two blocks and shows the impact of their demolition on residents.

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In 2020, the government announced it would clear out the interim housing blocks at Shek Lei Estate by the end of this year to make way for a new public housing estate. The demolition has affected 329 households, of which 79 are set to be rehoused at Po Tin interim housing in Tuen Mun.

“Since the buildings are soon to be demolished, we hope this game can reach more people, especially the younger generations, to teach them about the issue ... of interim housing,” said Nok, the game designer and concern group member, who asked to be identified by his nickname only.

The game comprises 10 checkpoints that players clear after following a route that takes them around the blocks in Shek Lei as well as the surrounding neighbourhood. Taking about 10 minutes to complete, the virtual tour starts at a bus stop and ends at Po Tin interim housing.

“I have been living in Shek Lei for more than 10 years, and [the checkpoints] are all places that I visit every day,” said Roy Hui, a 41-year-old who is one of the 79 households to be rehoused at Po Tin and a member of the concern group.

“We want participants to understand the environment of Shek Lei step by step, and show them the difference between Shek Lei and Po Tin ... and how unreasonable it is to rehouse residents to Po Tin,” said Nok and Hui.

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To make the game more interactive, the group has used pictures and footage from residents to create videos and 360-degree images that help players immerse themselves in different parts of the tour.

From now until May 15, participants who score more than 2,000 marks in the game and upload a screenshot of this achievement to their Facebook page can receive a physical badge from the concern group.

The group is also offering an online workshop for schools in which students can learn about Shek Lei interim housing through an introduction to the game and talks from residents.

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