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The PLAY - CREATIVE GAMING FESTIVAL invites you to celebrate the culture of digital games online, hybrid, and on-site from November 5 to 13, 2021. For the first time, workshops, exhibitions, shows, roundtables, and talks will offer nine days of participation, discussion, programming, exploration, and, of course, gaming. Participants decide for themselves how to visit the festival: stream, virtual festival location, or digital game worlds – all roads lead to PLAY21.

According to the motto RESTART TOGETHER!, this year's festival focuses on the past and the future, on isolation and communitarization, on proximity and distance. PLAY21 explores the role of games in a (post-)pandemic society and deals with questions like how games bring us together in a global crisis, how they give hope, become alternative places of encounter, and how game culture will change after and because of Covid-19. Let's find answers, let's restart together!

visit the festival here:

To get you in the right mood for the festival, we've now also released the official trailer for PLAY21, with exclusive glimpses of this year's festival location – PLAYvalley!


PLAY is the first and only festival worldwide to unite media art, discourse and education with the culture of digital games. It focuses on the creative utilization of digital games: invent, build, tinker, modify, program, dance, discuss - anything goes!

PLAY is the festival for game enthusiasts and gamers, indie game developers and media artists, pupils and students, teachers and educators, scientists, people involved in the games industry and everyone, who wishes to play and learn with digital games.

PLAY – Creative Gaming Festival happens for the 14th time and is around since 2008. Have a look at the last six festivals:


PLAY21 – Creative Gaming Festival is an event produced by the Initiative Creative Gaming e. V. and jaf – Verein für medienpädagogische Praxis Hamburg e. V. in cooperation with spielbar.de, the platform of the Federal Agency for Civic Education/bpb on the Subject of Computer Games, Behörde für Schule und Berufsbildung Hamburg and JIZ – Jugendinformationszentrum Hamburg (BSB).

Thanks to our locations: SCHORSCH at IFZ and Europa Passage Hamburg

Supported by the BürgerStiftung Hamburg and gamecity:Hamburg

In cooperation with the FUNDUS THEATER

Sponsored by siebold/hamburg messebau GmbH

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