Elements of popular culture, in particular the film and song genres, have already been integrated into the senior curriculum in Hong Kong. While academic researchers advocate the inclusion of online social networking and video gaming as curricular alternatives to connect learners to digital literacy practices, its reception by teachers has yet to be fully explored. This paper reports on an action research carried out by 34 Hong Kong English teachers on video gaming and social networking. Though the teachers believed their students frequently engaged in such popular activities, they had strong reservations concerning classroom application, in particular the values of online gaming and the dangers of online social networking. Through a survey, interviews, lived experience, online journal entries and responses and reflection, these teachers explored the two popular cultural practices for personal experience, pedagogical potential and professional development. The teachers' own private engagement with such popular cultural activities did not necessarily favour pedagogical consideration. The paper also discusses the pedagogical implications of seeking alternative popular cultural activities for language learning and teacher training.