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30th Jan 2023

Trans activists urge boycott of Hogwarts Legacy video game ahead of its release

Charlie Herbert

Gamers urge Hogwarts Legacy boycott

‘If you play Hogwarts Legacy, it’s an ugly look’

Gamers and Harry Potter fans are urging people to boycott the upcoming Harry Potter video game, Hogwarts Legacy, because of JK Rowling’s comments and opinions on transgender people.

Hogwarts Legacy, developed by Avalanche Software and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, is an upcoming role-playing game set to released on February 10. The game is one of the most eagerly anticipated of the year, and many fans of the books and films can’t wait to return to the wizarding world.

But others have said they won’t be buying the game, in protest against Harry Potter creator JK Rowling’s opinions on trans issues and transgender people.

In recent years, she has become one of the figureheads of the Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminist (Terf) Movement, a community of women don’t believe that trans women are women.

The author has become a divisive figure because of her vocal beliefs, and ahead of the release of Hogwarts Legacy many have taken to social media to encourage others not to buy the game.

One wrote: “Talking about the Hogwarts Legacy boycott – are there more important things in life? yes. Should you boycott it because it’s a very easy – literally bare minimum – way to show solidarity with trans people? also yes.”

“Not getting Hogwarts Legacy cause JK Rowling is a terf (trans-exclusionary radical feminist) is a very valid reason,” a second said.

A third commented: “If you play Hogwarts Legacy you’re openly saying, ‘I’m okay with giving money to a TERF for a cheap nostalgia pop’ and it’s an ugly look.”

Another argued that Call of Duty has “more trans inclusivity” than Hogwarts Legacy.

They explained: “It [Hogwarts Legacy] has a binary gender choice, they just call it, ‘do you want to stay in the witch or wizard’s dorm’ and while body type and voice isn’t locked to either, pronouns and language in general is.”

Responding to the argument that Rowling is not involved in the game, they continued: “She doesn’t have to be directly involved because it’s literally based on her work and the influence she has had on said work. This includes it’s poor takes on systemic injustices and minorities.”

And another user said that whilst trans people “aren’t physically stopping anyone” from playing the game, they “probably aren’t gonna be mates” anymore with people who do.

Along with the issue of JK Rowling’s views on trans people, others have called out the game over accusations of “antisemitic” themes that some also believe are present in the popular book series.

The “Goblin Rebellion” plot-line allows the gamer to take control of a goblin who is part of an “oppressed race who are fighting against their own slavery.”

However some fans have argued that the portrayal of the goblin characters hinges on harmful antisemitic stereotypes. This was also argued during the Harry Potter franchise itself, most notably in the final film, where the goblins are featured more heavily.

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