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Why The Hate For Hogwarts Legacy?

Hogwarts Legacy will be out later this week, and it’s the newest action-adventure game from Warner Bros., Avalanche Software, and Harry Potter game licensors/makers Portkey Games. We’ve played 10 hours of it and it’s really fun if you’re into all-ages(ish) fantasy-slash-modern-times gameplay involving wizards, witches, goblin uprisings, and broom-riding. And it’s a really good title for non-Harry Potter fans like myself who just want to enter a world and play make-believe student wizard/witch, studying to be the best, exploring dangerous ruins and dark corners of the world, and taking care of fantastic beasts.

I’m not the only one, it seems. The game is amassing great reviews on Metacritic and Opencritic, scoring 80s and 90s for its open-world gameplay. Things should be looking up for the developers, no?

However, the game is not without its share of controversy from its announcement up until its release. No, it’s not about the game’s development or whatnot, but it’s more about the Wizarding World and Harry Potter license creator: J.K. Rowling. Let’s break it down, and dish out our opinion.

How It Started

It all stemmed from a past J.K. Rowling official post about her supporting folks for certain decisions called “J.K. Rowling Writes About Her Reasons For Speaking Out On Sex and Gender Issues”. The paragraphs referring to transgender transitions and detransitioning rubbed the transgender community online the wrong way.

“I believe the majority of trans-identified people not only pose zero threat to others, but are vulnerable for all the reasons I’ve outlined. Trans people need and deserve protection. Like women, they’re most likely to be killed by sexual partners. Trans women who work in the sex industry, particularly trans women of colour, are at particular risk. Like every other domestic abuse and sexual assault survivor I know, I feel nothing but empathy and solidarity with trans women who’ve been abused by men.

So I want trans women to be safe. At the same time, I do not want to make natal girls and women less safe. When you throw open the doors of bathrooms and changing rooms to any man who believes or feels he’s a woman – and, as I’ve said, gender confirmation certificates may now be granted without any need for surgery or hormones – then you open the door to any and all men who wish to come inside. That is the simple truth.

[…] Huge numbers of women are justifiably terrified by the trans activists; I know this because so many have got in touch with me to tell their stories. They’re afraid of doxxing, of losing their jobs or their livelihoods, and of violence.

But endlessly unpleasant as its constant targeting of me has been, I refuse to bow down to a movement that I believe is doing demonstrable harm in seeking to erode ‘woman’ as a political and biological class and offering cover to predators like few before it. I stand alongside the brave women and men, gay, straight and trans, who’re standing up for freedom of speech and thought, and for the rights and safety of some of the most vulnerable in our society: young gay kids, fragile teenagers, and women who’re reliant on and wish to retain their single sex spaces. Polls show those women are in the vast majority, and exclude only those privileged or lucky enough never to have come up against male violence or sexual assault, and who’ve never troubled to educate themselves on how prevalent it is.”

I highly suggest you read the entire thing before coming to your own conclusion on her stance. Because of this, she was basically cancelled for it by belligerent online activists, for the umpteenth time. Just like any person with differing political views and gender views, she has her fair share of supporters and detractors.

We have to stress first that we are not anti-trans and we do not support whatever anti-trans views anyone has. Having said that, I do not believe that piece from J.K. Rowling is intended to dismiss trans-people at all. If there is a single line that seems to mention any sort of hate, please point it out in the comments because I can’t find it for the life of me. Everything that’s surrounding Hogwarts Legacy and decrying J.K. Rowling for being fascist and anti-trans is all stemming online.

 

Even if she said it on paper on record in regards to criticizing gender, say you disagree with her views -everyone’s entitled to them and should be treated as thus. That’s fine. But I do notice all the hate and vitriol for J.K. Rowling seems to stem from the game and is directed to anyone who touches it or even wants to play it.

(video credit: Last Stand Media – this video is about a person who got fired from her high-profile job and cancelled online because she loves Harry Potter and the upcoming game)

Why target Hogwarts Legacy, above all else?

Why this Wizarding World game in particular? Universal Studios Wizarding World-themed rides/parks Harry Potter LEGOs and ticket sales of Harry Potter screenings produce way, WAY more money in the long term for years than a new game that has yet to prove itself (it’s only coming out end of the week at this time of publishing). Why not go out of your way to boycott those bigger revenue generators if you’re so hell-bent on shaming and cancelling people, innocent streamers especially, who want to play the game and have fun/review/critique them on their own merits? One of them even opened up a fundraiser to donate all of their Twitch proceedings to a worthy cause involving LGBTQ young people.

These folks are doing their bullying on Twitter, shaming people of being anti-trans and being a “trans-killer” for buying and playing the game; why are they using the platform in the first place as it’s currently run by a publicly-known transphobe? One who is profiting off of the platform for all the similar kinds of discourse surrounding Hogwarts Legacy? The irony here is so thick not even the strongest death spell in the Wizarding World can cut through it.

If you’re also going to boycott a game publisher and developer just because of the franchise creator’s point of view, why not go the extra mile and also call out game devs and publishers who are being funded by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund? It’s public knowledge that Saudi Arabia royalty is far from innocent and has done far worse than being anti-trans, so why not go out of your way to boycott and condemn SNK, Take-Two, and even Nintendo while you’re at it?

Is the obsession over this one game -one where you play a kid wizard/witch in a fantasy world- and the act of shaming people for just enjoying it because of the fact that it’s easier to do that? In a day and age of the internet and easy wifi/data acquisition, it is simple to go online and bully people big and small through social media platforms over a false sense of righteousness, pretending that you care about trans people when you’re just capitalizing on a hate-filled trend and making yourself heard and feel validated, rather than driving oneself out to Florida to protest ticket sales for a more lucrative theme park that’s using the same IP.

I guess all I’m saying is:

-Kakuchopurei is obviously against trans-hate and gender-hate. I cannot stress this heavily enough.
-If you love the game but still feel strongly about JK Rowling’s views, that’s fine. Play the game. You can separate the art from the artist. Just because you like Roman Polanski films doesn’t mean you love statutory rape and marrying underage girls.
-If you feel strongly about JK Rowling’s views and don’t want to buy the game, don’t buy it. But don’t be a dick and shame other people for it just because they want to enjoy their brand-new Harry Potter game.
-JK Rowling makes way more money from the aforementioned Harry Potter attractions (Universal theme park, LEGO, etc.) than a brand-new video that hasn’t proven itself. Make the effort to protest against those if you feel strongly about her views.
-By bullying and cancelling people over a video game to the point of getting them fired and vilified, you are being the very thing you’re supposedly championing against.
Go ahead and donate to an LGBTQ causes like this if you wish to help. It sure beats typing a bunch of hate-filled words and shaming people for playing a kid’s game.

Now if you excuse me, I’m going to need to quell a silly goblin uprising on the outskirts of Hogwarts. Peace.

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