Should you Boycott Hogwarts Legacy - Cover

With the release of Hogwarts Legacy coming next month, much controversy surrounds its launch. After calls for users to boycott Hogwarts Legacy started on Reddit, the movement soon made its way onto other platforms like Twitter and Facebook. Now that the gaming community is weeks away from getting the wizarding game, there are discussions on whether or not you should support it.

Should you boycott Hogwarts Legacy?

If you’re out of the loop on the movements of not supporting anything related to Harry Potter, we’re here to give you a quick rundown of what’s happening. It all started in 2020 when Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling made controversial remarks against the transgender community. Since then, many of her former fans and even stars in the Harry Potter films have expressed disappointment in her views.

  • On June 6, 2020, Rowling took to Twitter and quote retweeted a column that discussed individuals who experience menstruation. In her tweet, it was obvious that Rowling was annoyed that the opinion article chose to say, “People who menstruate.”

  • Most of the replies did not agree with Rowling’s statement. Supporters and even those who don’t follow the author chipped in and shared their two cents about her statement being offensive. There are also apparent hints of Rowling being transphobic in her following statements.

Adding fuel to the fire

Here is what Rowling had to say in response to the wave of backlash she was getting following the tweet above.

“If sex isn’t real, there’s no same-sex attraction. If sex isn’t real, the lived reality of women globally is erased. I know and love trans people, but erasing the concept of sex removes the ability of many to meaningfully discuss their lives. It isn’t hate to speak the truth.”

“The idea that women like me, who’ve been empathetic to trans people for decades, feeling kinship because they’re vulnerable in the same way as women – ie, to male violence – ‘hate’ trans people because they think sex is real and has lived consequences – is a nonsense.”
“I respect every trans person’s right to live any way that feels authentic and comfortable to them. I’d march with you if you were discriminated against on the basis of being trans. At the same time, my life has been shaped by being female. I do not believe it’s hateful to say so.”

Should we stop supporting Hogwarts Legacy?

With the knowledge of J.K. Rowling having transphobic views, what does it mean for future Harry Potter projects? Does this mean we should stop supporting anything related to the magical world we grew up in? The short answer is no.

J.K. Rowling
Image Courtesy of Karwai Tang via WireImage

Yes, I’m already anticipating flak for this rather controversial opinion, but let’s take a closer look at the team behind the game. Although Rowling is responsible for creating the world of Harry Potter, she is not involved in writing for the upcoming game.

  • Portkey Games themselves have denounced Rowling’s views on the transgender community. They knew what they were getting themselves into when they decided to write a story that involved the world of Hogwarts. The team also made it a point to include the ability to make your characters transgender in the game.
  • If I were J.K. Rowling, I would take that as a big, old middle finger to my face. Including trans characters in a game that’s based on something I made? That will definitely tick me off.
  • It’s too early to say we should collectively stop supporting Hogwarts Legacy. And no, I am not going to bring up any arguments about how boycotting the game will have a negative impact on the team that worked hard on it. Before the game’s release, they have already received their paychecks, so really, that argument will not hold up.
  • However, there is also the issue of Hogwarts Legacy’s entire story being antisemitic. Since it is based on the world built by J.K. Rowling, the game will include goblins who are implied as the bad guys.

Aside from Rowling’s transphobia, there are also hints of antisemitism in the game

This has always been a long-running issue in the Harry Potter fanbase. Even before the creation of Hogwarts Legacy, fans noticed how the goblins in the movies bear physical resemblances of antisemitic caricatures. A lot of netizens agree that Hogwarts Legacy is antisemitic propaganda. According to one Redditor, “you are the Christian purging the Jews – the wizard purging the goblins.”

Should you Boycott Hogwarts Legacy - Goblin
Image Courtesy of Avalanche Software

Personally, I took the time to review all of these claims that the entire premise of goblins in the Wizarding World is antisemitic. I do agree with most of the points being brought up, but we also have to consider that Portkey Games wrote the story as inspired by the Wizarding World’s history.

Could they have approached this in a better way? Yes. But the bottom line is we’re still a month away from the game’s official release, and there is no way for us to know what the entire story will be about. As I said, Portkey Games are solely responsible for writing a game taken from J.K. Rowling’s creation. At the end of the day, it was Rowling who made the transphobic remarks, and it was Rowling who may have included antisemitic ideologies in the franchise.

Will buying Hogwarts Legacy mean I share the same views as Rowling?

No! Just because you wish to purchase or play Hogwarts Legacy, it doesn’t make you a person with questionable morals in life. Life is not merely black and white, folks. If you wish to play the game, then play it. It’s undeniable how much Harry Potter has left a lasting impact on its audience’s lives.

Hogwarts Legacy Nintendo Switch possible release date + What's new - 2
Image Courtesy of Avalanche Software

There are those who saw Rowling’s creations as something that would bring them to a whole other world where the possibilities are endless. Besides, there are a lot of people out there who grew up wishing they would receive that acceptance letter for Hogwarts. The upcoming game may be an opportunity for them to experience Harry’s euphoria and excitement when their home was flooded with all those letters from Hogwarts.

Hogwarts Legacy Nintendo Switch possible release date + What's new - 3
Image Courtesy of Avalanche Software

The important thing is you shouldn’t let this game cloud your judgment. You still have the right to be critical of Rowling’s ideologies. As I said, life is not simply black and white. There are a lot of layers to uncover when talking about Rowling’s transphobia and antisemitic views in her works. 

Plus, I’m sure we’ll have more to say when the game officially comes out next month. 

RELATED NEWS: Is Hogwarts Legacy profitable for J.K. Rowling?

What do you think about this discourse surrounding Hogwarts Legacy? Do you think we should boycott it as early as now? Or would it be better to wait until we have a better grasp of the game’s entire story? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below! Until then, stay with us here at Spiel Times for more content. Remember, folks, trans men are men and trans women are women!

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SOURCES: Avalanche Software, WireImage
Kath is just a small-time gamer with dreams of getting a simulator game that's like Sims 4, Stardew Valley, and Animal Crossing all rolled into one. In their spare time, Kath hosts streams with friends while playing online multiplayer games like Valorant and Call of Duty. There isn't any type of game Kath shies away from... except if it's a horror game. Make Kath choose between eating a ghost pepper or playing Outlast and they'll endure the pain that comes with eating a ghost pepper. At the moment, Kath is getting lost in the world of Teyvat with Raiden Shogun, Zhongli, and Venti on their current team. Instead of going for the meta, Kath's main goal in Genshin Impact is to have all the Archons on her roster. Ask Kath what Genshin Impact is and prepare yourself for a very lengthy and detailed conversation about the open-world RPG. Aside from gaming, Kath also likes to dabble in playing music and some creative writing. With all of these hobbies and interests, it's a surprise Kath still gets bored from time to time.