The new Harry Potter video game, Hogwarts Legacy, is causing major controversy online as some people are accusing others of being transphobic for playing the game due to its links to JK Rowling.
The game has been highly anticipated among Harry Potter fans and gamers as it promised to be an immersive experience in the Wizarding World where users can play as a student at Hogwarts.
But since the game is part of Rowling’s franchise, some have called on gamers to boycott Hogwarts Legacydue to Rowling’s views on transgender people.
The author and creator of Harry Potter has mocked gender fluidity and disparaged gender-inclusive wording.
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On Twitter, Rowling has rudely responded to transgender or nonbinary people who have called her out.
With the obvious ties to Rowling, streamers are left with a moral dilemma to either show allyship with the transgender community by boycotting the game or ignore the backlash and play Hogwarts Legacy.
And those who have chosen the latter are feeling the heat.
Twitch streamer Shelby of GirlfriendReviews became audibly upset when she and her partner, Matt, received massive amounts of backlash for streaming the game.
\u201cYesterday, a Twitch streamer was bullied by chat for playing the game, to the point where his girlfriend was crying\n\n\u201d— Dexerto (@Dexerto) 1675786666
Other streamers have faced similar commentary and even a website has emerged that lets people check if their favorite gamers have played “that new wizard game.”
\u201cIntroducing https://t.co/q3Qq5j7f0M - find out if anyone you follow on twitch has streamed THAT new wizard game\u201d— Sam Gibbs (@Sam Gibbs) 1675686013
Popular streamer HasanAbi said he is choosing not to review the game to avoid all controversy.
“The only reason why I am not playing this game and I know a bunch of other people are not playing this game is because we know that it’s not worth it to get f***ing bullied endlessly and called transphobic endlessly when we have massive queer communities and audiences,” HasanAbi said.
And both sides of the argument have been vocal with some believing it is extreme to ask people to not play the highly anticipated game.
\u201cHogwarts Legacy is a really bizarre cultural phenomenon where the right thinks buying the most expansive edition is anti-trans activism when the game now contains trans and gay characters while trans and gay people are asking people not to play it\u201d— The Serfs (@The Serfs) 1675791958
\u201cIf you buy #HogwartsLegacy because you're excited to play it, you aren't transphobic. If you boycott the game, you're not a bad person. \n\nIf you call someone transphobic for buying the game, you're an asshole. If you say you're buying to "piss off the libs" you're an asshole too.\u201d— Alex Wentzell (@Alex Wentzell) 1674256530
\u201cWhatever your thoughts on Hogwarts Legacy and the ethics of buying it, don't start putting people blacklists that will inevitably lead to vicious harassment over it.\n\nI hate this website.\u201d— Cynical Reviews (@Cynical Reviews) 1675792379
Others, want to encourage people to stand with the LGBTQ+ community, especially since transgender people have faced outward discrimination in legislation over the last year.
\u201cUltimately as a cis person it\u2019s not up to me to decide if Hogwarts: Legacy is transphobic. The trans people in my life, and online, have told me it is. So I won\u2019t be buying it.\u201d— Lauren Ingram (@Lauren Ingram) 1675754377
\u201c- By buying hogwarts legacy you're giving money to jkr. She will use that money to fund her transphobia. She also sees you buying anything HP as you supporting her transphobic views.\n- The story itself is antisemitic, so why even pirate it?\u201d— Mari \ud83c\udff4\u200d\u2620\ufe0f || ofmd (@Mari \ud83c\udff4\u200d\u2620\ufe0f || ofmd) 1675786372
The game will be available to the public starting Friday, February 10th.
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