Gaming sites STILL IN DENIAL over Hogwarts legacy

by 03.08.2023

Hogwarts Legacy Made Us Ignore Transphobia, So What’s Next?
Gamers are pretty spineless.

Hogwarts Legacy has already sold over 12 million copies. Good job, everyone – we worked together to show that pesky woke boycott who’s boss and stuck up for the little billionaire and the multinational corporation. The continued acceptance of JK Rowling’s universe and its transphobic baggage is a clear sign that gamers are willing to throw aside societal progress and the support of minority groups if it means playing the next big video game.

February was an avalanche of moral compromises from fellow critics, friends, and family. I watched as they bargained with their personal worth as a trans ally if they decided to buy this game, their excitement outweighing the pleads of us fighting for human rights on the sidelines. Here at TheGamer, we decided against reviewing or guiding Hogwarts Legacy. Our coverage instead serves to inform the greater conversation and shine a light on how its potential success and the ongoing boycott speaks to a far larger societal issue.

The success of Hogwarts Legacy was never really down to how many copies it sold or the overall Metacritic score. Its real victory is that it was received with open arms despite the creator of its universe demonising trans people and widening a divide that is now worming its way through everyday bias and the minds of politicians and the public. Trans people like me have become a sick and twisted bargaining chip for upcoming elections and a topic for right-wing rags to pull out for a quick and easy hit piece to stoke up outrage built on a sensationalist chorus of lies.

Battle lines were drawn between trans people and Rowling in the lead up to the release of Hogwarts Legacy. Several outlets and organisations made their stance obvious, while others unfortunately pussy-footed around the sad reality of how big the game was and the profits it will take in with guaranteed traffic and engagement. It was always going to sell. As so many of you are eager to highlight, it is the Harry Potter experience of your dreams and a chance to be the witch or wizard you spent your childhood fantasising about. Human beings tend to form attachments to media that takes them back to a much simpler time, one where trans people weren’t being murdered on a regular basis while countless uninformed internet dipshits label them as predators obsessed with loitering in toilets.

The real world is changing, yet we refuse to accept that games are too. Transphobia will never exist in a vacuum, and factors everything we say, do, and consume. Hogwarts Legacy is a part of that reality, and one we can’t afford to treat as an exception. Yet this is exactly what’s happened. We bring similar media to task for homophobia or racism, but suddenly this kind of discrimination is excusable? Minority groups don’t exist on a tier of indifference dependent on whether actually showing your support gets in the way of a cool video game.

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