The highly anticipated role-playing game, Hogwarts Legacy, is set in the Harry Potter universe. However, the dilemma arises: how do we reconcile our excitement for the game we’ve longed for with the knowledge that the author of the original book series has exposed herself as an unsavoury individual?
The Trans Community
In recent years, J.K. Rowling has made deplorable remarks directed towards individuals within the LGBTQ+ community. Moreover, she has either expressed agreement or endorsed the views of individuals who have made derogatory comments towards individuals with mental health issues. As a result, many people are experiencing feelings of anger and disappointment towards the author, who created a well-regarded book series, for holding such narrow-minded views.
Transgender individuals continue to face societal taboos and experience widespread animosity when they come out. Gender identity is not a frivolous decision that can be taken lightly or changed within minutes. The only women whose rights are truly threatened are those transgender women who are being subjected to bullying.
It’s misguided to assume that transwomen wish to eradicate gender identity entirely. All they seek is to be acknowledged as women, regardless of whether they are undergoing hormone therapy, surgery, or any other method of transition. It’s dangerous to equate hormone therapy with anti-depressants or to label individuals on medication as lazy. Such a stance reinforces existing stigmas surrounding these topics. Mental health medication helps balance chemicals in the brain, while hormone treatment assists with transition. Neither of these treatments renders someone lazy.
Gender isn’t defined by one’s organs, and medication for mental health doesn’t alter a person’s humanity. The hurtful comments made by the author hold significant weight. Yet, how does this affect those anticipating the release of a Harry Potter RPG?
Rowling’s Influence on Hogwarts
It’s possible to appreciate an artist’s work while harbouring negative feelings towards the artist themselves. In this case, I believe that’s what I must do. Hogwarts will always hold a special place in my heart. Rather than battling fictional Death Eaters, we must unite to oppose Rowling. Together, we can defend those most vulnerable from her harmful comments. In many ways, she embodies the real-world equivalent of Dolores Umbridge.
Numerous fans have eagerly anticipated the opportunity to immerse themselves in the enchanting world of Harry Potter. Now, with the arrival of Hogwarts Legacy, that dream can finally become a reality. The game looks stunning and proved to be a standout feature during the PS5 showcase. I have watched the trailer multiple times on Playstation’s YouTube channel and each time I’m left with goosebumps.
Hogwarts Legacy Details
Hogwarts Legacy won’t be exclusive to PS5; it’s set to release on Xbox One, Playstation 4, Xbox Series X/S, Playstation 5, and PC. While it’s not yet clear how much freedom players will have or how the sorting process will be handled, the confirmation of customisable characters promises an immersive experience in the magical world of Harry Potter. Will we take a quiz to determine our house, or will we choose for ourselves? If the latter, I’m thinking Slytherin or maybe even Ravenclaw. But if there’s a quiz, even better.
Despite the controversy surrounding Rowling, Hogwarts Legacy is poised to be an incredible game, alongside a slate of other highly anticipated titles coming out next year. It remains to be seen how her actions will impact sales, but as I’ve said before, it’s possible to appreciate an artist’s work while condemning their behaviour. We don’t have to let her actions tarnish our love for Hogwarts, which will always be our home and a source of comfort for those in need. As a fandom, we are strong and ready to face the challenges that lie ahead in Hogwarts Legacy. Are you ready to join the fight?