The wizarding world of the game, “Hogwarts Legacy,” has been the target of controversy recently, and the views of JK Rowling, author of Harry Potter, are at the center. “Hogwarts Legacy” was released in February and since it was announced, some of the trans community started to boycott the game due to its connection to Rowling, as well as to try supporting trans people.
“Hogwarts Legacy” is an open-world game where players can run around after creating their character. It is based in the world of Harry Potter and is set before the events of the novels. In the game, your character is a new student that just entered Hogwarts as a fifth-year student. You can run around and take quests from characters around this world and fight a multitude of enemies, all while collecting equipment and items to help you explore even more of the world. Your character has a connection to some ancient power and the game is centered around discovering more about it and stopping a rebellion.
The game has seen widespread criticism and is expanding as many people online boycott the game. Grant Ward, a freshman at St Ambrose says, “ she has said that trans people have cut pretty deep, and I’m baffled about her statements on trans people as someone who is gender fluid.” Though Grant has separated Rowling from her works, appreciating what she made but not who she is. They believe that she can’t just walk out of the backlash she is getting at this point. Rowling herself does not believe she has done anything to damage her reputation, saying that most people stating that have misunderstood what she has said on Twitter and other media.
Students at SAU have stated that the game is not something they particularly care about, and that is how they are supporting the boycotting as most of them put it. For those that did buy the game, some didn’t even know about everything happening with Rowling and were just interested in experiencing the world of “Hogwarts Legacy” for themselves. Some students are watching the game online rather than playing it themselves to support the trans community. One person is Isaiah Walseman, a sophomore, who has said “The game seems like a lot of fun, I’ve only been watching people play because people seem to be enjoying it.”
The controversy is aimed towards Rowling, rather than the game being good or bad. Her views are where people in or supporting the trans community are targeting when boycotting the game. What has come of the boycotting is yet to be seen online as the controversy has recently died down, and students on campus didn’t have much knowledge of every single thing happening with it.