Hogwarts Legacy: Why are people boycotting one of the biggest games of the year? | Science and technology news


“It’s people like you that make the world a worse place.”

That’s some of the milder feedback Maysa Pritilata has received for encouraging people not to buy the upcoming Hogwarts Legacy video game.

It’s widely expected to be one of the biggest games of the year so far when it launches this week, giving players the chance to become their own witch or wizard JK Rowling‘s fantasy world.

It is the first release of a major innovation in more than a decade Harry Potter Game. It’s also the first major new game in the franchise since Rowling’s stance transgender Rights became the subject of public debate.

Search for the game online and you won’t have to look far to find resistance in the excitement; a Twitter video calling for a boycott has been viewed more than 9 million times; Gaming forum ResetEra has banned any mention of the game; major website GameSpot published an essay on Rowling’s “anti-transgender attitude”; and a fundraiser asking people to donate to a trans charity rather than buy the game has amassed more than £6,000.

For Maysa, a transgender woman whose article on Hogwarts’ legacy for openDemocracy upset her inbox, the decision to boycott makes it easy.

“I am in love video games,” She says.

“I’m not boycotting it because I think my money will seriously harm the publisher, Warner Bros. or Rowling.

“But why would I do it to myself? Why would I do it to other people who would feel like I was validating the game?”

JK Rowling earns royalties from Hogwarts Legacy

Trans fan found solace in Potter

Since writing about her stance, Maysa’s inbox has regularly contained abusive messages from people who are passionate about the game and support Rowling.

But not everyone who feels offended by Rowling’s views can brush aside her most famous creation so easily.

“As a fandom, we were looking forward to this game before it was even announced,” says Asher Chelder, a transgender Potter fan who admits his relationship with the franchise is “complicated.”

“I’ve found a lot of solace in the series and it’s something I can’t shake. It’s part of me.”

Asher, who is part of the social media team at Potter fan site MuggleNet, is certainly not alone in his excitement.

But while many of those who pre-ordered did so out of sheer anticipation, others say they did so to defy the boycott movement or to show support for Rowling.

Asher says he was once one of “a lot of LGBTQ people who looked up to Rowling” whose views now “really hurt people.”

The author widely recognized as a champion of women’s rightsbut has also been increasingly criticized for its stance on trans issues since 2020including their views on same-sex spaces and Gender Recognition Reform Bill in Scotland.

Reps for Rowling, who denies being transphobic, declined to comment when contacted by Sky News.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Scotland’s gender law explained

“This is an important moment”

In the US, where Human Rights Watch has warned that a record number of anti-LGBTQ bills will be introduced by state politicians in 2022, there is also opposition to Hogwarts Legacy.

“This is an important moment to show solidarity with a very marginalized group that has a big cause on their backs,” says game developer Brianna Wu, who died in 2014 during the Gamergate scandal — a misogynist online campaign targeting women in the Industry – received death threats.

A former Hogwarts Legacy developer, Troy Leavitt, left the project in 2021 after it was revealed he had posted videos in defense of the campaign. He said he resigned despite being “absolutely secure in my position”.

Hogwarts Legacy lets players create their own witch or wizard.  Image: WB Games
Fans can create their own witch or wizard. Image: WB Games

Separate art from artist

Warner has confirmed that Rowling was not directly involved in the game’s development, but states on an FAQ page on the game’s website that they “worked closely with their team” on the project.

Actor Sebastian Croft, who provides one of the voices players can choose for their character, claimed he was unaware of her views when accepting a role. He joins Potter movie stars like Daniel Radcliffe And Emma Watson to speak out against Rowling’s comments.

It comes after the publisher was accused of trying to distance itself from the author while promoting projects like last year’s reunion special and be Studio Tour attraction in Leavesden.

The latter saw Sky News prevented from asking Potter actor Tom Felton about Rowling at a media event. Warner then said that was “completely untrue” and praised Rowling as “one of the most accomplished storytellers in the world.”

“We are proud to be the studio bringing their vision, characters and stories to life now – and for decades to come,” the company said in a statement.

Warner did not respond to multiple requests for comment on Hogwarts Legacy from Sky News.

Continue reading:
The PR attempt to separate JK Rowling from Harry Potter

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

JK Rowling censorship dispute explained

“No real way to delete them”

Asher and his colleagues at MuggleNet, the world’s oldest Potter fansite, founded in 1999, struggle with this dilemma on a daily basis.

It now hosts a page outlining his commitment to trans people, stating that Rowling’s views are “not consistent with the message of acceptance and empowerment” in her books.

Creative director Kat Miller told Sky News: “We’re all aware of the fact that she created this world and there’s no real way to erase her from it – and that’s not our aim.

“But … it’s not just her views that are disturbing, but the fact that she doesn’t listen to people who keep telling her she’s doing harm.”

Click here to subscribe to Backstage, wherever you get your podcasts

For Asher, it makes it easier to distance Rowling from her work. He still plans to play the game but accepts that “people might hate him” and that some LGBTQ people might not understand his actions. A prospect, he says, to which they have every right.

“I’m just glad Rowling got separated from it as much as possible.”

Source link

Leave a Comment