An upcoming Harry Potter video game, Hogwarts Legacy, reportedly allows players to access trans inclusive character customisation options.
Set for release in 2022, Hogwarts Legacy will be an open-world game that explores the magic school during the 1800’s. According to Bloomberg, players can take on this mystical adventure as a trans character due to inclusive customisation options.
Users are able to choose a masculine or feminine voice regardless of the character’s body as well as customise body type and gender placement for the school dormitories. Sources also told Bloomberg that players can select either ‘witch’ or ‘wizard’ options to determine dorm placement and how they will be addressed by other characters in the game.
NEWS: Hogwarts Legacy will have trans-inclusive character creation, with body, voice, and gender ("witch/wizard") all separated, sources say. This news follows JK Rowling's transphobic comments and the recent discovery that a producer supports Gamergate https://t.co/vBmMdCSWAT
— Jason Schreier (@jasonschreier) March 2, 2021
The development team behind Hogwarts Legacy, Avalanche Software, pushed for the game to be as inclusive as possible after being left “rattled” by JK Rowling’s anti-trans rhetoric. People close to the project alleged that there was initially resistance from management but the character customisation will be included in the game.
In response to the announcement of trans inclusive customisation options, many pointed out this decision still does not go far enough in addressing JK Rowling’s transphobia and the toxicity it brings to the franchise. Numerous people raised the issue that buying the game might give the author a profit and render any development protests moot.
Journalist, Laura Kate Dale, wrote on Twitter, “This news about Hogwarts Legacy’s apparent character creation option doesn’t go far enough for me to change my stance on the game. Lots of games without transphobes attached already offer this. Not gender locking character options isn’t enough to fix this.”
This news story about Hogwarts Legacy's apparent character creation options doesn't go far enough for me to change my stance on the game. Lots of games without transphobes attatched already offer this. Not gender locking character options isn't enough to fix this. https://t.co/lHnV1H0l7q
— Laura Kate Dale (@LaurakBuzz) March 2, 2021
Due to Rowling’s attachment to the Potter verse, there has been a vocal confliction over wanting to support the work of the game developers and distancing from the toxic environment created by the author’s transphobia. One person expressed, “So on the recent Hogwarts Legacy news about having trans characters, normally I’d welcome that with open arms, but you-know-who is still behind it, and I have a bad feeling there’s going to be some monkey’s paw levels of f**kery here.”
Since the announcement of Hogwarts Legacy, the game has been continuously met with criticism as a result of the discriminatory views around it. Recently lead designer, Troy Leavitt, was called out for a far right anti-social justice YouTube channel.
While the customisation options are a welcome step forward amid various backlashes, Bloomberg’s video game reporter Jason Schreir also noted, “I should of course add the caveat that this game is at least a year away and anything can change, but this trans-inclusive character creator is part of the current plan.”
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