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Culture > Entertainment

‘Hogwarts Legacy’ Is Releasing Soon And The Internet Is Divided

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCF chapter.

Come Feb. 10, fans of the Harry Potter franchise will get another chance to enter the wizarding world with the release of the action role-playing game, Hogwarts Legacy. The video game will initially release on PlayStation 5, Windows PC, and Xbox Series Xs. For those looking to play on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, the game will release on those platforms on Apr. 4, and on Jul. 25 for the Nintendo Switch. 

Though there have already been a handful of video games based on J.K. Rowling’s famous novels, Hogwarts Legacy promises to provide a new experience. Players will be able to explore Hogwarts like never before, create their own Hogwarts student, take care of magical beasts, and build relationships with their classmates.

However, this highly anticipated game hasn’t gone without controversy. 

Many internet users have voiced their distaste for Hogwarts Legacy due to J.K. Rowling’s complicated history.  Since the success of Harry Potter, Rowling has gone on to expose herself as a trans-exclusionary radical feminist, or ‘TERF.’ Time and time again, she’s used her very public platform to share her transphobic views. One scroll through her Twitter page is enough to find multiple tweets of her misgendering transwomen and invalidating the transgender experience, all in the name of ‘feminism.’

Rowling’s problematic actions don’t stop with her transphobia. Many others have made note of the blatant antisemitism featured in her Harry Potter novels. The goblins featured in the books resemble anti-semitic caricatures, with their mannerisms, appearance, and personalities coinciding with oppressive stereotypes against Jewish people. They’re portrayed as money-hungry bank workers with hooked noses and suspicious attitudes. To make matters worse, the Star of David appears on the floor of the Gringotts Bank during the first film in the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. 

As more details were released about the game, people were quick to realize that the antisemitism in the wizarding world didn’t stop at the books and films. The video game’s entire plot is about the protagonist shutting down a goblin rebellion as the goblins team together with evil wizards to rebel against society, an idea one Twitter user saw to be too similar to the offensive stereotype that claims Jewish people are “scheming with world leaders to destroy [the population.]”

With the addition of poor representation in her Harry Potter books (one of the only Asian characters is literally given the name ‘Cho Chang’), many people have refused to support Rowling’s franchise any longer. They’ve also called out others for choosing not to stand in solidarity with the demographics targeted by J.K. Rowling’s bigotry. By opting to buy the game, many claim, people are placing their entertainment over the lives of those affected. 

While there is a large consensus of people rallying against Hogwarts Legacy, there’s an even bigger population that are buying the game regardless. Some include people who share similar views to Rowling. But most acknowledge the offensive nature of her actions. However, their reasoning for supporting the upcoming game varies. 

Some state that nostalgia plays a large factor in their choice to play it. Despite the author’s opinions, Harry Potter was a staple in people’s childhoods. The books, movies, and fandom offered a safe place to people who never found one elsewhere. Now that they have a chance to genuinely explore the floors of Hogwarts, transphobia and antisemitism aren’t enough to stop them from chasing youthful euphoria. 

Others are using capitalism as an excuse. “There’s no ethical consumption under capitalism,” many say. J.K. Rowling has already made millions off of the Harry Potter Franchise; from books to movies to merchandise to entire theme parks. Whether or not you choose to buy the video game, some believe, won’t affect her pocket, anyway.

So, it seems that this all comes down to personal morals. Where do you draw the line between entertainment and activism? And more specifically, will you be playing Hogwarts Legacy?

Monyka (she/they), pronounced like "Monica" is the current Editor-in-Chief of Her Campus UCF. She's currently a senior majoring in Creative Writing. Normally found in her room scrolling through Twitter, Tik Tok, or Instagram and browsing Netflix. You can also catch her around campus, binging on coffee and listening to music.