Saturday, April 13, 2024
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Out Making Games calls on Hogwarts Legacy creators to show support to trans people

Out Making Games, an LGBTQ+ game professionals network based in the UK, has called on Hogwarts Legacy developers and publishers to make a statement of support for trans people, as well as donate to trans charities.

Since the game’s reveal, Hogwart’s Legacy has been mired in controversy and, surprisingly, not all of it due to the transphobic hate that has been championed by the creator of the Harry Potter universe, J.K Rowling. What has remained constant, however, is Rowling’s dangerous influence in spreading lies and deragotary comments about our trans siblings. So much so that her words are being used as fuel to the fire to put through dehumanizing legislation around the world.

So it is no surprise then that LGBTQ+ gamers and allies are looking to boycott Hogwarts Legacy completely to support the trans community. After all, the game developers working on the game have already been paid, so the argument that not buying the game simply doesn’t wash.

Out Making Games has their own thoughts on what needs to be done in regards to Hogwarts Legacy and the developers and publishers working on it. In a letter they shared with Gayming Magazine, as well as on their own website, the organization called upon Warner Brothers, Portkey Games and Avalanche Software to make a clear show of support, as well as donate to trans charities.

The full letter can be read below:

“We are Out Making Games (“OMG”), the UK’s network of LGBTQ+ games professionals, and we are writing to address the launch of Hogwarts Legacy and to reaffirm our support for the trans community. 

There are approximately 500,000 trans and non-binary people in the United Kingdom. 41% of trans people have reported experiencing a hate crime or incident because of their gender identity within a 12 month period. 92% of trans young people have thought about taking their own life.

For many of us it is impossible to separate a product set in the Harry Potter universe from the creator of that universe, J. K. Rowling, and her transphobic activism. For many in the trans community, the release of Hogwarts Legacy will be closely associated with a rise in transphobic abuse. We encourage anyone in our trans community who may be struggling at this time to look after themselves and prioritise their wellbeing. 

No game is the work of a single person. Hogwarts Legacy is born from the hard work and effort of a team of many game developers and workers over multiple years. 

Yet it is undeniable that the sales of Hogwarts Legacy will increase Rowling’s already substantial personal wealth, further enabling her to spread disinformation, support transphobic organisations and campaigns, and amplify her words which materially hurt the trans community. 

A lot of people are going to buy this game – some because they aren’t aware of Rowling’s transphobia, some because they don’t care, and some because they think that abstaining won’t make a difference. If trans rights are an issue you care about, read up on J. K. Rowling’s history of transphobic activism and factor that into your decision. 

We call on WB Games, Portkey Games and Avalanche Software to show their solidarity with the trans community by making a clear public statement of their support and making a significant public donation to trans charities. 

We are also asking gamers to show their support for the trans community at this time by donating whatever they can afford to a trans charity of their choice. UK charities which support the trans community include Mermaids, Gendered Intelligence, Stonewall UK and AKT.

Out Making Games.”

As far as we’ve been made aware, neither Warner Brother Games, Portkey Games and Avalanche Software have responded.

Aimee Hart

[She/They] Aimee Hart is Editor-in-Chief of Gayming Magazine. She specializes in queer fandom, video games and tabletop, having started her career writing for numerous websites like The Verge, Polygon, Input Magazine and more. Her goal now is to boost LGBTQ+ voices in the video games industry.