Witch Hunts Aimed Towards Hogwarts Legacycsudhbulletin March 8, 2023 0 COMMENTS
The school of Witchcraft and Wizardry in Orlando, FL. Photo by Scott Smith/Flickr
By Jasmine Sanchez Staff Reporter
Hogwarts Legacy is an open-world single-player adventure existing in the Wizarding world. It was considered one of the most highly anticipated games of 2023. Many gamers and fans were excited to dip their toes into the world of Harry Potter once again, however, not everyone was happy to see the development of the game.
As anticipation rises for the release date, February 10th, 2023, of Hogwarts Legacy, scrutiny towards individuals anticipating to play the game magnified tremendously. The game resurfaced the ongoing controversy of J.K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter novels on which the game is based, and prompted heated debates on whether supporting the game would be aligning with her and her transphobic ideals.
The controversy surrounding the game sparked an interesting conversation. One that was lost in the sea of hatred and impervious Twitter rants. A boycott was engulfed by individuals seeking validation for liking, sharing, or commenting about the situation.
The content creator and gamer @Mightykeef filmed a skit conversing on the performative aspect of some self-proclaimed allies. He brought up the multiple revenue streams J.K. Rowling has and how the game is the only one being targeted. He said, “You get out of bed, pajamas on, go right onto your keyboard and type in ‘Harry Potter game bad therefore I’m a good person…’ The humongous parts of her income…, the ones that could [actually] make real change [is] overlooked.”
Despite the attempts at rallying a boycott against the game, sales skyrocketed. Becoming the top-earning game on Stream. To retaliate against J.K. Rowling, multiple Twitch streamers and YouTubers thought of a way to use the game’s popularity and raise money for the transgender community.
These efforts were met with excessive amounts of bullying and harassment. The act of physically playing the game, despite the thoughtful intention, was enough for droves of individuals to type hateful comments on their streams and videos.
A popular YouTube and Twitch channel, Girlfriend Reviews, was hit with an overwhelming amount of hate comments due to streaming the game. The ability to comment was then changed to subscribers only, but it did not stop the flood of negative comments. People started subscribing to continue to harass the couple. Leading Shelby to take a break from the chat and Matt questioning whether to go offline.
Brett Cooper, host of The Comment Section, made a segment dedicated to discussing the situation. She said, “[They] are latching on to different streamers and different random people online who are posting how they like the game [and] how they’re having so much fun.”
Attempts to berate and scorn individuals for playing the game resulted in the creation of the website, Have They Streamed That Wizard Game. The website tracks streamers who’ve played Hogwarts Legacy on Twitch and is also used as an instrument to harass content creators. The website was taken down after massive backlash because of the intent behind its creation.
After hearing about the attempts at harassing content creators, @Mightykeef responded, “For the most part, the people getting Hogwarts Legacy… aren’t sharing any views with [J.K. Rowling]. Alienating people with baseless labels serves no purpose.”