Hey, Gamers! First of all, sorry for not posting much during March. I actually got COVID (the one time I leave the house), and I got super sick with it. I couldn’t really look at the screen because my head was hurting a ton, so I apologise for the lack of posts. But this post is super important to me. Once I watched the State of Play, all I could think of was how healing this game is going to be. I am so happy about this game, purely because of the impact it is going to have on a community that largely felt betrayed by the person who created it. Before we get into it, any transphobic comments or comments supporting JKR’s views will be swiftly deleted. I don’t do this a lot, but this is something I feel strongly about. So, with that out of the way, let’s get into it!
I’ve not really spoken about Harry Potter much on this blog… because out of all the games I’ve played, I’ve not enjoyed any of them. Harry Potter was a huge special interest of mine from around 11 (I got into it at the perfect age). Like, I was bullied for how much I loved Harry Potter. I loved it so much that once when we went to the library under the direction “get a book you’ve never read before”, I got given detention for picking Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. I hadn’t read it, we didn’t have enough money for new books so the only ones I had read were the ones my father found at the charity shops. I went through a bunch of trauma as a kid, and Harry Potter became my escapism. Due to how much I valued it and how much I felt like I owed to it, I started writing. It was just fanfiction at first, but it soon developed into my own work. I won several writing competitions throughout High School and was often called JK Rowling.
So, as you could probably imagine, when the controversy surrounding JKR came out, I had several people message me about it. I was on TikTok and I saw how hurt people were. Heck, the person who introduced me to Harry Potter is trans. I couldn’t even begin to comprehend the hurt that these people were and still are feeling.
For those of you who don’t understand, let me try to put it simply. I am a cis-gendered woman, so obviously I don’t want to take away any power of the voices of those who were directly affected, but I thought I might be able to offer another way of thinking about it (maybe a more simple way, but it’s the way I think of it and explain it to family and friends). Please look into trans people who have spoken out about this topic and their feelings directly, because I’m just a messenger in this situation and there are so many people who have been hurt by JKR.
A huge thing in Harry Potter is ‘Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home’. So many fans believed that, and had to believe that. The people who are most affected by JKR’s actions and words are those whose home was not safe growing up. They had to think of Hogwarts as their home because the other option was not safe. So for the person who created this home to turn around and be directly against who you are, that sucks. It’s like a kick in the face. Not only that, but she donates money to charities that are trying to limit or remove your human rights. This is the same person who created the only safe home you had growing up, so everything just feels wrong. Especially because it’s a high likelihood that some of your money contributed to her wealth.
So, that’s what people need to heal from, in case you’ve been living under a rock or something. Now, let’s talk about how Hogwarts Legacy might help to heal so many people.
First, let’s talk about JKR’s involvement in the game. It is basically 0. JKR has had no involvement in Hogwarts Legacy. The only thing she did was give permission. Obviously, some money is going to go to her but it’s so insignificant in the grander scheme of things. Especially when you think about the other people who are going to get money from this: the people who made the game.
From what I can tell, this game was made by fans, for fans. After watching the State of Play, it’s very clear that this project is their baby. So much love and passion went into this project, and you can see that in the way that they talk about the game. They’re the main people that the money is going to go to, and they deserve it because they’ve worked so hard.
This game gives Hogwarts back to the fans.
I don’t know how to explain how much this means to people. I think there’s a song in a musical by StarKid called ‘to have a home’ or something like that, and it’s actually about Hogwarts and it puts into words how emotive this place is, and what this place means to so many people. I know so many people are going to be like “uh, it’s just a fictional place, what’s the big deal?” but that just shows that those people aren’t the people who need this place. I know this is a bit cliché, but I think it applies: if you don’t get it, it’s not for you.
This place was so many people’s safe place. And it got ripped away because the person who created it turned out to be another person who makes our homes unsafe. Hogwarts, in the books and movies, because unsafe because of her involvement in it. The one place we had got taken away in a blink of an eye. And now, someone is offering us a fresh start.
Whilst she’s involved in the sense of she originated the idea, there are so many new things in Hogwarts Legacy that… it’s not the same. She didn’t intricately design the entirety of Hogwarts in the 1800s like the people who made this game did. She had nothing to do with the story that sounds so amazing and is not related at all to the original Potter story. She didn’t code the way that physics works with Quidditch. She had so little to do with this game that she might as well of had nothing to do with it, and that’s what makes it okay. She’s going to be funded no matter what. She’s a woman with a lot of money, more money than most of us would know what to do with, and whether or not a game that she had no involvement in sells will not impact her bank account as much as people claim it will. Like, it would barely make a dent (wrong saying but same premise). She’s going to do whatever she wants to do whether this game sells or not. It’s the fans and developers that will get most of this money, and they deserve that.
It’s what gives Hogwarts back to the fans. The fans who still need that home, that safe place.
And after a year or so of us not having that safe place, it’s back without her involvement. We not only have a place to belong again – a safe place – but it’s interactive. I’ve always adored the fact that gaming means you can interact with the stories, but this time you can interact with a whole new story in a place that’s always felt like home. It’s about relearning that safe place, and it becoming safe again.
I truly believe that this game is going to heal so many people who were hurt by JKR’s words and actions. It might not heal everyone, but if it helps to heal some people, then I think it’s worth it.
So, that’s it for this post, Gamers! I wrote this post on the days I felt slightly okay during COVID, and I’ve tried my best to make it… coherent. I am so passionate about this game and how it is going to impact the community, and I am personally excited for it. It’s the first open-world that I’ve not felt overwhelmed at the thought of. Remember to like this post if you liked it, give my blog a follow and leave a comment if you have an opinion on Hogwarts Legacy that you want to share. See you next post, Gamers!