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‘Harry Potter’ video game to allow creation of transgender characters: report

New York Daily News logo New York Daily News 3/3/2021 Muri Assunção
Hogwarts Legacy video game © Provided by New York Daily News Hogwarts Legacy video game

The world’s most famous wizardry school is all about transgender inclusivity — despite its creator’s controversial views on trans rights.

“Hogwarts Legacy,” the upcoming video game based on the “Harry Potter” universe, will allow players to create transgender characters, when it’s released in 2022.

Set in the 1800s ― a century before Harry, Hermione and Ron attended classes at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry — the game will allow wizards, witches and muggles to join the school and train their magical powers.

According to a Bloomberg report published Tuesday, when players start the game — which is being developed by Avalanche Software and published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment — they will be allowed to select to be either a wizard or a witch, and also choose whatever type of voice they want, independent of what their body looks like.

This type of customization, while not uncommon in the gaming world, is especially interesting for a game based on the famous book series created by J.K. Rowling.

In several instances dating back to at least March 2018 — when the best-selling author liked a tweet that referred to trans women as “men in dresses” — Rowling has consistently raised eyebrows with her very public comments on transgender issues.

Her positions have been denounced by transgender rights groups, fans of the books, some of the stars of the multi-billion “Harry Potter” film franchise, including Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson, and even the president of the Robert F Kennedy Human Rights organization.

Last year, Kerry Kennedy, the late senator’s daughter, published a statement expressing her “profound disappointment” with Rowling’s comments. The scathing rebuke prompted the author to return the prestigious Ripple of Hope Award, which she’d received in 2018.

Her views also led four authors to leave the U.K. literary agency that represents J.K. Rowling over transgender equality.

The writers said that The Blair Partnership — which was founded in 2011 “with a vision to create a more progressive type of agency” — failed them in not standing up against recent comments made by Rowling, which targeted transgender people.

In September, while writing under the pen name Robert Galbraith, Rowling seemed to double-down on her anti-transgender rhetoric, in “Troubled Blood,” a book that tells the story of a male serial killer named Dennis Creed who dresses up as a woman to kill his female victims.

“One wonders what critics of Rowling’s stance on trans issues will make of a book whose moral seems to be: never trust a man in a dress,” one critic wrote at the time.

Warner Bros. Games is publishing “Hogwarts Legacy” under its Portkey Games label.

According to The Verge, the studio said in a statement that the game “is not a new story from J.K. Rowling.”

The author “is not directly involved in the creation of the game, however, her extraordinary body of writing is the foundation of all projects in the Wizarding World,” the company wrote.


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