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A “Harry Potter” video game may allow trans characters in spite of J.K. Rowling’s views

J.K. Rowling, The Ickabog, transphobia
J.K. RowlingPhoto: Shutterstock

More details about the Harry Potter video game, Hogwarts Legacy have been revealed. The video game is slated to be released this year.

One revelation has caught the attention of fans and detractors alike: the WB-produced video game will allow players to create trans characters.

Related: J.K. Rowling’s name removed from school building over transphobic remarks

LGBTQ activists, avid Harry Potter fans, and even WB staff have previously expressed concerns over the franchise’s latest video game, since Rowling’s anti-trans remarks have become a major issue since.

Now Bloomberg reports that her famed franchise will be inclusive of transgender characters — albeit in a video game — and that has once again ignited discussion over the game and topic.

Sources from the game’s development team say that it will allow players to “customize their character’s voice, body type, and gender placement for the school dormitories.” Players will be able to choose a “masculine” or “feminine” voice, and customize their character’s studies as a “witch” or “wizard,” regardless of their character’s identity.

This means that many traits that video game character creation systems lock to one gender are open to both, allowing players to create characters with whatever traditionally gendered characteristics they want, along with the gender identity they want the character to have.

The conceptualization of the latest Harry Potter video game began in 2017, when video game developer Avalanche Software was acquired by WB from Disney, and they created the label Portkey Games just for making new Harry Potter games. This will be the first console-based game they’ll release since.

It is set in the 1800s, based on fictional experiences of a student at Hogwarts, the same school in the Harry Potter storyline. WB Games’ website stressed that “J.K. Rowling is not directly involved in the creation of the game” and that “this is not a new story from J.K. Rowling.”

They added, “However, her extraordinary body of writing is the foundation of all projects in the Wizarding World.”

As she still owns the publishing rights, she is credited on the game’s website.

While the game’s features may be welcome news to the Harry Potter fanbase, it doesn’t address the issues some have with her and her involvement in the franchise. Moreover, developer Troy Leavitt was caught running an “anti-social justice” YouTube channel that criticized feminism, cheered on alleged harassment, and allegedly participated in bullying of women and progressives in the video gaming world.

Bloomberg reporter Jason Schreier added on Twitter that “this game is at least a year away and anything can change,” but this is what is expected from those currently creating it.

Arkansas lawmakers voted unanimously to recognize trans folks in state law in 1981

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