Report: Upcoming 'Harry Potter' Game to be Trans-Inclusive

Saturday March 6, 2021
Originally published on March 2, 2021

An upcoming video game from Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, Inc. - based on the "Harry Potter" franchise - will "allow players to customize their character's voice, body type, and gender placement for the school dormitories," Bloomberg reports. The report calls the options "a stride toward inclusivity after several recent controversies stemming from comments by series creator J.K. Rowling that were seen as transphobic."

The body type and voice settings will not be tied together in the new game, called "Hogwart's Legacy," the article said, enabling players to choose a feminine voice to go with a masculine body or vice-versa.

The report noted: "This level of customization has grown more common in video games and is no longer unusual."

Calling it "noteworthy for Hogwarts Legacy," given that novelist JK Rowling - who created the book series the films and other media tie-ins are based on - has been embroiled in controversies over comments seen as transphobic.

Rowling took exception last summer to an op-ed that referred to "people who menstruate,"posting a tart tweet in which she wrote, "I'm sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?"

The following month she sparked new outrage with a tweet that suggested teens who are not actually trans are being "shunted towards hormones and surgery," and called gender affirmation treatments "a new kind of conversion therapy for young gay people."

Last December, Rowling waded back into the issue when she told Good Housekeeping Magazine, "Many women are concerned about the challenges to their fundamental rights posed by certain aspects of gender identity ideology."

"As a result," Bloomberg reported, "some members of the Hogwarts Legacy development team have fought to make the game as inclusive as possible," going so far as to lobby "for a transgender character to be added."

Avalanche software is developing the game, but the company higher-up, Troy Leavitt, triggered controversy of his own when it came out that he had "made dozens of YouTube videos attacking feminism and 'social justice,' " Bloomberg recalled.

Leavitt, "also expressed support for Gamergate, a loose community of gamers who harass journalists and game developers for voicing progressive views."

"A Warner Bros. spokesperson declined to comment," Bloomberg reported.