I’ll be straight with you: This is not a recap of Hogwarts Legacy, WB Games’ latest attempt at applying their Portkey Initiative to make more wizarding world games. After much discussion, neither I nor the rest of the Fanbyte staff particularly want to engage with the game’s marketing. We realize that’s a decision people and teams should make individually — and also affects more than just the genuinely vile J.K. Rowling — but we’re at least staying out of the pre-release hype cycle for the game.
We don’t believe this is taking sides in a debate; there is no debate here. Rowling’s feelings, statements, and public campaigning are repugnant and morally wrong. There aren’t sides in whether trans human beings deserve equal protection and rights and whether trans children need to be protected. Separating art from the artist isn’t a virtue or something to brag about. It just speaks to your ability to close your eyes and ignore the actual real-world harm a living, benefiting person receives from your silence and compliance.
Rowling may not be on the active development team for the game, but she continues to benefit from the existence of the IP and its profits in tangible, noticeable ways. That may never actually stop, but we don’t have to do our part in feeding it.
Instead, we’re going to do two things: give away a vinyl for Celeste from Maddy Makes Games (the giveaway will have its own individual post later) and include a host of links to trans charities, including ones currently fighting the ghoulish efforts in Texas to endanger transgender youth. I’ll also be donating to some of these charities myself.
I personally do not care what games you want to play or how you want to engage with them. I am not here to tell you not to buy anything or demand anything be banned. If that still makes you angry, well, I don’t really care about that, either.
Charities to Consider
Equality Texas — Support network for parents of trans youths in Texas that are currently under attack by the state government.
TransTexas — An education network dedicated to furthering diversity in Texas and halt discrimination against the most vulnerable.
TransLifeline — A grassroots organization dedicated to helping trans people in crisis with things like emotional, financial, and legal support.
If you can spare a few bucks to help, that’s great! Being an ally doesn’t necessarily mean boycotting everything, but it does mean you should stop and think about what your principles mean to you at some point. Your guide for navigating these scenarios should be empathy, not personal enrichment, but how you chart that ultimately comes down to you.