power to the players
Transgender characters will be welcome at Hogwarts in the latest Harry Potter video game.
Hogwarts Legacy, the new Harry Potter role-playing game being published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, will allow for the creation of transgender characters, Bloomberg reports.
The game will let players create a character "that has a masculine or feminine voice no matter what their body looks like," according to the report. Players reportedly then select a "witch" or "wizard" option to determine dorm placement at Hogwarts and how other characters address them.
While Bloomberg notes other video games have offered similar customization, the news that this one will is particularly significant in light of the controversy sparked by a series of anti-trans statements made by Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling. In one instance, Rowling on Twitter shared an article referencing "people who menstruate" and commented, "I'm sure there used to be a word for those people."
Numerous Harry Potter stars have pushed back on Rowling's comments, with Daniel Radcliffe last year saying "transgender women are women" in a post directed at those whose love of the series has now been "tarnished or diminished" by what the author said.
After breaking the story about Hogwarts Legacy, Bloomberg reporter Jason Schreier said on Twitter that those who leaked this news did so "because development of the game started long before Rowling's anti-trans crusade, and because they're sad and frustrated." According to the report, there was initially some resistance on the part of management to this push for greater inclusivity in the game, but the customization options are currently expected to be included when the Hogwarts Legacy launches in 2022.