Hogwarts Legacy is a highly anticipated game set in the Harry Potter universe, but it has also sparked controversy due to the transphobic views of author J.K. Rowling. Some Twitch streamers who decided to play the game on their channels faced harassment and abuse from their viewers, who accused them of supporting Rowling’s bigotry.
One of these streamers was Matt from GirlfriendReviews, a popular channel that features humorous reviews of games from his girlfriend Shelby’s perspective. On February 7th, Matt streamed his first playthrough of Hogwarts Legacy, hoping to enjoy the magical adventure with his fans. However, he soon encountered a barrage of hateful comments from some viewers, who called him transphobic and demanded him to stop playing the game.
The chat became so toxic that Shelby, watching the stream from another room, came over to confront the trolls and defend Matt. She explained that they were not endorsing Rowling’s opinions by playing the game, and that they respected and supported trans rights. She also pointed out that many people worked hard on creating Hogwarts Legacy, even respecting the review embargo, and that boycotting it would hurt them as well.
However, her efforts were met with more hostility and mockery from some viewers, who continued to spam hateful messages and emojis. Shelby broke down in tears and left the room, while Matt apologized to his fans and ended the stream abruptly.
The incident sparked a heated discussion on Reddit’s LivestreamFail subreddit, where many users expressed their sympathy for Matt and Shelby, and criticized the chat for being rude and disrespectful. Some users also shared their own experiences of being harassed or bullied for playing Hogwarts Legacy or other games associated with controversial figures.
However, not everyone was supportive of Matt and Shelby’s decision to play Hogwarts Legacy. Some users argued that playing the game was indeed an act of transphobia, since it would benefit Rowling financially and give her more influence. They also accused Matt and Shelby of being ignorant or insensitive about the issues facing trans people.
Other users disagreed with this view, saying that playing a game does not mean agreeing with everything its creator says or does.
They also pointed out that boycotting a game would not change Rowling’s mind or affect her wealth significantly. They suggested that people should respect each other’s choices and enjoy games without judging or harassing others.
The debate over Hogwarts Legacy reflects a larger issue of how gamers should deal with games that have problematic creators or content. While some gamers prefer to avoid such games altogether, others choose to separate the art from the artist or find ways to support causes they care about while still enjoying their hobbies.