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Hogwarts Legacy Controversy Let's talk about it

#1 User is offline   QuickTidal 

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Posted 02 March 2023 - 08:19 PM

So I think most people know that there is some controversy around the new HOGWARTS LEGACY open world Harry Potter game, with many Trans people and allies (and a few other communities who have other issues with JK Rowling) basically coming down to a black and white absolutism that: if you play, or support this game by playing it or advertising it...you are 100% a Transphobe and deserve to be shunned.

Also, lets be civil if we disagree and have a conversation about this.

It's been festering since it was announced, but it's becoming unhinged since the games' pre-release and release and on cesspool social media that fosters this content into virality... like twitter and TikTok it's a fucking bloodbath.

I have thoughts about this. I have only minor skins in this as I don't have a gaming system that can play the game for starters, but I am neither Trans person nor am I a gamer who will be playing this anytime soon...so I'm a bit of an outsider, but the sides are pretty easily sussed out.

I have 1 immediate thought: What about younger people who have NO idea about JK's problematic comments/position but want to play a fun game? Are they Transphobes? I can't imagine how they would be. Note also that if my daughter wanted to play this (she's almost 7) I would not educate her about the whole controversy...I would just let her play it. Full stop. No qualms.

Another immediate thought is that while JK Rowling ostensibly makes some money off the back end of this this, she has been a long time multiple billionaire (she's in the top 5 richest artists on the planet isn't she?) and withholding money from her in boycott makes no sense as a protest. There are 100's of creatives who worked on this game from top to bottom and shunning the bible-creator of the series punishes them for no real reason. It's not like she's someone like OSC where the sales hit from a boycott would hurt her....let's be clear, JK is set...FOR LIFE and nothing anyone can do will ever change that fact. We can't take back 25 years of money she's been fed. She lives in a castle FFS. So that aspect makes any protest beyond a moral one, utterly and especially fruitless and asinine. So anyone who is like "I don't want to give JK money!"....she has it already sunshine. Sorry.

The sheer amount of people being straight out BULLIED on social media though by supposed "allies" for "checks notes" playing a video game or wanting to play it....is astonishing to me. No one is bullying Warner Brothers for the movies, or Broadway for THE CURSED CHILD (which is fucking excellent BTW), or the TWO theme parks that have Harry Potter worlds that see tens of thousands of visitors a day, or LEGO for having so many HP sets, or any of the other capitalist entities that have and continue to flog the Harry Potter brand to customers. None of them have been held to any kind of standard like the game has...I'll tell you why as I see it....it's EASY as fuck to hassle and harass casual gamers and streamers because of how online they are...they make cushy targets. The problem is that I've seen some members of a marginalized community think they are punching up, while they hammer at people down instead. They aren't going after JK herself (I expect because of how untouchable she honestly is), and they aren't even really going after the companies or personalities making this game either...they are going after average people who want to play the game for daring to want to play in a fantasy world they grew up with. That's punishing the masses for daring to not get on board your boycott, and then calling them "phobic" of you as a result is super weird to me.

Now that said, I have seen quite a few Trans and marginalized people stand up for the people who play it or want to play it and basically approach it as what it is, a game that has many people behind it, most of whom are NOT JK Rowling and not the line in the sand that some others have clearly made it. In fact, from what I understand she was not even really involved in the making of the game....the funny bit of this is that some people have commented on the game being some anti-Semitic allegory (I think there is a 'put-down goblin rebellion' storyline in it?) because maybe they think that Rowling wrote it...but it was two young progressive female authors who wrote it, both with deep bibliographies in and out of the gaming industry. And to accept that notion then you have to accept the notion that goblins in the HP universe are and always have been Jewish stereotypes...I have never bought that and it always felt like an easy punching bag...but who knows.

I also think that the seemingly wild success and good reviews it has gotten and the seemingly unstoppable train of people buying and playing it...enrages those same people, and I get it.....their boycott was shown to be the pointless thing it is, but I hope the lesson is learned at least. I expect it won't be though.

Now, if you individually choose not to play for moralistic reasons against JK or some other aspect? Cool, fill your boots, I have no issues with that....but for me you cross the line when you start to actively bully people for their interest in a piece of media and push them off social media, or off their platforms (some streamers have been bullied off for even suggesting they were going to play the game and the stream of hate they got in response on their channels).

That's a "live long enough to see yourself become the villain" moment for me to watch from the outside. It's hard to see it any other way.

I just have seen things get progressively more and more toxic from the opposing side of this whole thing, and when it comes down to it for me...if this game was available on a system I could play it on, I'd play it...and I will in future when I own such a system, play it...because if we want to pick a fight with JK Rowling for her views on a such a lofty high horse moral level, then we very much need to aim such a thing at EVERY creator and purveyor of HP-universe content and not just this game. And I highly doubt anyone is willing to do that, when a punching bag as easy as random video game players exists for people to make other people feel bad about.

And I'll be clear, Trans rights are important, and I support the cause to have them recognized as such and have nothing against that fight. I just don't think that a video game that only has tenuous ties to someone deemed a transphobe is the hill to die on over that. If we need to start dismissing things created by people who create things we like or love at this level then I'm afraid a LOT of our content would go bye-bye and fast. For gods sake, even decent people like Gene Roddenberry and George Lucas have skeletons most people don't talk about. Addendum to this thought: I also feel like Gen Z has absolutely no nuance and that adds to the overall conflict. For example: My own nephew (who is a teen now) told me I was being culturally appropriative for using and teaching my daughter to use chopsticks...aside from how wrong this is on the face of it (but it shows you the lack off nuance to any social conversation with someone at that age in this society)...he had no words when I shut him down by telling him that my grandmother (and therefore my daughters great-grandmother) was a Japanese national, something he didn't know. This is not entirely their fault, they were raised in a world that was globally starting to come to terms with nuanced topics like gender, sexuality, race, and culture and they took everything they heard or read at complete face value...and that has hampered any subtlety in their worldview. Any Gen Z space (I see it often on TikTok for example) in social media is dominated by this black and white thinking, and it's super detrimental.

Also, is this as big a deal overseas in non-Western countries it is here? I know that people like a VTuber from Japan was astonished that she was treated so poorly over this, as she had no idea this was even a thing. Is this argument American-centric or what?

My only recent example of how fruitless this has been is HARRY POTTER & THE CURSED CHILD which has sold out every day and night showing since it began it's run in Toronto. It was packed when we went (I saw it with my elder niece; my wife saw it with her dad and godmother on another night) The crowd is filed with all kinds of people, fans and non fans alike. There has been no effort to boycott that in any venue that I've seen...and again, I know why...it's far harder to pick that fight, and would be hard to pick it in person as you would need to for such a thing.

Buying Hogwarts Legacy doesn't make you bad person, no more than buying an iPhone endorses slavery in 3rd world countries, or buying/using Amazon Prime or a Tesla supports the billionaire assholes at the top of those chains, or any other capitalist thing the self-same people fighting this buy and participate in every day of their lives without thinking about the broader connotations. Like they are unironcically posting rage about this game from the latest iPhones, on platforms like Twitter (run by the aforementioned billionaire asshole), or Facebook (another billionaire asshole lacking scruple), or Tiktok (created and run from a country with multiple genocides and tyranny on their bucket lists)...I say again, HL only matters as a protest to them because it's EASY to do...it would be MUCH harder to look at EVERYTHING they consume so they ignore that.

I'm prepared to be in the minority on this opinion and face some flack for it. I accept that. I'm happy to hear anyone out who has a differing opinion on this topic.
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#2 User is offline   Tiste Simeon 

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Posted 02 March 2023 - 09:16 PM

Some excellent points QT.

On a semi related note, I don't get why she has doubled down on some of the stuff she's saying. Like, she's really entrenched in it now. Feels like she's determined to cause aggro.
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#3 User is offline   Azath Vitr (D'ivers 

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Posted 02 March 2023 - 09:18 PM

View PostQuickTidal, on 02 March 2023 - 08:19 PM, said:

So I think most people know that there is some controversy around the new HOGWARTS LEGACY open world Harry Potter game, with many Trans people and allies (and a few other communities who have other issues with JK Rowling) basically coming down to a black and white absolutism that: if you play, or support this game by playing it or advertising it...you are 100% a Transphobe and deserve to be shunned.

Also, lets be civil if we disagree and have a conversation about this.

It's been festering since it was announced, but it's becoming unhinged since the games' pre-release and release and on cesspool social media that fosters this content into virality... like twitter and TikTok it's a fucking bloodbath.

I have thoughts about this. I have only minor skins in this as I don't have a gaming system that can play the game for starters, but I am neither Trans person nor am I a gamer who will be playing this anytime soon...so I'm a bit of an outsider, but the sides are pretty easily sussed out.

I have 1 immediate thought: What about younger people who have NO idea about JK's problematic comments/position but want to play a fun game? Are they Transphobes? I can't imagine how they would be. Note also that if my daughter wanted to play this (she's almost 7) I would not educate her about the whole controversy...I would just let her play it. Full stop. No qualms.

Another immediate thought is that while JK Rowling ostensibly makes some money off the back end of this this, she has been a long time multiple billionaire (she's in the top 5 richest artists on the planet isn't she?) and withholding money from her in boycott makes no sense as a protest. There are 100's of creatives who worked on this game from top to bottom and shunning the bible-creator of the series punishes them for no real reason. It's not like she's someone like OSC where the sales hit from a boycott would hurt her....let's be clear, JK is set...FOR LIFE and nothing anyone can do will ever change that fact. We can't take back 25 years of money she's been fed. She lives in a castle FFS. So that aspect makes any protest beyond a moral one, utterly and especially fruitless and asinine. So anyone who is like "I don't want to give JK money!"....she has it already sunshine. Sorry.

The sheer amount of people being straight out BULLIED on social media though by supposed "allies" for "checks notes" playing a video game or wanting to play it....is astonishing to me. No one is bullying Warner Brothers for the movies, or Broadway for THE CURSED CHILD (which is fucking excellent BTW), or the TWO theme parks that have Harry Potter worlds that see tens of thousands of visitors a day, or LEGO for having so many HP sets, or any of the other capitalist entities that have and continue to flog the Harry Potter brand to customers. None of them have been held to any kind of standard like the game has...I'll tell you why as I see it....it's EASY as fuck to hassle and harass casual gamers and streamers because of how online they are...they make cushy targets. The problem is that I've seen some members of a marginalized community think they are punching up, while they hammer at people down instead. They aren't going after JK herself (I expect because of how untouchable she honestly is), and they aren't even really going after the companies or personalities making this game either...they are going after average people who want to play the game for daring to want to play in a fantasy world they grew up with. That's punishing the masses for daring to not get on board your boycott, and then calling them "phobic" of you as a result is super weird to me.

Now that said, I have seen quite a few Trans and marginalized people stand up for the people who play it or want to play it and basically approach it as what it is, a game that has many people behind it, most of whom are NOT JK Rowling and not the line in the sand that some others have clearly made it. In fact, from what I understand she was not even really involved in the making of the game....the funny bit of this is that some people have commented on the game being some anti-Semitic allegory (I think there is a 'put-down goblin rebellion' storyline in it?) because maybe they think that Rowling wrote it...but it was two young progressive female authors who wrote it, both with deep bibliographies in and out of the gaming industry. And to accept that notion then you have to accept the notion that goblins in the HP universe are and always have been Jewish stereotypes...I have never bought that and it always felt like an easy punching bag...but who knows.

I also think that the seemingly wild success and good reviews it has gotten and the seemingly unstoppable train of people buying and playing it...enrages those same people, and I get it.....their boycott was shown to be the pointless thing it is, but I hope the lesson is learned at least. I expect it won't be though.

Now, if you individually choose not to play for moralistic reasons against JK or some other aspect? Cool, fill your boots, I have no issues with that....but for me you cross the line when you start to actively bully people for their interest in a piece of media and push them off social media, or off their platforms (some streamers have been bullied off for even suggesting they were going to play the game and the stream of hate they got in response on their channels).

That's a "live long enough to see yourself become the villain" moment for me to watch from the outside. It's hard to see it any other way.

I just have seen things get progressively more and more toxic from the opposing side of this whole thing, and when it comes down to it for me...if this game was available on a system I could play it on, I'd play it...and I will in future when I own such a system, play it...because if we want to pick a fight with JK Rowling for her views on a such a lofty high horse moral level, then we very much need to aim such a thing at EVERY creator and purveyor of HP-universe content and not just this game. And I highly doubt anyone is willing to do that, when a punching bag as easy as random video game players exists for people to make other people feel bad about.

And I'll be clear, Trans rights are important, and I support the cause to have them recognized as such and have nothing against that fight. I just don't think that a video game that only has tenuous ties to someone deemed a transphobe is the hill to die on over that. If we need to start dismissing things created by people who create things we like or love at this level then I'm afraid a LOT of our content would go bye-bye and fast. For gods sake, even decent people like Gene Roddenberry and George Lucas have skeletons most people don't talk about. Addendum to this thought: I also feel like Gen Z has absolutely no nuance and that adds to the overall conflict. For example: My own nephew (who is a teen now) told me I was being culturally appropriative for using and teaching my daughter to use chopsticks...aside from how wrong this is on the face of it (but it shows you the lack off nuance to any social conversation with someone at that age in this society)...he had no words when I shut him down by telling him that my grandmother (and therefore my daughters great-grandmother) was a Japanese national, something he didn't know. This is not entirely their fault, they were raised in a world that was globally starting to come to terms with nuanced topics like gender, sexuality, race, and culture and they took everything they heard or read at complete face value...and that has hampered any subtlety in their worldview. Any Gen Z space (I see it often on TikTok for example) in social media is dominated by this black and white thinking, and it's super detrimental.

Also, is this as big a deal overseas in non-Western countries it is here? I know that people like a VTuber from Japan was astonished that she was treated so poorly over this, as she had no idea this was even a thing. Is this argument American-centric or what?

My only recent example of how fruitless this has been is HARRY POTTER & THE CURSED CHILD which has sold out every day and night showing since it began it's run in Toronto. It was packed when we went (I saw it with my elder niece; my wife saw it with her dad and godmother on another night) The crowd is filed with all kinds of people, fans and non fans alike. There has been no effort to boycott that in any venue that I've seen...and again, I know why...it's far harder to pick that fight, and would be hard to pick it in person as you would need to for such a thing.

Buying Hogwarts Legacy doesn't make you bad person, no more than buying an iPhone endorses slavery in 3rd world countries, or buying/using Amazon Prime or a Tesla supports the billionaire assholes at the top of those chains, or any other capitalist thing the self-same people fighting this buy and participate in every day of their lives without thinking about the broader connotations. Like they are unironcically posting rage about this game from the latest iPhones, on platforms like Twitter (run by the aforementioned billionaire asshole), or Facebook (another billionaire asshole lacking scruple), or Tiktok (created and run from a country with multiple genocides and tyranny on their bucket lists)...I say again, HL only matters as a protest to them because it's EASY to do...it would be MUCH harder to look at EVERYTHING they consume so they ignore that.

I'm prepared to be in the minority on this opinion and face some flack for it. I accept that. I'm happy to hear anyone out who has a differing opinion on this topic.


But what about all those anti-trans ads Rowling has been taking out with the proceeds from the game? Like the ones during the Superbowl?

Oh wait.. that hasn't happened. (Hopefully this won't give her any ideas....)
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#4 User is offline   Gothos 

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Posted 02 March 2023 - 11:26 PM

For a non-western perspective, the hysteria around this game is shocking... but, alas, not as surprising as I'd like. It just follows a trend of a progressive (heh) descent into complete batshit madness of a whole section of western (pretend-)"liberal" society. I am honestly considering buying the game even though I never liked HP and I don't intend to play it, just because people are making this such a great deal that it's OK to harass, bully and doxx not just people who play it, but their families and friends as well. It's crazy what some folks that consider themselves to be tolerant and peaceloving are fine with doing as long as it serves their cause.

Now, whatever JK Rowling represents in private life shouldn't and doesn't matter - if you're personally disgusted enough to cut it out of your life, fine, but I draw the line at pushing your ego onto others. Roger Waters may be a worthless dipshit, but that won't make me stop liking Pink Floyd. And I most certainly am not going to give people shit for listening to them.
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Posted 02 March 2023 - 11:54 PM

I think there's an element of "by buying and playing this game, you're actively putting increments of money into the pockets of someone who is consistently waging a cultural war on trans people". The game is based on her stories, uses her often shitty tropes, and is one in a sea of games out there. I don't want to play the game or engage with HP any further. I think people who know about what JKR is saying and choose to play the game are being shitty. I can't control what they do, but I can make my displeasure clear about JKR and how LGBTQ+ people deserve seats at the table of life without harassment and TERF bs.

Ultimately, the people who are most hurt by this are the trans people who JKR keeps harassing. Almost all of the trans people and allies I pay attention to say they will not play this game and do not support "playing it while mentally blocking out what JKR does regularly".

The goblin thing is also more than "continued use of JKR's frequently anti-Semitic tropes". https://www.thegamer...f-antisemitism/

Quote

Fans of the Harry Potter books and films may have noticed that a lot of the minority characters are reductive and often just downright offensive. You've got a Black wizard named Kingsley Shacklebolt - an object used to chain slaves together - an Irish wizard called Seamus Finnigan who keeps blowing himself up - an obvious IRA parallel - and an Asian witch called Cho Chang - I'm not even going to explain why that's bad. Now add a trans character with a terrible name to that list. There are also the goblins, who embody negative Jewish stereotypes, and it seems Hogwarts Legacy has doubled down on the antisemitism.

What's this? A Hogwarts Legacy article that isn't about transphobia? I'm almost as shocked as you are. The new issue drawing ire from people is the inclusion of a shofar, a Jewish musical instrument in Hogwarts Legacy. It's a goblin artefact that's described as being "used by goblins during the 1612 Goblin Rebellion to rally troops and generally annoy witches and wizards."

In Germany, 1612 - in the real world, not the Harry Potter books - there was a pogrom in Frankfurt. Pogroms are organised massacres of Jews, and this instrument which looks exactly like a Jewish shofar was used during a Harry Potter rebellion in 1612 involving a race that for decades has been accused of being antisemitic.

cw: antisemitism 1 of the goblin artifacts&; you can find in That Wizard Game is literally just a shofar, a Jewish musical instrument, described as being used to annoy witches and wizards;. In its description is the year 1612, which was when the Fettmilch uprising took place. — Unsidhe, Artist&Vtuber| Illust/Live2D OPEN (@frostiefey) February 9, 2023

One of these things taken on their own could be explained away as mere coincidence, but taken together, and combined with the history of claims of anti-Jewish tropes in Harry Potter, these inclusions are all pretty damning evidence of antisemitism within Hogwarts Legacy.

When the story for Hogwarts Legacy was revealed in a trailer, people immediately noticed how wrong it felt to have the plot revolve around crushing a rebellion led by an oppressed race. The game is about keeping them in their place. Even in the books, Hermione takes issue with the enslavement of the house elves and is mocked by just about everyone for it. It's really not as wholesome as people like to remember.

People have publicly criticised the depiction of goblins within the Harry Potter universe before, most notably Jon Stewart. He noted on his podcast that the goblins who run Gringotts Bank - also, c'mon, the goblins control all the money... - resemble antisemitic caricatures in the 1903 book, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

Even if you can separate the art from the artist and enjoy the game without considering the fact it's lending authority and cultural cache to JK Rowling and her transphobic views, how are you finding this game about crushing a clearly Jewish-coded uprising cosy and cute and fun?


This is the kind of context-coded anti-Semitism that made it into the game. That's not a game I'd want to play or for my kid to play. It's not a particularly nuanced situation where a skilled author or storyteller is using a very difficult subject or situation to draw out themes, reactions, betterment of the reader/consumer.

Coming down on the side of "Yeah, I guess I wanna play the transphobic lady's game" is weird.
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#6 User is offline   worry 

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Posted 03 March 2023 - 12:40 AM

100% amph. I think we all make compromises with top-down evil in a "no ethical consumption under capitalism" kind of way, and separately, we all have different lines when it comes to "separating the art from the artist" -- but this specific case seems like a no brainer to me. She's a proactive, virulent bigot who uses her money, power, and fame to actively harm people who already have an extremely difficult time just existing without pressure to self-compromise and fear of actual physical harm. JK's output is out of my life, permanently, period.
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#7 User is offline   Azath Vitr (D'ivers 

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Posted 03 March 2023 - 01:42 AM

'JK Rowling has finally publicly admitted to funding anti-LGBTQ political activity in the UK.

She'd say it was just for "helping Allison out" but what is Allison doing with that support? Oh right: denigrating trans people, and hurting women and all LGBTQIA+ people in the process.'

WizardingNews@mastodon.social on Twitter: "JK Rowling has finally publicly admitted to funding anti-LGBTQ political activity in the UK. She'd say it was just for "helping Allison out" but what is Allison doing with that support? Oh right: denigrating trans people, and hurting women and all LGBTQIA+ people in the process." / Twitter


Beyond that IDK if she's been donating to groups or politicians that support the policies she wants that would adversely affect many trans people (... perhaps living a comparatively modest lifestyle so she can pump as much money as possible into them, so every dollar from every game counts?)....
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Posted 03 March 2023 - 06:18 AM

The issue comes down that by buying the game, or talking about it in any positive way, you are (tangentially) contributing to JKR's "brand recognition", her fame and influence. Which she then wields to make trans lives in the UK miserable.

I don't care about Harry Potter, so it was an easy skip for me. But I'm not going to go and moralize people who know what's going on, but decide that it's not worth skipping out on the game. I'll make my own mental notes abut them, but that's about it.

Social media wars are dumb, but that goes without saying on most topics. In this particular case, the rabid anti-trans bunch also took up supporting the game as their cause in order to "stick it to the libs", which obviously just inflames the rhetoric further.
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View PostJump Around, on 23 October 2011 - 11:04 AM, said:

And I want to state that Ment has out-weaseled me by far in this game.
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Posted 03 March 2023 - 08:01 AM

I am in the thick of this in Twitter given that I'm in streaming circles and a large amount of it seems to be bad actors who are using it as an excuse to become openly and violently transphobic. Let me say that the bird app is a fucking warzone right now.

The initial points, at least in the circles I run with, amounted to "We probably won't feel safe around you if we see you streaming this game because it pays a royalty to someone who uses that royalty to oppress us", which then blew up into "if you play this game you're basically a war criminal" versus "look at this minority group trying to forcibly control what we can and can't do". I don't want to go Nicomode with a conspiracy at all because there's no concrete evidence of bad actors, but the fact remains that JKR has gone on record to say she uses her royalties from sales of the franchise to punch down on a minority group, and by saying that, she both reinforces that sales of anything in the IP are going to put towards the said punching down, and also reinforces the beliefs of those who wish to abuse transfolk. It's basically the Brexit effect, where the vote emboldened the far right / racist elements of the UK and made it appear that their position of bigotry is supported by the government (which, let's be fair, IT IS, but that's not the index issue we're addressing here).

I will add that on the point of separating art and artist, whilst the artist is alive and using their royalties for such nasty purposes, it is IMPOSSIBLE to do so. Any fiscal endorsement of the franchise which places money in JKR's pocket to then punch down with has to be taken as a tacit endorsement of her beliefs. It's the same reason I will never give money to the Salvation Army, even if their book shops are treasure troves. Abu and the red gem. I can separate the Belgariad from Eddings' child abuse because he is long gone from this world, and if I buy those books it doesn't support an abuser. You can see a similar effect with Lostprophets, actually - as soon as Ian's noncery came out, that band VANISHED, because endorsement of their music would be seen as association with and possibly endorsement of paedophilia.

I won't touch the racism / general bigotry of the game because Amph already summed it up with the above quote. There is zero doubt to me that JKR is deeply, deeply racist and bigoted and her universe is a reflection of that.

On my part, I am staying down in the trenches and fighting the hate wherever and however I can. It is my moral imperative to do so; I am not abandoning my friends to the ravening of bigots who hate them just because they spawned with a loadout that isn't matched to their person. I would say again that a large portion of what's happened is likely down to bad actors attempting to foster right-wing sentiment against a group that the right hates due to their disruptive impact on established gender norms (anything threatening old white guys being in charge is obviously well bad, pal) and so far it seems like it's succeeded. The recent murder of Brianna Ghey is likely connected, if only peripherally, to the overall sentiment, and the issue around The Terf Game is just the more publically available channel that it's happening on because of how visible Twitter is.
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#10 User is offline   LinearPhilosopher 

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Posted 06 March 2023 - 01:17 AM

I can agree with the overall sentiment here.

What i'd like to address is if someone in your circle is playing the game, your approach shouldn't be to accuse them of moral bankruptcy. Rather your approach should be educational and in the context of a healthy conversation. It shouldn't devolve into cyber bullying and doxing someone who streams the game. The fact there's such outrage about the game there are people buying multiple copies to spite the left isn't helping anyone. If someone wants to buy the game cause they really like HP I say fine, but don't go bragging about it on social media, and maybe someone needs to bring this person aside and have a conversation with them as an adult.
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Posted 06 March 2023 - 04:27 PM

View PostMaark Abbott, on 03 March 2023 - 08:01 AM, said:

I am in the thick of this in Twitter ... Let me say that the bird app is a fucking warzone right now.


I will add that on the point of separating art and artist, whilst the artist is alive and using their royalties for such nasty purposes, it is IMPOSSIBLE to do so. Any fiscal endorsement of the franchise which places money in JKR's pocket to then punch down with has to be taken as a tacit endorsement of her beliefs.


Not to call you out man, but to say the second part while you sit on the aforementioned Bird App where aside from EVERYTHING else he's done in his past and present, Elon supports JKR's POV on this topic is exactly my original point...like isn't a free app that you don't need to use easier to stop using due to its problematic billionaire owner having shitty opinions on Trans people (almost many other shitty opinions) and letting many much worse anti-trans people back onto twitter VS not buying a not-free $80 video game based on the world created by another problematic billionaire with shitty opinions? Like Elon is doing MUCH worse things DAILY than JK even aspires to do.

This was my original point in my post. The moral line in the sand is clearly in MANY different places for many different people, whether they know or accept that or not. It's not about JK Rowling being right, or altruistic in her opinions, it's about the cognitive dissonance people engage in to make their individual choices the just/acceptable ones in the face of evidence to the contrary. Like "I'm ranting about anti-trans views on a platform owned by a virulent anti-trans man" is not exactly the hill is it?

To your credit, at least you're not also "in the thick of it" on TikTok where this argument is even more interesting considering genocide of an actual people by the data-theiving country of its origin, and their treatment of regular ass human rights, never mind LGBTQ rights there. So people trying to fight the good fight on TikTok of all places baffles me.
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#12 User is offline   Gothos 

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Posted 06 March 2023 - 05:11 PM

View PostQuickTidal, on 06 March 2023 - 04:27 PM, said:

on a platform owned by a virulent anti-trans man" is not exactly the hill is it?


This about the pronouns thing or did I miss something?
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#13 User is offline   QuickTidal 

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Posted 06 March 2023 - 05:43 PM

View PostGothos, on 06 March 2023 - 05:11 PM, said:

View PostQuickTidal, on 06 March 2023 - 04:27 PM, said:

on a platform owned by a virulent anti-trans man" is not exactly the hill is it?


This about the pronouns thing or did I miss something?


From what I understand it's a bunch of little things beyond reactivating accounts of known right wing trolls who spew anti-trans messages... and then more recently supporting and amplifying anti-trans messages himself. Here's an article about it.And here is one about how Mr. Free Speech is silencing accounts who support Trans rights and take actions to organize for those rights.
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#14 User is offline   amphibian 

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Posted 06 March 2023 - 06:36 PM

Two exacerbating factors to this issue:

the people on one side are TERFs and bigots who are going to be loud, evasive, and often violent in speech and action

the people on the other sideost affected by this are trans people who are often dealing with considerable issues about bodily presentation/function, gender expression, bigotry, the tolls of coming out of or being in the closet, constructing a new identity etc. Sometimes big drama results from this and many people's reaction to this is to be a baby gay basically, where everything is to be amped up to extremes because it's safer that way emotionally. This can lead to over the top dialogue with the bigots and TERFs up on the other side. But it's really noteworthy that there's functionally zero physical violence initiated or done by this side.

I am generally going to take the side of the trans people here, although I'm not calling for the persecution of those who buy or play. Streaming this game and making money on it seems like a bad idea if someone wants to be an actual ally or member of that community. I certainly don't want to be a member of the TERFs and bigots communities.
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#15 User is offline   Azath Vitr (D'ivers 

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Posted 06 March 2023 - 07:07 PM

View Postamphibian, on 06 March 2023 - 06:36 PM, said:

Two exacerbating factors to this issue:

the people on one side are TERFs and bigots who are going to be loud, evasive, and often violent in speech and action

the people on the other sideost affected by this are trans people who are often dealing with considerable issues about bodily presentation/function, gender expression, bigotry, the tolls of coming out of or being in the closet, constructing a new identity etc. Sometimes big drama results from this and many people's reaction to this is to be a baby gay basically, where everything is to be amped up to extremes because it's safer that way emotionally. This can lead to over the top dialogue with the bigots and TERFs up on the other side. But it's really noteworthy that there's functionally zero physical violence initiated or done by this side.

I am generally going to take the side of the trans people here, although I'm not calling for the persecution of those who buy or play. Streaming this game and making money on it seems like a bad idea if someone wants to be an actual ally or member of that community. I certainly don't want to be a member of the TERFs and bigots communities.


What if you stream but donate money to trans activist organizations (in excess of what you paid for the game, plus some premium for boosting the game's or JKR's profile, and a % of streaming revenue)? Include something pro-trans / anti-JKR on the stream (visual element, etc.)?

Probably wouldn't go over well... oh well. All or alldevouring vacuum....




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#16 User is offline   QuickTidal 

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Posted 06 March 2023 - 08:04 PM

View Postamphibian, on 06 March 2023 - 06:36 PM, said:

I am generally going to take the side of the trans people here, although I'm not calling for the persecution of those who buy or play.


The bold part is the problem though. This is what's happening and what this is about for me anyways. The reasons this has become so big is that the supposed allies to the Trans community are the ones bullying, sending death threats, doxxing, and any manner of online hate at people for buying/playing a game in a public space. Whether they just stream it, or talk about playing it.

Do we not expect the Trans community to call out the bad eggs doing that? This calling out is not happening as far as I can tell. We expect (even though we usually end up disappointed) Conservatives to call out the Nazi flags, and racist dog whistles in their spaces...should we not hold Trans spaces up to the same expectation to keep the online bullying out of that space? Have we decided it's okay for the bullying, threats, and doxxing to happen and that the ends justify the means?

I agree with the overall thrust of your comments Amph. Trans women are women, Trans men are men and the community at large should be protected, JKR is wrong in her views and her doubling down is bad...I think where we differ here is what's acceptable in that fight (I don't endorse online bullying, or any of that toxicity), and if a video game only tangentially related to the woman herself is the right battleground for that (and then I move one further by saying that having these fights on social media run by people every bit WORSE than anything JKR aspires to defeats a lot of the oomph they might otherwise carry as altruistic fights).

As a smarter writer than I once said about all this: The more feelings run high between transgender activists and gender-critical feminists, the further we become removed from a solution.

I also feel like it's lost in the miasma of fighting over the game that HOGWARTS LEGACY contains a Trans character and that the main character design allows you to create gender non-conforming characters, in which you can also choose male or female voices, and the game consistently uses the gender-neutral they/them/their when referring to your main character in game. I don't think these things happen in a vacuum with a game this size. They are deliberately inclusive on a level that a lot of games simply are remiss about being, or refuse to be in worse cases. This doesn't excuse any fight that the Trans community has with JKR herself but it's at least worth noting in reference to the game itself...though I should also point out that HP & THE CURSED CHILD also features probably one of the best and healthiest representations of a gay relationship between the two leads (Albus Potter & Scorpius Malfoy) I've ever seen. Again, not defending her, just pointing out things I've noted in her work that argue with the notion that she's some reprehensible right-wing bigot....more that her views are skewed when it comes to the nuance in the LGBTQ community when it comes to Trans people.
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#17 User is offline   polishgenius 

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Posted 06 March 2023 - 09:34 PM

I'm not sure what you mean by 'the trans community should'. I'm sure most don't think bullying and harrassment is acceptable, but you have to understand that quite a few feel that publicly supporting or justifying the game is an attack on them. Like you can wish it weren't so or believe that they're wrong but there is that feeling and it's not without justification. So I'm not really sure what you're waiting for. Each individual trans person to specifically say that death threats and doxxing are wrong? Coz that's got a bit of a similar flavour to demanding Muslims individually declare any given islamic terrorist attack as bad. Except, in this case, asking trans people to do so in defense of people who they feel are disregarding them. At a horrendously dangerous time.



Ultimately I'm not gonna go out and have a big go at anyone who chooses to play it, but I'm just not really sure why you would, there's so many other things to do. And if you do I just don't think you should make a deal out of it or why you would. Get it, if you enjoy it, whatever. But saying it publicly is, whether you intend to or not, risking nailing your colours to a mast you don't want to be near.



It's certainly not wrong to say that there's always something, it's almost impossible to consume any media without brushing up against some bastard or other. I watch Tom Cruise movies, I watch sports with questionable people involved. So it's impossible to be too judgemental. But as amph said, I think a key thing here is that Rowling has (1) deliberately made herself a figurehead of a hate movement, and (2) has outright said that she considers her royalty checks proof that people don't hate her for it. It's her conduct that has made this game the most bizarre of lines in the sand. So for me, this and HP in general has moved way past 'separate art from the author', because of that.



I don't think the twitter point really holds up because that's a line of communication. Sure, it sucks that it's owned by that wanker now, but a lot of people's lives would be changed if they stopped using it. And it existed before Elon, so as of now- at least until a genuine viable alternative comes up - using it isn't seen by really anyone as association yourself with Musk.
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#18 User is offline   Gothos 

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Posted 06 March 2023 - 10:25 PM

View PostQuickTidal, on 06 March 2023 - 05:43 PM, said:

View PostGothos, on 06 March 2023 - 05:11 PM, said:

View PostQuickTidal, on 06 March 2023 - 04:27 PM, said:

on a platform owned by a virulent anti-trans man" is not exactly the hill is it?


This about the pronouns thing or did I miss something?


From what I understand it's a bunch of little things beyond reactivating accounts of known right wing trolls who spew anti-trans messages... and then more recently supporting and amplifying anti-trans messages himself. Here's an article about it.And here is one about how Mr. Free Speech is silencing accounts who support Trans rights and take actions to organize for those rights.

Wouldn't call that 'virulent' exactly, but I'm not here to argue semantics, honestly, nor am I here to defend Elon Musk. Him at the head of Twitter, though, aligns with my long time wish for that platform to burn and die, and I hope he succeeds in destroying it. And maybe as a cherry on top in might spark a movement noticing that social media was a mistake :D

View PostQuickTidal, on 06 March 2023 - 08:04 PM, said:

View Postamphibian, on 06 March 2023 - 06:36 PM, said:

I am generally going to take the side of the trans people here, although I'm not calling for the persecution of those who buy or play.


The bold part is the problem though. This is what's happening and what this is about for me anyways. The reasons this has become so big is that the supposed allies to the Trans community are the ones bullying, sending death threats, doxxing, and any manner of online hate at people for buying/playing a game in a public space. Whether they just stream it, or talk about playing it.

Do we not expect the Trans community to call out the bad eggs doing that? This calling out is not happening as far as I can tell. We expect (even though we usually end up disappointed) Conservatives to call out the Nazi flags, and racist dog whistles in their spaces...should we not hold Trans spaces up to the same expectation to keep the online bullying out of that space? Have we decided it's okay for the bullying, threats, and doxxing to happen and that the ends justify the means?


It definitely isn't helping their cause among the common folk, assuming they ever hear any of this anyway.
It might come to those so-called "allies" to decide if they're more interested in helping someone, or in stroking their own ego.


View Postpolishgenius, on 06 March 2023 - 09:34 PM, said:

Ultimately I'm not gonna go out and have a big go at anyone who chooses to play it, but I'm just not really sure why you would, there's so many other things to do. And if you do I just don't think you should make a deal out of it or why you would. Get it, if you enjoy it, whatever. But saying it publicly is, whether you intend to or not, risking nailing your colours to a mast you don't want to be near.


Two problems here. Firstly, it's not your prerogative to approve or disapprove of what videogame someone wants to play, yet despite your mild tone you're being pretty judgemental about it. Secondly, it really looks like you're saying people "daring" to be public about playing the game are... asking for it?
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#19 User is offline   polishgenius 

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Posted 06 March 2023 - 10:39 PM

View PostGothos, on 06 March 2023 - 10:25 PM, said:

Two problems here. Firstly, it's not your prerogative to approve or disapprove of what videogame someone wants to play,



So what you're saying is we can post in this topic, but only if we agree it's fine to play the game?

Coz like I don't understand how otherwise you think I can get my point across. Of course it's not my prerogative, but this is a discussion topic. I didn't start it.

And of course I'm being judgemental. I'm not gonna chuck anyone under the bus for it, but I don't agree with people buying it. That's a judgement. So we're back to you apparently thinking we're not allowed to disagree.


It's a sensitive topic. QT's quite entitled to find my position unpleasant. I think I know him well enough by now though to know he isn't gonna take it as me casting aspersions on his whole moral character. I hope he knows me well enough by now.



Quote

Secondly, it really looks like you're saying people "daring" to be public about playing the game are... asking for it?


This is a straight-up lie.

This post has been edited by polishgenius: 06 March 2023 - 10:42 PM

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#20 User is offline   Maark Abbott 

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Posted 07 March 2023 - 08:41 AM

View PostQuickTidal, on 06 March 2023 - 08:04 PM, said:

View Postamphibian, on 06 March 2023 - 06:36 PM, said:

I am generally going to take the side of the trans people here, although I'm not calling for the persecution of those who buy or play.


Do we not expect the Trans community to call out the bad eggs doing that? This calling out is not happening as far as I can tell. We expect (even though we usually end up disappointed) Conservatives to call out the Nazi flags, and racist dog whistles in their spaces...should we not hold Trans spaces up to the same expectation to keep the online bullying out of that space? Have we decided it's okay for the bullying, threats, and doxxing to happen and that the ends justify the means?


A huge problem is that right now it's impossible to tell who might be a well meaning but overzealous ally, and who might be a 4chan incel pretending to be either trans or an ally and being overly aggressive in the hope that their doing so will foster further aggression; given the current US leaning towards what appears to be leading to a purge of transfolk, it's not unreasonable to expect that far right agitators are using this whole issue to foster resentment and hatred. My view is that the right wing politically is very mired in established gender roles and of course transfolk/enby folk throw those established gender norms into disarray, which makes old white men very cross indeed.

Trans/Queer folk really want two things: to be able to just go about their day peacefully, and to not have to deal with the constant threat of people wanting to literally erase them from existing. The fact that Terf Game has a trans character ('Sir' Ona Ryan being a horrific name for a trans character and coming across as a jab notwithstanding) amounts to little more than tokenism to be honest - 'look, see, we have one of you people in, so we ARE inclusive, really!', but totally glossing over the fact that the sneering utterance of 'you people' is still hostile towards that group. You may as well have a black character called Crispin McBucket, it would be about as inclusive and about as well intentioned. Oh, wait. Shacklebolt. Right, I forgot that Rowling was already pretty outwardly racist for a second there, my bad. Rowling retconning aspects of her universe to try and sidle in with changing social sensibilities is very much a 'how are we doing, fellow kids' moment and I can't see any way that she should be considered genuine in this because of her treatment of and attitude towards minority groups.

There's also rumblings that the lead dev on Terf Game is a neonazi which, whilst I've not verified personally, make me even more uncomfortable about folk lending support to this game and franchise.

Also Quick: your call out about my using Twitter doesn't track: I do not pay money to Elon, whereas purchasers of Terf Game pay knowing that their money will fund a bigot. Usage of Twitter is an unpleasant, bitter pill that anyone who streams has to keep in their mouth because there's no viable alternative and without it, growth and networking is next to impossible. If there was a viable alternative platform, I'm pretty confident everyone would use it, but there just isn't. I can pretty confidently say the transfolk whose circles I'm in are less than happy about the Twitter monopoly on streamers since Musk took over, but until there's a viable alternative then there's little that can be done.

On the point about trans rights activists vs gender critical feminists - unfortunately, there is no possible resolution there, because one group calls for the erasure of another simply based on who and what they are. The other group simply wants to exist without the threat of dehumanisation and erasure. Society is changing somewhat on this point but until people simply and unanimously accept that transfolk are a thing, and that they're valid, and have a right to exist the same as anyone else, the index issue remains in perpetuity.

Just to wrap up before I get a coffee cause this headache is mullering me: a lot of the solution, to my view, is rooted in education. Same way that homosexuality within my lifetime has gone from being something frowned at and pushed out of society to being something seen as normal and to be welcomed (granted, Stonewall happened before I was born but as a kid the attitudes were certainly still unfriendly towards gay folk). As generations adapt to trans and queer folk being integrated into society more, we're likely to see incidents like this with Terf Game decrease further and further, but that has to be supported with educating those who are willing to be talked to. It's just a great shame that most of the people who cause issues for those marginalised groups right now cannot be talked to or reasoned with. I'll also add that I am a cishet guy so my opinions above shouldn't be taken as any sort of gospel on the trans community's views on this topic. I'm an ally, I'm just a little guy.
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