YouTuber Vara Dark has dismissed the anti-Semitic Hogwarts Legacy goblin claims as journalists “desperate” to orchestrate a boycott.
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Fandom Wire reports Warner Bros. are “Set To Lose Millions as Harry Potter Fans Threaten to Boycott ‘Anti-Semitic’ Hogwarts Legacy Game for Showing Jews as ‘Greedy, Child-Abducting Goblins,'” which is likely based on the premise that, within Harry Potter lore, goblins have been prejudiced against for many years.
In Hogwarts Legacy, players must uncover who is attempting to steal their ability to command ancient magic, while playing catch-up at the titular school. Along with joining one of the four houses and making friends, they’ll need to fend off Dark Wizards, who are capitalizing on the goblin rebellion for useful, yet uneasy, allies.
This and other prejudices are always depicted as abhorrent in Harry Potter media, with those doing so for their gain or out of bigotry. Likewise, both wizards and goblins have been stated to be at fault for no less than five inciting incidents that led to various rebellions.
Nonetheless, objections over Hogwarts Legacy‘s content from “critics” such as Facebook user Kevin Rhodes, who successfully managed to gather some attention on social media with a recent post that caught the attention of Fandom Wire; prompting the outlet to promote the narrative that fans are calling for a boycott of the game.
Rhodes claimed, “The lead designer for Avalanche Games, Troy Leavitt, has been a harsh critic of social justice movements, was a proponent of Gamergate, called the MeToo movement a ‘moral panic,’ and claimed that society gives deferential treatment to LGBTQ+, POC, women, and disabled people. And Warner Brothers knew this before they hired him to make this game.”
“The goblins of the HP series have long been criticized as offensive Jewish stereotypes, with critics pointing out their control of the magical banking system, their greed, and their exaggerated facial features,” the disgruntled user decried,
He later added, “This game where the player fights against greedy, child-abducting Jewish stereotypes. The game where the player suppresses an uprising of an oppressed race who are pushing back against their own disenfranchisement, disarmament, slavery, and murder, in order to maintain the supremacy of the dominant culture.”
“I beg you, please, don’t buy this game,” Rhodes implores in his conclusion. “Walk away from both Rowling and the Wizarding World. Don’t give Warner Brothers any more money.”
Fandom Wire also alluded to Rhodes’ argument that the player’s objective “is to quash the rebellion and put these goblins back in their rightful place under the rule of the wizards,” and Hogwarts Legacy being set in 1890 as proof — with Rhodes’ argument noting this particular point in time is when the “hoax ‘Protocols of the Elders of Zion’ was being developed.”
The child-abduction claim comes from a gameplay trailer, problematic , likely due to comparisons to Blood Libel. Even so, the context appears to suggest the player was the target, and as such it was likely the kidnapping was due to the player character’s involvement with ancient magic.
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While Fandom Wire only cites Rhodes, the Daily Mail cites several other Twitter and Reddit posts, along with one post calling for a boycott reportedly reaching 82,000 likes. Reports and editorials by Game Rant, Uppercut, Daily Dot, and The Gamer since March of this year have helped push this seemingly fabricated narrative.
YouTuber Vara Dark countered the reports as “game-writing hacks […] desperate to find a way to get their audience to boycott Hogwarts Legacy, and yet, it’s not working for them.”
A lover of the Harry Potter series, Dark dismissed the claims against the game and the books, swearing it was more common to see social media posts excitement for the game, and it fitting what fans expect.
“There’s really not a lot of people attacking the game directly, even in these articles that these gaming hacks have released,” she explained. “They’re not really attacking the game, they’re not really attacking the plot, or the characters; they’re just attacking the fact it’s J. K. Rowling who created the Wizarding World.”
She further dismisses Rhodes using Leavitt’s beliefs in his argument. By focusing on someone who left the project one and a half years prior, Dark proposed the Facebook user had “nothing else to grasp at, you have nothing else to throw at your audience and say ‘this is why you should boycott!'”
Dark noted that Leavitt had not been involved in promoting Hogwarts Legacy for quite some time, and even then had no objection to Leavitt’s opinions. “Everyone is allowed to have their own opinions, and as human beings, we should be able to have general respect for other beings,” she declared.
Likewise, the YouTuber stated even her own condemnation of the Fandom Wire article wasn’t a call for harassment, in spite of those calling for that against the Hogwarts Legacy creators. “These critics want to do that, they want to make sure people lose their careers, that people hate them, all these terrible things.”
Dark states that she’d seen only a handful of people making the anti-Semitic goblin accusation, “but most people don’t see that, and completely disagree — and I’m one of these people, and hearing this quote makes me go ‘OK are you, uh… part of the problem a little bit?’ Maybe you’re projecting a little bit here, I mean that’s a very harsh way to put it,” Dark teased.
“It’s like with Tolkein’s works, they weren’t created to represent any sort of person, and if you see that in those creatures, maybe you have a bit of a problem,” Dark proposed. “These hacks are trying their very best to 1. Get clicks, and 2. Get people to follow their narrative, and boycott this game.”
Finally, Dark outright dismisses the belief Warner Bros. will lose millions — as the Hogwarts Legacy Collectors Edition sold out within minutes in late August despite calls for a boycott — further claiming the game sold out soon after a restock.
Along with it being a clear sign of support, Dark claims “I’ve actually seen a lot of people say ‘I’m going to support this game now, because of these journalists are doing, because of the attacks that this game is facing.” Dark concluded that, despite the journalists’ desperate attempt to “bury this game,” she is looking forward to playing it on launch.
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