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Where do we stand on Harry Potter?

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J.K. Rowling successfully tapped into a dormant strand of children's literature and evoked a nostalgia reminiscent of writers such as Enid Blyton, Arthur Ransome and PL Travers. Her formula - which is quintessentially British - somehow captured (or informed) the zeitgeist. But Harry Potter - although charming, in a regressive, imperial, tea-and-tiffin kind of way - is not good literature, and I think she basically got lucky.

As a person, I don't much care for her. I don't consider her opinions to have any particular merit, and she's just another voice spouting crap in an ocean of faeces. So I ignore her.
 

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Once upon a time, ENWorld had more or less non-stop discussions about her apparent antipathy toward ttrpgs, with the most popular theory being that she was worried we'd do something "wrong" with the PoPotterversee.
Ah, I was not aware of this. So did WotC approach her and she declined the proposal?
 

I do wish people wouldn't throw the word 'phobia' about so easily.
Sometimes a person is so pro-something they are seen by default to be anti-something else
This is a very big thing in the UK at the moment, and today especially in two big news issues.

Calm heads and some balance and thought is needed. I co-run an rpg society at an educational establishment. Large crossover between this society and the LGBT+ one. Sad thing for me is that some see their childhood as being a bit tarnished, having spent being 4-7 years old dressed as a HP character. We do have some good discussions to try and cut through the more fake/extreme bits social media news. In some ways its an awful time to be a teen. We had our issues in the early 80s gamers, but nothing like today.
 
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Staffan

Legend
Ah, I was not aware of this. So did WotC approach her and she declined the proposal?
I recall reading that Hasbro had (has?) the rights to make toys and games based on Harry Potter, but she specifically nixed an RPG because she didn't want other people putting words in the mouths of her characters. I'm not sure if that later bit was a confirmed thing or just a rumor.
 

Cergorach

The Laughing One
I'm not really a Harry Potter fan, I never read the books, I did watch most (in not all) the movies (and found them entertaining), and I own the LEGO Harry Potter games on Steam (came in a LEGO game bundle). The amount of money Rowling earned from my media consumption over the last 20+ years was tiny, probably less then a cup of coffee.

But I do think that the discussion of separation of the product and the people making said product is a good one to have. Because I wonder, how far are you willing to go? Will you no longer buy D&D products because a Hasbro investor/employee is a 'bad person' due to opinion x or action y, are still alive and are profiting of your consumption of product z? How exactly do you do groceries or even taxes?

Personally I completely see a disconnect between product and the people's personal actions/views making said product. I like a certain piece of music, I've liked it for decades, does me finding out that the person who made it was an absolute scumbag change me liking the music? No, not really! Does it change my view on the maker of said music? Absolutely!

Do I do a thorough background check on al the people involved in making a particular RPG book? Are you nuts!?!? Of course not! Do I do a daily check if any Hasbro investors show any bad behavior? No, that sounds ridicules! So why do you care about Rowling if you like Harry Potter? I would be a different matter is you are a fan of Rowling's beliefs, but that's not what's being asked/discussed.

I saw the discussion in a Tech forum review about the new Harry Potter game, just the inclusion of Rowling's statements was enough to explode the comments section by a factor of x10. You know the funny thing, a couple of trans people pitched in and those were probably the most reasonable views in the whole discussion: People are way to polarized on both 'sides' doing damage to both sides.

As for the comments by mods that this is someone else's house and we need to honor their 'party' rules and not offend their guests. I understand from what perspective that is done, but I disagree with ENworld is the house of Morrus. Especially in view of who started the site and especially in the early years the request of financial support for the site. This is more of a community gathering place that is being run by Morrus, there of course need to be rules that we need to follow (or at least break as little as possible).

As for offending other people. Me breathing will probably offend someone somewhere, but who's views are being enforced? We've been joking for decades about the D&D devil worship comics, but there are still people that see D&D/RPGs or certain parts thereof in such a way and as a D&D player my presences offends them. Should I suddenly leave a party because of that? Should the people that like or are playing the new Harry Potter game suddenly leave the party because some find that offensive? I find that tragically ironic because trans people are considered offensive by way too many people still.

So my question is: What is the ENworld community? Who is it for? And is it going to enforce the will of a vocal minority of either 'side'?
 

MGibster

Legend
t’s probably impossible to discuss ANY potentially controversial topic without possibly excluding or threatening someone. But we can take steps to minimize that issue for most ENWorld members & lurkers.
I would agree with this, but now let's talk about where the rubber meets the road. What steps can we take to minimize that issue for those who visit these boards?

As mentioned here & elsewhere, I’m a POC but also a fan of the stories of HPL and other Mythos contributors. Ditto REH and a host of other IP creators. Discussing their bigotry and other flaws doesn’t bug me at all.
I certainly don't object to people bringing his bigotry up in the context of how it might have influenced his writing or as a warning to others who might lack direct familiarity with his work. I've certainly warned people about the bigotry that appears in his work.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
Yeah. I'm not talking about the video game. I don't know much about that other than what little I've read here. I'm speaking about JK's contributions to Harry Potter.
It strains credibility for me that Rowling didn't have her fingerprints on this stuff in the game, since she is a bit of a control freak about Potter lore: and goblins kidnapping pureblood Wizard children for evil blood magic rituals, explicit links in the game lore between historic Jewish pogroms, and having Shofars (!) as Goblin artifacts in the game...at a certain point, cultural osmosis fails to account for all the smoke in the room, IMO.
 


Parmandur

Book-Friend
I guess it could be referring to blood libel, if not for the fact that the books contain many instances where blood was used in rituals (and not a single goblin ritual that I can remember).
Voldemort used Harry's blood to restore his body, Quirrell drank Unicorn blood, Dumbledore needed to spill his blood in order to enter the horcrux cave, Umbridge made a quill that uses the writers' blood as ink, Dumbledore made a blood pact with Grindelwald, ...
How does that account for Goblin Shofars...?
 

billd91

Not your screen monkey (he/him) 🇺🇦🇵🇸🏳️‍⚧️
I guess it could be referring to blood libel, if not for the fact that the books contain many instances where blood was used in rituals (and not a single goblin ritual that I can remember).
Voldemort used Harry's blood to restore his body, Quirrell drank Unicorn blood, Dumbledore needed to spill his blood in order to enter the horcrux cave, Umbridge made a quill that uses the writers' blood as ink, Dumbledore made a blood pact with Grindelwald, ...
That's the insidiousness of various tropes. Blood magic may be relatively innocuous (as far as racism goes) in any number of instances, but it's the intersection of different factors that increases the problem. Using blood in rituals, greedy race that controls the banks, etc. This is why publishers need to use sensitivity consultants - people who can stay alert to the way these things factor together.
 

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