Y’all already know we don’t support J.K. Rowling, so I’ll spare you the diatribe. I’m not looking for a fight, I’m just trying to provide alternatives for you to put your energy toward. At the end of the day, with everything going on, Hogwarts Legacy didn’t need to be made. And while it’s sad that such a beloved franchise has been tainted to the degree that it has by its creator, at a certain point you just gotta buck up and let things go—especially when they start enabling harmful behavior. I know it might be hard, and that some of you don’t want to let go of the good memories you associate with Harry Potter, but you can still hold those memories sacred without giving your money to harmful creators.
So, to all ye with $60 to spend, here are some alternatives to Hogwarts Legacy that are well worth that money (and then some). Happy Holidays, you beautiful wizards.
A long, LONG fantasy RPG
So, you want to play a video game with wizards in it. Boy, do I have news for you: Almost every video game has wizards in it! Video games were made to house lil wizards in them. You can be one of those wizards. You can even have sex with some of those wizards. There is no wrong answer here.
The best thing is, many of these RPGs are so goddamn long that there’s no way you won’t get your money’s worth from them. Off the top of my head, I can think of Divinity, Baldur’s Gate, Dragon Age, Skyrim, and even Elden Ring—all of which can scratch your wizard-lovin’ itch. Hell, I may as well throw in Wizard101, too.
I, for one, have completely lost my life to Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous, which feels less like a video game and more like the densest interactive novel I’ve ever laid my hands on. I recently got a lil dragon companion. She’s useless in a fight, but to quote Gomez Addams: “I’d kill for her … I’d DIE for her … either way, what bliss!”
Whether you’re single, taken, or stirred (not shaken), you always have the right to get down with your bad self and cast a lil spell on your bits. Toys are a great way of doing that, and—wouldn’t you know—wherever there’s a fandom, there’s sex stuff involved.
All I had to do was Google “wizard sex toys,” and I immediately found several options worthy of note. For reference, here’s this number on Etsy, which has unfortunately sold out, but should give you a picture of what we’re working with. Several similar products are listed below it, but this one is, uh … girthier. Is this a good time to tell all the warlocks out there that your wand size doesn’t matter as much as your proficiency with it? Ah, well. That’s just my ~witchy~ experience.
Costumes for your pets
Some pet costumes can be pretty pricey, but if you, like me, are in a relationship with your pet that involves mutual bullying, it’s worth it. My dog will body slam my bedroom door at unholy hours in the morning to make sure I’m in there (I am), only to bite me just for giving her the attention she wants. We are each others’ worst nightmares and best friends. Therefore, in retaliation for the rampant theft of any sock I happen to take off, I think it’s only fair that I make her dress up like the cutest little idiot on the local walk circuit.
… of course, you can totally dress up your baby without the antagonism. And it’ll still be cute.
A black cat
Did you know that there’s still a lot of superstition surrounding black cats, and they often end up disproportionately abandoned as a result? Absolutely ridiculous! You ever see a black cat’s beautiful eyes light up when it finds something? Black cats are in a league of their own.
If you’ve been wanting to adopt a kitty, you can’t get any witchier (or cooler, honestly) than adopting a cat as dark as night. You can name him Squiggy and put little bow ties on him. We love Squiggy.
You know. The nice ones. The ones that use weird ingredients that, according to the menu, have a hint of “tire fumes.” Yes, I have had such a cocktail, and yes, it was disgusting. But how fancy was I, sitting with my yiddies out on a warm summer day, sipping such fancy fare in Frogtown?
Personally, I love cocktails with hints of cucumber. Cucumber vodka is surprisingly good, don’t yuck my yum. In any case, wouldn’t you rather have an excuse to get dressed up, go out, and get drunk with your friends than play a game that cannot help but pander to the willfully ignorant by its very design?
I’ve already talked at great length on this website about how concert tickets are pretty much always justifiable. Even if said concert is on a weeknight, the experience of seeing live music is something that cannot be replicated. Therefore, the price is usually pretty merited!
Most concerts tend to be in the same range as game prices, too. Unless you’re trying to go to a festival, in which case you’ll need to forgo at least four games. But again, I say it’s worth it.
Do you know how astronomically hard Burmese food slaps? My god. Whenever I visit my family in SF, I always stop at Burma Superstar and order a fuck-ton of rice, dhal, and chicken. It takes weeks to wash the onion smell out of my clothes, but it’s so worth it. Wash it down with some housemade mango lassi and you’ve got yourself a meal that’d put whatever the Hogwarts dining hall is called to shame.
Ugh, I dream of their Nan Gyi Dok constantly. My stomach yearns.
But yeah, I guess you could spend your $60 on any other nice dinner, I just happen to think you should spend it on Burmese food.
Witchy weed products
God, I know, I sound like a try-hard by including this, but I really do mean it. For $60, you could get yourself a wizard-themed bong or a pipe, or even some nice pre-rolls if you’re lazy (like me). There’s some beautiful stuff out there that’s very much worth the price if made well.
And I mean, damn, why not? Indulge in your wild side and you won’t just role play as a wizard—you’ll become the wizard. I would personally rather be a wizard than screw around in virtual Hogwarts, but that’s just me.
If you’re lucky, you’ll have people in your life who can give you a reading for free. But if you happen to have completely different social circles from mine, you’ll probably find yourself looking at tarot options well within the price range of the most expensive AAA games out there.
And you know what? If you’re into that, why not indulge? While I try to retain a healthy sense of skepticism with these things, I gotta admit, tarot has given me a lot of comfort in dire times. It’s really fascinating to see people interpret the cards in a variety of ways, and I’ve never really had a bad reading (in the sense that I walked away thinking, what a waste of time).
Artwork created by trans artists
Saving the best for last: It’s always a good idea to support trans artists, but you should especially do so in this context! Why put money in the pockets of someone who will use it to continue spreading harm when, instead, you could help elevate artists who make beautiful things that don’t harm anyone?
And “art” in this context runs the gamut from music to comics, entire novels, and beyond. For instance, I recently saw some zines by Will Betke-Brunswick (a.k.a. @transboycomics) at a comics pop-up and LOVED them. You could buy some zines! Or you can just support trans content creators you enjoy; two popular creators that come to mind are Kat Blaque and Contrapoints.
If you’re a trans creator yourself, feel free to plug your content in the comments below! We’d love to hear from you.
(featured image: selimaksan, Getty Images)
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