It can be argued that many character creators are not up to standard when it comes to including dark skin tones, or when it comes to representing dark skin realistically. As noted by Vice in 2017, the concept of black skin can still be considered radical in the world of video games. However, it was unexpected to find that the limits of paleness in Hogwarts Legacy is facing criticism.
On Reddit, some people have bemoaned that the absence of very fair skin has kept them from imagining themselves as Hogwarts students, with a noticeable element of self-awareness.
One user commented on a post saying that they were Nordic and very pale, to the point where people sometimes asked if they were unwell. They expressed some disappointment that they were unable to replicate their complexion in the game.
Acting quickly, a modder created a mod for Hogwarts Legacy that has already been downloaded a whopping 11,000 times. Titled “Paler and Darker Skins for Player Character”, the mod initially only featured paler tones in response to players’ complaints. The darker shades were added later, solidifying it as the most popular mod for the game on NexusMods.
The lightest skin tone presented in the original Hogwarts Legacy character creator is noticeably tanner than the lightest skin tone of humans, based on the character creation screen (which may look slightly different in-game, as seen in some of the comments).
Hogwarts Legacy’s NPCs are notably more diverse than the original Hogwarts, seen in the movies, in terms of skin tones. The Harry Potter series has long been accused of neglecting or stereotyping ethnic minorities, so the presence of a ‘palleness mod’ on launch day could be seen as an unfortunate parallel. However, most reactions to the mod seem to express only the desire to see themselves represented in the game, or to create a Draco Malfoy-like character. Disappointingly, there is sure to be a mod that will make Hogwarts an institution only open to white people.
Hogwarts Legacy has made history by introducing a trans character for the first time in the Harry Potter universe, however the move has been regarded as a feeble attempt to counteract the prolonged stance on trans rights taken by author JK Rowling. Many have chosen to not purchase the game as a result of Rowling’s political activity, and are encouraging others to follow suit, a matter which I examined in more detail earlier this week.
Hogwarts Legacy will be coming out on February 10th for PC, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X/S. It is scheduled to arrive on April 4th for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.