Breaking: Video-Game Company Caves to Trans Activist’s Online Pressure Campaign, Fires Targeted Employee

After working for more than two years as the community manager for a popular boutique video-game publisher, Kara Gooch was abruptly fired earlier this month in response to an online pressure campaign launched against her employer by a transgender activist.

Gooch's alleged crimes? Enjoying Harry Potter and following some politically disfavored accounts on Twitter.

The first domino fell, Gooch told National Review, when a friend of hers and influencer for Twitch, the video game live-streaming platform, asked his followers for their thoughts on the new Harry Potter–themed game, Hogwarts Legacy.

"Feelings on the Hogwarts Legacy Game? Curious to see what people are thinking," the ambassador wrote on Twitter on December 28.

"I'm personally looking forward to it! The more I see gameplay, the more excited I get. It's hitting all the marks I've been wanting for a Harry Potter game," Gooch replied, stepping on a landmine that would derail her career.

Renowned British author J.K. Rowling has earned the hatred of many social-justice progressives for speaking out against the more extreme demands of the transgender movement, which she argues have begun encroaching on female-only spaces, imperiling women and girls and denying them the right to fair competition in sports.

Because of the association with Rowling, the Harry Potter game and those working on it have become fair game for online harassment campaigns by social-justice activists. The game's original chief designer, Troy Leavitt, resigned from manufacturer Avalanche Software and the Hogwarts Legacy Project in March 2021 after coming under fire for criticizing feminism and social justice on his YouTube channel, which included videos such as "The Injustice of Social Justice" and "Are Thoughtcrimes Becoming Real."

Similarly, Sebastian Croft, the voice actor for the video game's protagonist, apologized after he was accused of being a transphobe for his involvement in the project.

"I was cast in this project over 3 years ago, back when all Harry Potter was to me, was the magical world I grew up with. This was long before I was aware of JK Rowling's views. I believe whole heartedly that trans women are women and trans men are men," Croft tweeted.

Gooch, 30, believes that her public endorsement of the Harry Potter game caught the attention of the pseudonymous Twitter account Purple Tinker. According to the Washington Post, the account is run by Jessica Blank, a transgender woman and the founder of BronyCon, an annual convention for adult fans of My Little Pony, an animated children's television series and toy line.

"There is a huge, huge discourse going on in the gaming sphere in which a lot of people are saying, 'If you support this game in any way, you're also supporting J.K. Rowling," Gooch said. "I have this feeling that this is kind of where it stemmed from."

Combing through the archives of Gooch's Twitter, Blank found a seven-year-old tweet criticizing transgender-inclusive bathroom legislation and amplified it as an example of bigotry. Gooch's tweet read: "If you think the # of trans crying about using a bathroom is higher than the perves using the excuse, then you are what is wrong with the world."

Blank scoured Gooch's followers for more ammunition, discovering that she followed Blaire White, a transgender right-wing YouTuber; Libs of TikTok, an account run by a woman who aggregates videos of leftists espousing gender ideology; and Ian Miles Cheong, a right-wing culture-war pundit. Blank posted a round-up exposing Gooch's political follows on January 6. It racked up almost 275,000 views.

"The community manager for @LimitedRunGames, @/KaraLynne0326, is a transphobe who follows a veritable who’s who of right-wing transphobic creeps. Unless and until she is fired from the company permanently, I am not giving them another single dime," Purple Tinker wrote.

Limited Run Games acquiesced and abruptly terminated Gooch's employment with a severance package and a few months of health insurance.

"In that call, I will say that there were a lot of emotions," Gooch said. "I could tell they didn't want to do what they were doing and even said they didn't want to. They were being pressured from elsewhere. From what I was told, there were no other options presented."

Gooch's superiors at Limited Run Games had never warned that her Twitter activity was putting her job in jeopardy — they just fired her.

"I had never been written up or reprimanded. I had never abused my power or personal opinions on the various social channels," she continued. "I even refrained from commenting or interacting with any political content or controversial topics on my personal social-media accounts. This one isolated incident was apparently all it took. At least that is what I have been led to believe. If there was another reason, I was not informed."

The firing wasn't enough for Blank, who continued her online pressure campaign. "Just demanded a refund for my over $1200 in pending orders," she tweeted after Gooch's employer gave in to his demands.

The political nature of her firing shocked Gooch, given that she had largely stopped interacting with political accounts on Twitter when she started working for Limited Run Games.

"After I started at LRG, I didn't even interact or like or retweet anything that was considered political or controversial. I tried to be very aware of that because I knew that I was representing a company," Gooch said. "So I actively tried to stay out of that kind of thing."

Gooch noted that political content doesn't even show up on her Twitter news feed because she engages with it so little. "I honestly forgot that I was following most of them," she said.

Gooch sees herself as a casualty in her employer's attempt to minimize negative publicity — an approach that she believes will ultimately backfire as the gaming public wakes up to the toxicity of online political conformism.

"They didn't want the bad publicity, and I can understand that. Unfortunately, I feel like that backfired on them."

Limited Run Games did not respond to a request for comment.

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Video-Game Company Caves to Trans Activist’s Online Pressure Campaign, Fires Targeted Employee

Kara Gooch was targeted after saying she was looking forward to a forthcoming Harry Potter video ... READ MORE


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