Summary Enrol at Hogwarts and take part in lessons.
Description Type: RPG
Platform: Browser Based
Players: Mass Community
Age: PG 13
Game Time: Endless
Developer or Designer: Volunteering Fans
Publisher: Volunteering Fans
Choose your own house
1st Years don't have homework deadline
Lessons can be boring
Changing profile settings is confusing
Lots of reading
Hogwarts is Here started off as a Live Journal group called Hogwarts is Home. A group of dedicated Harry Potter Fans then decided to turn it into an interactive browser based role-playing game.
One of the neat features is when you sign up - or 'enrol', you can customise your own acceptance letter so that it is personally addressed to you.
When signing up, you are asked for your first and last name, which may put some people off, since it will be view publicly. But remember, this is roleplay, so you don't actually have to use your real name if you do not want to; just create your own character.
Once you've registered, filling in your profile is quite confusing. You are sent to your profile page, but once you fill everything in, you are then told that you can't complete your profile without creating a Gringotts account first? Why tell us to fill in our profiles first then?
I created my Gringotts account, which just involves creating a pin number (and receiving complementary galleons), but I still had trouble completing my profile.
The first time I tried, it just refreshed, and I had to fill it in again, and the second time, I could not see where to upload your profile picture. Eventually I did find it though (go to you profile page, choose 'edit', and scroll down').
Instead of being played on a forum like on most browser RPGs, HiH does not have a forum, but a live chat system with a news feed. This does give a sense of real time play, but I find it less user friendly.
Once enrolled, you can choose which house you want to be in. This lacks the fun of a quiz and the anticipation of finding out which house you are in, but also avoids any disappointment.
Just like in Harry Potter, there is a Wizard Card collection, but I am disappointed by the way you get them. Instead of collecting them through games, tasks, or buying chocolate frogs, getting a card is a completely random event as you navigate through links. There is no challenge, or motivation to get them.
HiH has a library full of books. These are fan fiction stories that you can read and review. You can also share your own fan fiction with members.
You can also buy school books from Flourish & Blotts. These books aren't just for display; once bought, you can actually read them, which is necessary for completing homework.
As well as canon books, you are also able to 'write a book' - or fan fiction - and add it to the library to share with other members. Fan fiction is free, and does not need to be bought. Once you have read it, you can also write reviews.
There are seven courses that you can enrol in as a first year, which include Potions, Charms, Transfiguration, Herbology, History of Magic, and Astrology. When you get into your third year, you have more options.
To graduate, you need to complete homework, which includes creative writing tasks, quizzes etc. This can mean a lot of reading, and takes a fair bit of time to complete. In some cases it does feel more like a chore than fun.
If you like reading all about the world of Harry Potter then you will enjoy this game, but if you don't like on-screen reading, then it isn't for you.