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Hogwarts is Here is a Harry Potter -themed fan portal site and virtual community inspired by Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, the fictional British school attended by witches and wizards in JK Rowling’s fantasy novel series. The site offers a massive open online course program that any registered user can enroll in and take magic classes, as well as a magical library and a common room where users may chat with each other about their studies.
Built by voluntary developers who are fans of the series, HogwartsisHere.com was officially launched on April 14th, 2014. Within 24 hours of launch, the site was quickly picked up by several fandom-related news sites, including Buzzfeed, People and the AV Club.
When users (students) enroll in the site they are asked to select one of the four Hogwarts Houses (Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, Gryffindor and Slytherin). They are also asked to set up their Gringotts bank account into which wizard currency (101 Galleons, 7 Sickles and 4 Knuts) is automatically deposited. They can then explore the site and begin their classes.
Following the course restrictions of Hogwarts, first year students at Here at Hogwarts can sign up for seven courses: Astronomy, Charms (syllabus shown below), Defense Against the Dark Arts, Herbology, History of Magic, Potions and Transfiguration.
Students are divided up into groups of 100 within their house for each course. When students reach their third year of study after completing the fourteen courses required for first and second year students and pass the course’s exams to prove their proficiency they are allowed to register for elective courses and gain access to Hogsmeade, an additional section of the sight modeled after the town filled with shops located by Hogwarts in the world of Harry Potter. The third year of study is also when students begin to tailor their class selection to their desired magical career, for example Hogwarts professor or Auror (wizard police). Students may earn House points by completing their assignments.
As of April 2014, Hogwarts is Here’s library contains 11 textbooks, many of which correspond with titles mentioned in the Harry Potter series, for example A Beginner’s Guide to Transfiguration and A History of Magic.
While users may browse through the textbooks in the library, to read them they are directed to the bookstore Flourish and Blotts to purchase them with the money from their Gringotts’ account.
The library also contains non-textbook titles like Quidditch that students may read for free.
Each of the four house common rooms feature a leaderboard showing the top 10 students who have earned the most points for their house. They also feature a thread where students can introduce themselves and get to know each other. Students can also join dorms within their houses by requesting a specific dorm already filled with their friends or requesting a random placement. Dormmates are able to get to know each other by posting on the dorm’s thread.
The Daily Owl
The Daily Owl is a student newspaper written by and for those enrolled at Hogwarts is Here. The newspaper is scheduled to launch in mid-April 2014.
As of April 2014, Hogwarts is Here’s official Twitter account has over 8,000 followers and its official Facebook page, which they were given by defunct Harry Potter fan site MyHogwarts, has over 33,000 likes.
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