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part of a small rebellion | by maryann johanson

question of the day: Should playing World of Warcraft exclude someone from political office?

Santiga Colleen Lachowicz

Um. What? From BBC News:

World of Warcraft hobby sparks US political row

The gaming hobby of a political candidate has become an issue in a state senate race in New England, US.

Maine Republicans have created a webpage revealing that Democrat candidate Colleen Lachowicz plays an orc rogue in World of Warcraft (WoW).

Ms Lachowicz’s liking for back-stabbing and poison in WoW raise questions about her “fitness for office”, they claim.

Ms Lachowicz has hit back saying the attack showed the Republicans were “out of touch”.

In a statement that accompanies the webpage, Maine Republicans said playing the game led Ms Lachowicz to live a “bizarre double life” that raised questions about her ability to represent the state.

The page also detailed some of the comments Ms Lachowicz has made while talking about her orc rogue, in particular it highlights her affection for Santiaga’s ability to stab things and kill people without suffering a jail sentence.

“These are some very bizarre and offensive comments,” said Maine Republican Party spokesman David Sorensen in a statement. “They certainly raise questions about Lachowicz’s maturity and her ability to make serious decisions for the people of Senate District 25.”

“I think it’s weird that I’m being targeted for playing online games,” said Ms Lachowicz in a statement. “Apparently I’m in good company since there are 183 million other Americans who also enjoy online games.

“Instead of talking about what they’re doing for Maine people, they’re making fun of me for playing video games,” said Ms Lachowicz.

That anti-Lachowicz site? It’s Colleen’s World, and it opens with this:

Colleen Lachowicz is a Democrat candidate for Maine State Senate. In Colleen’s online fantasy world, she gets away with crude, vicious and violent comments like the ones below. Maine needs a State Senator that lives in the real world, not in Colleen’s fantasy world.

Interestingly, the Republican brand of fantasy — such as that women can magically prevent pregnancy when raped and that climate change isn’t happening — is embraced as factual and actually has an impact on real people. But that’s okay. Making jokes about killing fake characters in a fantasy game? Dangerous.

Should playing World of Warcraft exclude someone from political office? How the hell did it come to this?

(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD, feel free to email me. Responses to this QOTD sent by email will be ignored; please post your responses here.)

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  • Dsilva369

    “Ms Lachowicz’s liking for back-stabbing and poison in WoW raise questions about her “fitness for office”,”
    What? The republicans want to sue her for copyright?

  • RogerBW

    Meh, given that these are Republicans (and Republicans at the state level, who are often even further away from anything like sanity than the national ones), it’s probably code for “using your imagination is EVIL”. Same way that reading fiction with magic in it makes you a witch.

  • As a long-time player on City Of Heroes, I got no problem with politicians who share similar hobbies and interests.

    For the Republicans to have a collective hissy fit over a “geek girl” playing video games, this pretty much re-affirms my belief that the current GOP is led by middle school bullies.

  • Are the GOP back to bashing Harry Potter readers again…?

  •  When you can’t attack the person’s real-life character, the Republicans have to attack the person’s RP character.

    D&D fans and their progeny, UNITE!  You Have Nothing To Lose But Your Character Sheets!

  • Awsadler

    I would vote for her as long as she wasn’t a troll in trade chat .lol

  • Tangeu

    It’s fun to imagine a scenario where World of Warcraft is replaced with some other game.

    Colleen Lachowicz regularly participates in war strategy games, where she slaughters all who oppose her and is even willing sacrifice her own people to achieve victory.  Don’t support this candidate who plays CHESS!

  • Yes, clearly a healthy separation between one’s real life and fantasy life can only be viewed as a character flaw by the Republicans.

  • Wait…they gave out the character’s name? Oh, I can just see it now:

    “if u roll on that epic, im not voting for u!”
    “cmon, gimme 1000 gold! i’ll vote for u! its not real money, so it cant be a bribe!”
    “lol rogues suck u nub”
    “lol rogues r overpowered u nub’
    “will u make a law that my mom can’t tell me to turn off wow?”
    “cmon guys, lets gank that maine senator! woooooo republicans!”
    “lol u got ganked by a democrat”
    “r u hot”

    Good thing Ms. Lachowicz appears to be inactive. There’s good reason people with even a modicum of fame don’t disclose this kind of information about their gaming. By “outing” her this way, all you’ve done is basically ruin that character for her.

  • I can’t find it now, but I remember John Rogers talking about Iowa years ago, and the myth of the farmer as the Heart of America. 

    He pointed out that there were more World of Warcraft players in America than actual farmers, but you don’t see reporters standing at the gates of Orgrimmar asking the Horde what they think of Obama. 

  • LaSargenta

    Should playing World of Warcraft exclude someone from political office?


    How the hell did it come to this?

    Because in politics everyone looks for the weak point and if there is no professional weak point,they’ll find something in the personal life of their opponent. Now, the personal life of many, many people includes online gaming. Sheesh.

  • lannalee

    Makes me embarrassed to be a Mainer, that’s for sure.

    Unfortunately, she’s not in my district (she’s further north, in the more rural area of the state), so I can’t vote for her. Possible that this might backfire for the Republicans, we have people traveling upstate to support her for a game night tonight. 

  • Kathy_A

    Last night, the Colbert Report had a very funny take on this, made even funnier by Stephen’s D&D rant, which you just know that he wrote himself, since he was a huge D&D geek back in his adolescence.

  • FormerlyKnownAsBill

    lachowicz: +1 willpower; +1 constitution
    republicans: +5 inanity; The Golden Amulet of Verbal Diarrhea Prevention awarded

  • agdashloo

    Being a pathetic Republican asshole should exclude anyone from public office.   

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    Are you fucking kidding me???????????? I keep trying to believe that Republicans are normal people, but COME THE FUCK ON!!!!

    My congressman-to-be (thanks to redistricting), Jarod Polis, took a day off work when Diablo III launched. He’s also an openly gay dad. Dude has SOOOOO got my vote.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    I’d support her more if she did. lol

    Sorry, but I still laugh everytime someone says [Thunderfury, Blessed Blade of the Windseeker]

    Edited to remove the font color tag, but it’s funnier with it, so I’m leaving it. :D

  • KEAplin

    We don’t exclude people who are ignorant, arrogant, irrational, bigoted or subject to absurd religious beliefs; why should we exclude someone with imagination?

  • It bodes ill against her that she doesn’t play RIFT, instead.

  • I saw this the other day. So freaking pathetic on the part of the Republican candidate. Apparently, there’s nothing real to talk about so they  target her gaming? She’s right in that they are WAY out of touch. Gaming is long past being a thing just for kids and “losers”. I’d hate to have a future employer not hire me because I play video games.
    They just keep digging that hole bigger and bigger.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    I should also note that he’s 18 months younger than me, and Jewish, which I am half.

    For the first time in my life, I have an elected representative who really represents me, in particular.

    It’s pretty cool.

  • Bassygalore

    “…this pretty much re-affirms my belief that the current GOP is led by middle school bullies.”
    This ^Thank you! I am so glad that someone else shares this view with me…

  • MisterAntrobus

    Aside from the absurdity of this incident and the party politics involved, it’s a symptom of a larger problem that has bothered me for a long time: Too few of our elected officials in either party understand the Internet, or much about digital technology in general. It has become an integral part of our economy and culture, yet so many legislators – because of age, indifference, or maybe basic lack of technical aptitude – don’t seem to have any clue about how any of it operates, except as another place they have to worry about distributing campaign information.

    Meanwhile, they’re being asked to consider important policy on things like censorship, copyright, information security, etc., without a working knowledge of the Internet, so they can be led by the nose by lobbyists who do know what’s up, like the entertainment companies who pushed for SOPA. One of the House sponsors of SOPA proudly boasted that he could barely use his email, for crying out loud! This is a very silly example of a phenomenon that does have serious repercussions.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    It might, if anybody played RIFT. :P

  • LaSargenta

     Yeah, once upon a time that was considered a requisite (!) for advancing to statesmanship.

  • Tonio Kruger

    Ironically, one of the most conservative and Republican of my former co-workers was a big WoW enthusiast. And somehow I doubt she’s the only such person here in Texas.

    I’m guessing that the GOP either doesn’t have a clue as to the real interests of their would-be constituents or they frankly don’t give a damn.

  • MC

     I am just thinking about some of those people on the Science Committee who reject evolution and in at least one case, the Big Bang theory.

  • Tonio Kruger

    Somehow I don’t see a game named Diablo III being all that popular with either the Religious Right or the English-only crowd. ;-)

  • MisterAntrobus

     That’s also a huge problem.

  • LaSargenta

    They keep telling their constituents what they really want…and who they really are…talk about govt control!

  • That would be these people. And they’re all Republicans.

    But “there’s no difference between the parties, you’re screwed no matter who’s in power, elections don’t make a difference, there’s no use in voting, Carlin was right,” blah blah blah.

  •  I bet a lot of her constituents play WoW…shows that she’s a real person just like they are. I don’t play, but I know people who do, and having online personae tends not to change who you are in real life. Were I a citizen of Maine, I’d vote for her.

  • Killara29

     yes these types of people should be fired.  It’s insanity that you can be on a science committee and not believe in science.  Tim Minchin retweeted it best recently –   http://xkcd.com/154/

  • Yet another sign that the GOP fails on the issues; they have to resort to this nonsense.

  • Magsrose

    I play WoW on the Horde side (For the HORDE!!) Does this mean I am unfit to teach Kindergarteners? 

    As for this candidate, it seems to me that her opponent has nothing worse to hang on her so they’re trying to scare the lesser informed voters with this rot.

  • MisterAntrobus

     Exactly. As for the compatibility of certain people’s hobbies with the duties of public office . . . there are plenty of legislators (a majority of them Republican, I’ll wager, and probably several in Maine) who hunt and fish in their spare time. If killing creatures made of 1s and 0s online is a disturbing sign of a bizarre double life, what about killing and disemboweling real animals for sport? (I have no problem with hunting, for the record. The contrast is just hilarious to me.)

  • RogerBW

    An acceptable fantasy life is one that one doesn’t call a fantasy life, perhaps? (Like waiting for the end of the world, when you’ll be able to look down from heaven and laugh at all the suffering sinners.)

  • RogerBW

    I think it’s worth bearing in mind that state politics on both sides seems to get the people who are too crazy for the national-level parties. (In some cases they also have very low election turnouts, to the point where a few dozen people may well be enough to get someone a state senate seat.)

  • LaSargenta

    If I understood any of that, I’d click like.


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