I’m fairly certain we would all agree that politics is dirty. However, I think this is the first time I’ve ever heard of a politician being publicly attacked for… playing World of Warcraft. Yeah, it happened — in Maine, United States.
You see there is an election being held for a spot in the Maine State Senate. As with most all local, state, and national elections, the spot is being fought over by a Republican and a Democratic. Apparently the Republican party thinks playing violent video games is bad for a public representative because it released a flyer, shown in the above screenshot, that tells people “Colleen Lachowicz [the Democrat] spends hundreds of hours playing in her online world Azeroth, as an Orc Assassination Rogue named Santiaga” and quotes Lachowicz as making multiple comments about how she enjoys the game, such as “I love poisoning and stabbing! It is fun” and “I can kill stuff without going to jail, there are some days when this is more necessary than others.”
For those that don’t know, World of Warcraft is an extremely popular (albeit less popular today than it was half a decade ago), massive multiplayer online role playing game. Basically in WoW you create a character and play as that character in a virtual world with other people.
The obvious attempt by the Republicans is to try to paint Lachowicz as a violence obsessed fiend and as someone incapable of serving in a public position. Because we all know videos games = real life. Aside from that, the Maine Republicans wants everyone to know that Lachowicz is “lazy” for playing videos games; the following is a statement by their spokesperson, David Sorensen:
Referring to herself as ‘lazy’ and writing about how she has been playing World of Warcraft all day and has gotten nothing done at work, combined with the number of hours most World of Warcraft gamers spend playing the game (22.7 per week, on average) and the number it must have taken her to reach such a high level – all raise questions about her work ethic and her ability to devote her time and energy to serving the people of Senate District 25 in a mature and effective manner.
Well, Mr. Sorensen, you sir are an idiot. First of all, being an ex-WoWer, I know it doesn’t take that long to reach “such a high level”. Secondly, millions of people balance video games and real life on a daily basis. Just because Lachowicz loves her WoW fix that doesn’t make her any less of a responsible person than your or me. In fact, I would argue 22.7 hours per week (roughly three hours a day) means she is responsible. Trust me when I say that WoW addicts spend a lot more than 22.7 hours on WoW a week and the fact that she can have her fix but not over do it or neglect real life means she is not an addict but rather someone that likes to wind down by playing the game.
I’m fairly certain it isn’t a core Republican strategy to attack their opponents for casual game play (yes, 22.7 hours a week is considered casual — a hobby); clearly their Maine branch isn’t in tune with their inner GOP.
For her part, Lachowicz is being very mature in her response. The following is her statement:
I think it’s weird that I’m being targeted for playing online games. Apparently I’m in good company since there are 183 million other Americans who also enjoy online games. What’s next? Will I be ostracized for playing Angry Birds or Words with Friends? If so, guilty as charged!
What’s really weird is that the Republicans are going after my hobbies instead of talking about their record while they’ve been running Augusta for the last two years. Instead of talking about what they’re doing for Maine people, they’re making fun of me for playing video games. Did you know that more people over the age of 50 play video games than under the age of 18? As a gamer, I’m in good company with folks like Jodie Foster, Vin Diesel, Mike Myers, and Robin Williams. Maybe it’s the Republican Party that is out of touch.
If I were living in Maine’s Senate District 25, I know who I would vote for. And it has nothing to do with Republican vs Democrat (I’m a member of neither party.)