Our story today is about a social-worker by the name of Colleen Lachowicz who is running as Democrat for a position in the Maine State Senate. Colleen is in the news because her opposition is attacking her based on the fact that she plays World of Warcraft. That’s right, she’s being condemned for stating she plays a video game. They’ve set up an entire smear campaign against her, focusing on quotes that she posted on various World of Warcraft forums over the years. Most of which have been taken our of context. The primary quote that has been covered by the media has been:
So I’m a level 68 orc rogue girl. That means I stab things…a lot… Who would have thought that a peace-lovin’, social worker and democrat would enjoy that?! It goes like this: Everyone (except Death Knights…more on that later..) starts at level 1. […]
This quote was taken from a post written by Colleen Lachowicz (CMAIREAD) about the basics of World of Warcraft and how people that haven’t played shouldn’t be intimidated. For anybody who has ever played WoW, or nearly any fantasy based game for that matter, they should be well aware of the general mechanics of a rogue/thief class and their love of daggers. I almost fear for those who don’t, likely being the same ones running this smear campaign. I truly wonder if she had said “That means I shoot fireballs at things things…a lot…” if they would have as much to go on.
It really bothers me with airheads that are supposed to be running ‘for the people’ have no sound political stance and resort to smear campaigns. More so, I hate it when somebody is condemned for saying something that is perfectly legit within the context of a game, but foolishly applied and amplified to a real-world situation. If a politician walked out of a Die Hard movie and said “Those explosions were awesome, and the gun scenes were really cool” nobody would think twice about it. I doubt anybody who go as far to say that the speaker promotes vigilantes and home-made bombs. Now I will admit, Colleen Lachowicz may not be a saint by any means (there are posts she’s written about how she should drown other politicians, as well as her not working at her place of employment) but leave the gaming persona out of it – It’s just petty.
If any good is to be seen from this, it should be seen that Colleen Lachowicz has the ability to commit to a subject she feels passionate about. There are thousands of public faces that have come out admitting to playing World of Warcraft, though I see very few who discuss spec choices and their ability rotations (source); These are usually things that most casual players don’t even know the meaning of let alone the ability to discuss. One would think that a politician that goes into the community directly would be more desired than the silent type that nobody knows exists.
Let’s look at the shoe on the other foot. World of Warcraft is clearly a fantasy game, very little of it is easily converted to the real world. First person shooters (FPS), on the other hand, most often take place in a real-world environments and involve very real guns – Guns which an be obtained with little effort by most US Citizens. I could go on and list more than a dozen US Politicians that own or play these types of games, but it’s a moot point because it’s just ‘what they do in their spare time’. However, in 2002 the US Army released a government funded FPS named America’s Army targeted at recruiting young players into the Army. This game was available to anybody of any age, and included real-world locations, weapons, and very realistic graphics. The purpose of this game was to spark the interest of these young people and want to join the Army to live our the fantasy life they had in-game. The government not only acknowledged this by releasing this game, but encouraged the idea of crossing over from game to real life by doing so. Which foolish president would encourage giving angst-filled teenagers guns instead of controllers? George W Bush of course – The Republican President.
Regardless of Colleen Lachowicz’s political views, attacking a person based on gaming is hogwash. Attacking a democrat for playing fantasy game which they acknowledge that they play a video game as intended is ridiculous compared to republicans encouraging players go get guns and kill people. I don’t know about you Players, but I’d rather somebody try to be an Orc Rogue and stab me than a ‘Special’ Ops and shoot me with a rifle – At least I stand a chance with the Orc.