World of Warcraft at center of election race

A New England state senate candidate has been “outed” as a World of Warcraft player. Opponents say her backstabbing tactics in the game “raise questions about [her] fitness for office.

A press release by the Maine Republican party begins ” Colleen Lachowicz, the Democratic candidate for State Senate District 25 (Waterville), has been living a time-consuming double life as a member of the World of Warcraft community…. Today, Colleen is playing at level 85–the highest level one can attain.”

Outing her in-game character, an Orc Assassin Rogue called Santiaga, the press release accuses Lachowicz of living vicariously through the game.

The party has also set up a dedicated website for listing Lachowicz’s online comments and is sending out mailshots to voters in her district (pictured.)

Rather confusingly, the comments collated at the site don’t come from the game itself, but rather from Lachowicz’s account on discussion boards at the Daily Kos. It appears the quoted posts, some of which date back seven years, come from a mixture of both gaming and political discussion, though admittedly in a few cases the two do cross over:

Most of the time the random dungeon groups are pretty good… But ever one in a while you get the person who has no regard for the survival of the group. They want to get the dungeon done, top the meter, grab their loot and screw everyone else. These types are usually nasty in party chat as well. I tend to think of them as teabaggers.

In other posts, Lachowicz says she enjoys the game because she can “kill stuff without going to jail”, and says that virtually yelling obscenities “cracks me up.” The site argues that “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.”

Lachowicz has responded by calling her opponents out of touch, suggesting they are trying to distract voters from their own performance in office, and saying ” 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!”




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