A woman running for the Maine Senate likes playing World of Warcraft a lot, but she says it's weird that Republicans are targeting her online character and not public policy issues.
State Republicans sent out a mailer this week accusing Democrat candidate Colleen Lachowicz, who is challenging incumbent Senator Tom Martin, of living in a fantasy world and calling her Warcraft forum comments "crude, vicious and violent."
A Republican website even linked to Lachowicz's online persona, Santiaga, which is armed with a meteor shard and has a purple Mohawk. But do Republicans really thing that Lachowicz doesn't know the difference between the fantasy worlds in Warcraft and real life?
"I think it's weird that I'm being targeted for playing online games. What's next? Will I be ostracized for playing Angry Birds or Words With Friends?"
Apparently Lachowicz is online playing a lot, as she's on level 85, the highest that can be reached. The mailing says she spends hundreds of hours involved in World of Warcraft and its fantasy life of trolls and orcs.
"We need a senator who lives in our world, not Colleen's world," the mailing said.
Is this supposed to make me like Colleen Lachowicz less?Because now I like her more. bbc.co.uk/news/technolog…
— Dani Alexis (@danialexis) October 6, 2012
The Republicans followed Lachowics' account clear back to 2009, when she posted things like "I love poisoning and stabbing," "I can kill stuff without going to jail" and "I like to stab things and I'm originally from New Jersey, what's your (expletive) point?"
And now the Republcans don't just have the Democrats to worry about, but World of Warcraft people are pissed off. And there's a lot of people on that site, about 9 million to be exact - and a lot of them are speaking out:
"I don't know Santiaga or Colleen and I certainly don't live in Maine. I don't know that I'd agree with her political stances or that I would vote for based on her policies. That's not what this is about. What I do know is that using the fact that she plays World of Warcraft against her in a political campaign is absurdly pathetic. This site infantilizes Colleen by using denigrating descriptions like "make-believe land Azeroth" and apparently suggesting that "the average WoW gamer" is an immature 28 year old who spends too much of his or her free time playing World of Warcraft. Stereotypes aside, playing World of Warcraft does not inherently make someone a jobless, basement-dwelling, Mountain Dew-swilling Dorito fiend (not that there's anything wrong with that). It does not make someone unfit to be a politician."
Ericka Dodge speaking for the Democratic Party, said Lachowicz has spent only about 30 minutes since January playing World of Warcraft. And she noted that "she's also a knitter, but my guess is no one is going to attack her for that."
It's not like Lachowicz is the only person in the world logging online to play video games, and she's probably not online as much as many people. According to NPD Group, about 211.5 million people in the U.S., or two-thirds of the population, play video games.
Republican Party spokesman David Sorensen said the Republicans aren't trying to antagonize gamers.
"As far as we're concerned, it's not a ‘World of Warcraft story,' it's a ‘candidate saying outrageous things through World of Warcraft story."