Republican attack on World of Warcraft Democrat backfires
Gamers defend Democrat Colleen Lachowicz, who has been 'outed' as a level 85 orc on the popular role-playing game
A REPUBLICAN campaign to expose a Democratic candidate’s penchant for playing the World of Warcraft has been described as "absurdly pathetic" by gaming fans.
Colleen Lachowicz, who is running for state senate in Maine, is a level 85 orc in the ‘massively multiplayer online game’, which is set in a fantasy world where characters learn skills, join guilds, fight one another and complete quests.
But as part of its election campaign against Lachowicz, the Maine Republican Party has accused the Democrat of living a "bizarre double life" and has set up a website to 'out' her participation in the game.
The website shows a picture of the orc character she plays, called Santiaga, and displays comments that Lachowicz has apparently made on World of Warcraft forums.
"I can kill stuff without going to jail,” she allegedly wrote in one post. “There are some days when this is more necessary than others.” Lachowicz also appears to refer to members of the Tea Party as "teabaggers".
"In Colleen's online fantasy world, she gets away with crude, vicious and violent comments," reads the website. "Maine needs a State Senator that lives in the real world, not in Colleen's fantasy world."
But Lachowicz has hit back, saying she is in “good company” since there are 183 million other Americans who also enjoy online games, including the Hollywood stars Jodie Foster, Vin Diesel, Mike Myers, and Robin Williams.
“What's next? Will I be ostracised for playing Angry Birds or Words with Friends? If so, guilty as charged!" she told NBC News. "Instead of talking about what they're doing for Maine people, they're making fun of me for playing video games.”
She added: "Maybe it's the Republican Party that is out of touch.”
World of Warcraft players have come to her defence, describing the attack as a "witch hunt".
"Using the fact that she plays World of Warcraft against her in a political campaign is absurdly pathetic," said one gamer on the WoW forums. "I think it makes the person using it as a negative look petty and desperate."
Another wrote on Buzzfeed: "Wow. I think she just got the online gamer vote.”
Others pointed to the advantages of having a level 85 orc in the senate. "Being a talented raider in World of Warcraft requires time management, organisational skills, and teamwork abilities far beyond what I've seen in most workplaces. It also requires loyalty and passion,” said one gamer, who claimed to have played alongside Lachowicz.
Another said: "If anything, the fact that her character in a virtual online game is a rogue that spent a good many talent points in the assassination skill tree means she is extremely if not overly qualified for a position in politics."