Oh, Maine. I’ve spent many a fun afternoon lounging upon your coast. I hear people who like lobsters and shellfish really enjoy your lobsters and shellfish. Shipyard makes a damn fine beer. But your politics? You can keep ’em. Especially when they slander gamers.
It turns out that Colleen Lachowicz, a Democratic candidate for the Maine state Senate, is an avid World of Warcraft player who rocks a level 85 Orc Assassination Rogue. The state Republican party, meanwhile, ridiculed her hobby as “a bizarre double life” and even went so far as to set up a website that attempts to turn several in-game quotes against her.
As if we needed another reason to think that modern American politics have turned into a giant load of horse shit. What in the name of Pandaria could a candidate’s gaming possibly have to do with her ability to govern properly? Oh, that’s right; anyone who plays video games obviously isn’t a boring, out-of-touch, rich white man with perfectly coiffed hair and eighteen offshore bank accounts, and therefore isn’t qualified to make decisions that will shape the future of the great state of Maine. I forgot. I apologize.
But why not elect a dedicated MMORPG player? There are some real benefits to putting a gamer in a position of power. It’s not like she’s playing Fallen Earth or Tabula Rasa, so we know she can identify and dismiss bad ideas. Questing alone in WoW isn’t exactly a good plan, so she’s proven that she can function well as part of a diverse team of players that has to maintain set roles in order to defeat high level enemies. And when it comes to economic issues, who knows better what to buy and what to sell than someone who has to determine which pieces of equipment will help her character and which she’s better off dumping in the local shop?
But in all seriousness, Maine Republicans need to shut the hell up. Ever since we first learned that Slick Willy likes his interns in blue, I’ve maintained that, for the most part, an individual’s personal life has no baring on his ability to serve the public and we all need to keep our noses out of what these people are doing when they aren’t on duty. Trying to use Lachowicz’s gaming hobby against her is dirty fucking pool; anything she said in WoW’s chat was said simply in character as a means of escapism. And we all need an escape from real life from time to time, be it via gaming, watching television, reading a book, or taking a swim in our money bins Scrooge McDuck-style. We all need to vent. We all occasionally wish we were doing something other than our jobs, regardless of how much we love our vocations or how important they are. Pretending otherwise is asinine and ridiculous.
Given the continued spread of gaming, I’m interested to see if this becomes a point of slander in future campaigns. At the risk of sounding like too much of a bleeding heart liberal, I think I know which side such attacks are most likely to come from–although I have to commend Lachowicz’s opponent, Republican incumbent Tom Martin, for not condoning his party’s bullshit. Mr. Martin, I suggest you find some new friends.
Beyond that, think of the commentary that such attacks make on voters that partake in gaming. If a candidate’s gaming is “a bizarre double life,” then the Maine Republican party must also be describing voters who play video games the same way. Fuck you, Maine Republican party.
I hope the voters of Maine don’t let these stupid attacks on Lachowicz influence their decisions on Election Day. If you’d rather vote for Martin, fine; but do it because you believe in his politics, not because you think Lachowicz’s WoW habit is scary. There are so many more important things to consider when choosing a candidate.