Rants tag

Rants, ruminations, and rambling remarks from my mad, muddled, meandering mind.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Not the Girl the ESRB Warned You About

This is a gaming blogger's dream in a hot election season. The Maine GOP is attempting to take a page out of the Lieberman-Kohl Playbook and brand a World of Warcraft devotee unfit for public office. (I just learned way more than I wanted to about the ESRB, and Tipper Gore.)
Colleen Lachowicz is a Democrat candidate for Maine State Senate. She also plays #WoW and has a level 85 (maybe higher now) Orc Rogue named Santiaga. The state Republican Party has published a flyer (see below) and launched a website devoted to Ms. Lachowicz' gaming hobby and perhaps inappropriate commentary on a (surprise) liberal blog she frequents.
Deaths per second? If it were only that easy.
Naturally, this has caught the attention of several news outlets, including Ars Technica, NBC News, The Daily Mail, Forbes, and even the BBC. Even the presumably conservative contributer at Forbes says, "I would prefer to vote for a candidate based on issues of their policies rather than their personal lives."
Looks like Family Values to me!
I try not to get political on the blog, but this is thoroughly worthy of ridicule. Even though I have identified as Republican for most of my life, this is the first election cycle where I am really not sure how I'll vote in November. I tend to be fairly centrist on political "assessment" questionnaires, which means I have issues with both sides. But the Maine GOP really takes the cake. As was pointed out by of Ars Technica:
The average American watches more than 30 hours of television per week. Many other Americans spend their evenings and weekends at the golf course. Yet it's hard to imagine anyone suggesting that devoting 22 hours per week to those hobbies made a candidate too lazy to hold elected office.
Ms. Lachowicz has responded to the GOP, thoughtfully including the ESRB's profile of a typical gamer. Sixty-five (65) percent of households in the U.S. include gamers, and 75 percent of American gamers are old enough to head to the polls on 6 November. Sounds like Middle America, just the votes we're looking for.
To his credit, the incumbent candidate, Tom Martin (R), doesn't appear to be involved in this clumsy smear campaign over a "so what?" matter. He has not weighed in thus far on the matter. I hope that if/when he does, he indicates his own desire to debate the political stance—not the hobbies—of his opponent. What would be really funny is if he plays WoW, or some other video game.

The State Department seems to think a gamer can be be trusted with our national security. But if the GOP thinks that a gamer is not fit for public office, perhaps, as a gamer, I am not fit to vote for Republican candidates.


  1. My brother, himself an international relations dude, commented that if she had decided to play a paladin instead, this would have been a much harder smear campaign to run, lol.

    But lets face it, the most hilarious part of all this is that the smearers think DPS stands for Deaths Per Second. Wonder if that's a political Freudian slip?

    1. Crap, I read that and was going to highlight it. Back to the editor!

  2. The real problem here is that she has her colors all wrong. Horde Red is clearly Republican. If she wants to run as a Democrat, she needs to play Alliance.

  3. There are so many things wrong with that attack I don't even know where to start. Five seconds with google with turn up a study showing that in 2008 42% of Americans played online games (I can only assume that number has gone up). Now a lot of those folks are surely playing poker and facebook games, but I fail to see how those activities are somehow more benign than playing WoW.

    Further, in the vast majority of video games you kill stuff. Even Mario you can murder innocent mushrooms and turtles that are wandering around, minding their own business. If enjoying killing stuff in a game makes you a psychopath, then our entire country is going to be run by soulless killers a decade or two from now. The last generation to have grown up not playing video games as a norm will have aged itself out of most positions of power by then.

    I could go on, but I fear I'm getting ranty. I can only hope that the sheer stupidity of the attack is obvious to enough voters that it backfires.

    1. Oh yeah, I'm hoping voters see through it. I think by now most searched for Ms. Lachowicz will turn up articles and posts such as this, rather than the drivel of the Maine GOP.

  4. You mean, what we do in games reflect who we are at our jobs? Damn, I guess this is why I can never hope to run for political office: http://mmogamerchick.wordpress.com/category/other-gaming/sims/

    1. Are you kidding? Judging from your Sims record, you're a typical political figure!

  5. She researched her class on Elitist Jerks (no, they didn't spell that acronym out) and picked Assasination over Subtlety, becoming more effective as a result. Good on her.

    Her other comments sound a lot like the ordinary middle-aged adults I know. Political ambition aside, she seems like a pretty ordinary person to me.