How The Republican Party Should Have Attacked Colleen Lachowicz

By Adam Ma on November 12, 2012, 11:56PM EDT

When Colleen Lachowicz was "˜ousted' as being a WoW fan there were a number of questions that ran through my mind. What level is her character? Has she ever raided before? What's her highest rated arena team? When did playing World of Warcraft become a bad thing again? I was under the impression that a few years and twelve million players later made playing MMOs just as socially acceptable as sitting down and having a drink with friends at a bar or gathering together for a movie night. That the Maine Republican party could be so out of sync with the current state of the world is incredibly sad, but what they did correctly (if accidentally) touch upon is that in bringing forth someones online life you are pulling out a part of them that may indicate with great detail how they function in the real world. More often than not how we act online directly mirrors how we act on the other side of the monitor.

There's a reason why MMO gamers heavily scrutinize one another after all, as the attention brought forth to your own character offers a lot of personal insight. How many dungeons you may have cleared or what sets of gear you've chosen to acquire provide subtle hints on your attention to detail or competency with situational problem solving. Linking achievements or being inspected doesn't isn't always just nosy prodding but can be pretty helpful in determining how well you play the game. Many dedicated raiders hold incredibly productive lives beyond the computer screen but I would be alarmed to play with anyone who told me that they were having a hard time clearing content that was months old and twice patched to be made easier. Warcraft is a game designed to become progressively easier as time goes on after all. Putting all of this into perspective it's fair enough to say that the same factors which can declare someone to be an incredibly intelligent and reactive may also oust someone as being a complete moron.

That being said it's fair game to judge any politician based upon their personal life these days, so Lachowicz should expect some judgement when it comes to her WoW character. Does she have a reasonable excuse as to why her character has the achievement The Descent Into Madness two entire years after Ulduar's release? Or what about the fact that she's never completed a Onyxia run without a member of her party being hit by Deep Breath? If she believes she's the right candidate to represent an entire state's worth of people why has she never successfully completed 25 man Icecrown Citadel? I would never vote in a candidate that took a lax position to party formation or talent tree composition; who knows how far those irresponsible decisions will bleed into her day to day life. If her political plan is anywhere near as weak as her raiding party I fear for whatever future Lachowicz would try to bring forth in the Senate.

Even more alarming is that amidst Republican charges that her out of touch persona would be alright with mutilate builds and roguish backstabbing no one on either side dug deep to get to the heart of the issue. How many lives have been claimed by her alleged PvP builds? Guessing by her lack of battleground achievements not nearly enough. There's no substitute for experience, and seeing how little time she's dedicated towards PvP (despite bold claims dredged up on WoW forums) it's clear that she lacks the invested time to lead us to an Rated Battleground victory, let alone a PUG.

And what about her choice of race? Orc? It would be interesting to see how many alts she may have and if she dedicates enough time to each one of those other races equally. A look at her zone completion suggests that her character is fairly well traveled but the world isn't just composed of Horde. Alliance players are out there to, and they certainly wouldn't want their interests looked over. Maybe instead of questioning Lachowicz's grasp on reality Republicans would have done a little better asking if she's spent enough time with all of her potential voters, instead of a small fraction of Azerothians.

Either way you look at it the accusations previously pitted against Lachowicz making the assumption that gaming would keep her out of touch with society's needs is as wrong as it is insulting. Her recent placement into Maine's senate and the incredible support she's received from gamers all over the world show that despite the gritty details that may make her a casual WoW player it's important to the people that our politicians share the same human interests as us. Not everyone enjoys golf after all.

Her win was not just a political one but a societal one, and though I loathe to enter into any kind of debate over the policies she may be in support of I would like to think that we're better off supporting the party (and representatives thereof) that can at least understand how modern society functions. That being a normal individual with casual interests does not make you a fringe outcast. It'll be a long time before gamers are able to escape the stigma that our hobby is a massive time sink for the unproductive and out of touch, but we're getting there. I can only hope that the Republican party has learned a valuable lesson in how they need to approach the public in their campaigning.

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