Maine State Senate candidate Colleen Lachowicz may seem like a sweet social worker, but in her spare time, she's a stab-happy green-skinned monster named Santiaga.
The fact that Santiaga only exists in the online roleplaying game World of Warcraft is of little consequence to the Maine Republican Party, who are attacking Lachowicz for her level-85 orc assassination rogue character, as well as inflammatory remarks she's made on online message boards.
The site ColleensWorld.com — which has to be one of the first of its kind — takes the candidate to task for living in an "online fantasy world."
Colleen Lachowicz, AKA Santiaga, is a gamer in the massively multiplayer online role-playing game World of Warcraft (WoW), which takes place in the make-believe land Azeroth. Today, Colleen/Santiaga is an orc assassination rogue playing at level 85 — the highest level one can attain. She and the members of her "Wreck List Guild" — Colleen/Santiaga's WoW online alliance — post comments to each other on liberal online forums including the Daily Kos, where they discuss politics, military policies, and WoW battle tactics.
Studies have found the average WoW gamer is 28, and spends 22.7 hours a week playing in Azeroth.
On the one hand, this is a completely unfair attack: what Lachowicz does on her computer isn't really anyone's business, especially since it has no bearing on her Senate campaign. On the other hand, anyone who has played World of Warcraft knows how life-consuming the game can be. And Lachowicz making comments about slacking off on work to play aren't helping her case.
Not to mention the fact that many of Lachowicz's message board posts are political. And while she'd likely stand behind the liberal content, the word choice isn't exactly Senate appropriate. What's interesting is the way ColleensWorld.com juxtaposes the politics with the online gaming, even though the link is tenuous at best.
the people in government jobs leftover from the Bush years scare me. I'm sure they are still causing damage.
The undead do not piss.....Don't know why they have to eat actually
There's definitely an element of nerd-shaming here: to fellow MMORPG enthusiasts, Lachowicz's comments and behavior aren't out of the ordinary. She's not leading a "bizarre double life" any more than other World of Warcraft players. To an outsider, though, it sounds bad, and sometimes that's enough to tank a campaign.
So far, Lachowicz hasn't retired Santiaga, but she did release a statement reflecting her thoughts on this line of attack.
What's really weird is that the Republicans are going after my hobbies instead of talking about their record while they've been running Augusta for the last two years. Instead of talking about what they're doing for Maine people, they're making fun of me for playing video games. Did you know that more people over the age of 50 play video games than under the age of 18? As a gamer, I'm in good company with folks Jodie Foster, Vin Diesel, Mike Myers, and Robin Williams. Maybe it's the Republican Party that is out of touch.
Side note: if you're going to talk about the other guy being out of touch, maybe don't cite Mike Myers and Robin Williams as people who are hip.
Regardless of what happens to Lachowicz's campaign, one thing seems clear — Santiaga the orc assassination rogue will never be elected to public office.