You knew this was bound to happen – a politician linked to online gaming and their virtual persona. In a way, it’s odd that it took so long given the number of people playing World of Warcraft (WOW) and other online games as some might decide that being a politician is a useful real life role. But as people live part of their lives in online games, political opponents will try to turn their online personas against them in elections.
This instance involves Maine Democratic state senate candidate Colleen Lachowicz who clearly spends a little time in World of Warcraft. But she talks a lot about her life online and how it differs from the “real” world. That’s all it took for the Maine GOP to do a quick attack mailing with quotes of her life as an orc assassin. Actually Lachowicz, aka Santiaga, sounds pretty good at WOW – not sure I’d want to meet her on the battlefield with a level of 85.
Whether this has wings or not really depends on how savvy Maine voters are in her district. It’s only a game, and a popular one at that, but for those uncomfortable with the digital revolution it just might resonate. For others, it just might get them to take a second look – hey, I can vote for an orc assassin – well, actually, I can vote for someone who has a life online. Only problem is that the younger generation does not go to the polls nearly as much as the older crowd. You can see the GOP attack site on Lachowicz at colleensworld.com.
The other problem for Lachowicz – and it’s one that many politicians trip over – is that she let her online world bleed into the broader political environment. The Maine GOP seems to have pulled her quotes from discussion areas on the popular DailyKos site and if you’re there talking about killing people online, someone is going to come across it. Had she kept her World of Warcraft in the game itself, chances are no one would have noticed. One can’t blame her for the spillover, but if you’re planning on being a public figure, misinterpretation and attacks come with the territory. Just like murderous orcs in World of Warcraft.
Like I said, we’ll see more of this in the future. But it’s a good URL, actually. Lachowicz should buy it from the GOP once the election is over.