This story is an interesting one. Republicans in the state of Maine have created a website dedicated to Colleen Lachowicz, who is running for the state senate in Waterville, Maine. The website, www.colleensworld.com, claims that Lachowicz is unfit to run for office because she plays the massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) World of Warcraft (WoW).
Why do I find this story interesting? Have you ever heard of "Apple fan-boys?" You know, those guys who buy anything and everything that is Apple and seem to worship everything Apple ever put into the marketplace. Well, I am an avid gamer. In particular you could call me a "Blizzard fan-boy." Blizzard Entertainment is the company that made WoW. See where I am going with this?
I have played WoW since before it was even released to the public by participating in their beta test for the game in the fall of 2004. The game was released in early 2005, and since that time it has literally broken the rules in the world of gaming. Before WoW, MMORPG's were relatively small niche markets that had a very specific audience. They rarely had more than a couple hundred thousand players because unlike other games, MMORPG's require monthly subscriptions. WoW broke the rules. To this day, they have over 10 million subscribers worldwide and have had as many as 12 million at their peak. This is almost 8 years after release.
WoW is immensely popular because it is easy to access, doesn't require a high powered computer to play, and allows people to form friendships with people from around the world without ever meeting them in person. Everyone from your average joe, to actors and lawyers has at one point played WoW. So why should it surprise anyone that a politician has played WoW?
It shouldn't surprise anyone. Not only that, it shouldn't be a disqualify one for running for office. In fact, I would argue that the suggestion that playing WoW means that one cannot run for public office, shows a level of ignorance that makes me suspect that the person or party issuing that suggestion is the one who shouldn't run for public office. It is insane to suggest that because Colleen Lachowicz plays WoW, she is unfit for office. The Republican Party in Maine should be ashamed and embarrassed.
As a side note, I browsed through the site and checked out Lachowicz's character profile. First off, the site contains incorrect information, claiming that level 85 is "the highest level one can attain." I'll give them a break on that one though, because the level cap was only raised last week to level 90. Republicans sent out postcards with specific quotes that Lachowicz made on them, which also contains mistakes. In one quote they add in parenthesis that dps means "Deaths Per Second" because increasing one's "Deaths Per Second" sounds sinister. In fact, dps stands for Damage Per Second, which is a main factor when gearing up your character to play higher level content. Finally, when I looked at Lachowicz's character profile I noticed that while her character was at max level during the last expansion, her gear was sub-par at best and contained zero raid quality gear. What that means is that while she did play a fair amount, she did not play raids in WoW, which is the most time-consuming part of the game. (A good raid group will play a minimum of 12-20 hours per week together.)
It's rare that two of my favorite things, politics and gaming, collide. This was a fun story to come across! What do you think? Should playing WoW disqualify someone from running for public office?