Is playing World of Warcraft so bizarre and disturbing that players should be considered unfit for public office? According to the Maine Republic Party, the answer appears to be yes. Late last week, the party launched a jaw-droppingly clueless campaign attempting to shame Democratic State Senate candidate Colleen Lachowicz for — oh yes, here it comes again — playing a video game.
“We’re not attacking Colleen for being a gamer,” Maine Republican party communications director David Sorensen denied in an interview with Polygon. “Our website and mailers are focused on Colleen’s extremely offensive remarks made in connection with her gaming, including saying that Maine’s governor must have been a child prostitute or drug dealer, and how she might drown conservative activist Grover Norquist in a bathtub.”
Despite the GOP backpedaling, one look at the mailer and ColleensWorld, the supporting website, makes the gaming slur (and the noncontextual nature of Lachowicz’s comments) painfully obvious. Clearly, whoever conceptualized the campaign suffers from a lack of cultural context. Perhaps they didn’t know that World of Warcraft is even used as a teaching tool in public schools, making gaming a natural fit for 48-year-old Lachowicz, a licensed social worker, stepmother, and licensed foster parent. We’re guessing they probably didn’t visit Lachowicz’s campaign Facebook page, where a clip from gaming innovator Jane McGonigal outlines how gaming in moderation actually makes people better at the other things they do.
Why does nonsense like this persist? In an exclusive phone interview with WoW Insider, Lachowicz told us why the Maine GOP’s embarrassing misstep hasn’t negatively impacted her campaign but still fills her with foreboding for the future of young people growing up in the digital age.
Interview: Maine Senate candidate tells why gamer shaming bodes ill for the future originally appeared on WoW Insider on Tue, 09 Oct 2012 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.