ONTD Political

She's not serving me, she's serving the lich king!

7:18 am - 11/08/2012
Despite what the Republican Party of Maine might want people to believe, playing "World of Warcraft" does not make a person unfit to hold office.

Or so Colleen Lachowicz proved Tuesday night.


Lachowicz plays "World of Warcraft" as a level-85 orc named Santiaga. She is also a newly elected state senator in Maine.

Lachowicz, a Democrat, beat Republican incumbent Thomas Martin Jr. to become the senator-elect for Maine's District 25 — this after the Republican Party of Maine launched a campaign to out her love of the fantasy role-playing game.

Maine's GOP had accused Lachowicz — a 48-year-old health-care worker — of living a "bizarre double life" and set up a website revealing her participation in "World of Warcraft." Not only did the site show off a picture of the orc rogue assassin character she plays, it also dug up online comments she made about her love of the (sometimes violent) game. The Republican Party also sent out mailers as well as a press release claiming her "disturbing alter-ego" had been "revealed."

But while the Maine GOP had hoped the "World of Warcraft" outing would sour people on her as a candidate, it seemed to have the exact opposite effect. Lachowicz suddenly found herself in the international spotlight, appearing in headlines and on news programs around the world (check out my interview with her here) as gamers flocked to her defense and showered her with support.

And then, on Tuesday night, Lachowicz beat Martin with the final vote tally at 8,666 to 7,753. Despite the small numbers, it was a big win, especially since the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee had labeled Maine's District 25 state senate race one of the key battlegrounds in the country.

"I’m so glad people were able to reject the negative personal attacks that have no place in politics," she told NBC News by phone Wednesday. "It really should be about talking to people about what they want in their government. Not the negative stuff. No one needs that."

She said that she believes, ultimately, the Republican attacks backfired on the party.

"So many people in the district were just appalled," she said. "And a lot of the people I talked to were young, first-time voters and they seemed to be the most incensed by it. They saw it as a personal attack over something that is a normal activity these days — to play video games. And I heard some people say, 'Oh they're saying the same thing about me.'"

Indeed, as news of Lachowicz's win has spread, gamers from around the world have flocked to her Facebook page to offer congratulations.

"My heartfelt congratulations, Santiaga. I hope (and I really believe) that you will perform as good in your new office as you have in your duties as a Rogue of the Horde," wrote supporter Victor Börjesson.

Kathryn Welteroth, a level-90 Worgen from Massachusetts, quipped, "New achievement unlocked: obtain government position. Congratulations!"

And for all her gaming fans, Lachowicz posted a familiar tune — the victory fanfare from the Final Fantasy games.



Lackowicz had previously told NBC News that she had had to put her "WoW"-playing on hold because she had been so busy with the campaign. But now?

She says Blizzard sent her copy of the latest "World of Warcraft" expansion — "Mists of Pandaria." It was signed by the entire development team. After she catches up on her sleep, she plans to give it a play.


source wants more Pokemon trainers in the House
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darth_eldritch 8th-Nov-2012 03:34 pm (UTC)
So glad she won!!!!

Gamers of the world, unite!
amethystcitrine 8th-Nov-2012 03:41 pm (UTC)
Lbr as first-gen gamers and those that followed grow older, nearly every politician will have a rogue orc or the equivalent of one.
skellington1 8th-Nov-2012 04:27 pm (UTC)
True dat! "Bizarre double lives" for everyone! :P
sunktheglow 8th-Nov-2012 03:45 pm (UTC)
I used to play WoW all the time and it was an A+ stress reliever. Not sure why they used it as a reason for her to not be elected, but I'm glad she got it. I want to be in her guild.
beemo 8th-Nov-2012 03:46 pm (UTC)
well, one of my hobbies is trolling black ops with progressively weirder usernames and behaviour. at least she is accomplishing something.
celtic_thistle 8th-Nov-2012 09:04 pm (UTC)
lmao really? My husband plays Black Ops--how do you troll?
moonbladem 8th-Nov-2012 04:05 pm (UTC)
Congrats Senator-elect Colleen Lachowicz!

And no kidding her outing by the GOP backfired big time. It was totally ridiculous to begin with. Gaming is a multi-billion dollar industry because guess what? There are tons of gamers out there, including myself. One of my biggest stress relievers? Playing Streets of Rage on the Genesis after a crappy day at work!
skellington1 8th-Nov-2012 04:32 pm (UTC)
This Dara O'Briain bit is relevant to this comment (and the entire article. and my life):

surrealism 8th-Nov-2012 04:09 pm (UTC)
That is so awesome!
astridmyrna 8th-Nov-2012 04:12 pm (UTC)
Yay!
angi_is_altered 8th-Nov-2012 04:12 pm (UTC)
Love this!
spyral_path 8th-Nov-2012 04:13 pm (UTC)
Yet more proof that republicans are completly ouy of touch with the average voter as well as reality.
celtic_thistle 8th-Nov-2012 04:21 pm (UTC)
Exhibit 476276846 of how clueless the Republican Party is.
crossfire 8th-Nov-2012 05:23 pm (UTC)
I thought 476276846 was "regards children as possible source of low-wage labor"?
rainbow_fish 8th-Nov-2012 04:37 pm (UTC)
The GOP is so entirely out of touch with the electorate, I honestly can't @ them.
poetic_pixie_13 8th-Nov-2012 04:40 pm (UTC)
Ngl, I often worry what'll happen if, on the off-chance my writing actually takes off, my alt handles and general online life are found out.
skellington1 8th-Nov-2012 04:41 pm (UTC)
Knowing fandom and the internet... probably legions of fans asking to friend you/join your guild. :P
underfiend 8th-Nov-2012 04:43 pm (UTC)
This is awesome... but why the "pirates" tag?

Congratulations to Colleen Lachowicz!
dravvie 8th-Nov-2012 04:49 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad she won. What we do in the video game world, shouldn't really be an indicator of who you are in real life. Everything there is so out of context.
mirhanda 8th-Nov-2012 06:41 pm (UTC)
So true. I'm very quiet and timid in real life, but my MMO characters are KICK ASS.
hilsongirl 8th-Nov-2012 04:59 pm (UTC)
Looking forward to the next race when the GOP outs someone for writing slash fanfiction
maladaptive 8th-Nov-2012 05:15 pm (UTC)
I love that a woman gamer got elected, too. They're still so much bias against women in gaming.
mirhanda 8th-Nov-2012 06:44 pm (UTC)
This is a point that I hadn't thought of. She will definitely be someone to point to when someone says you can't be a gamer because you're a woman. (And she's not a healer, yea!)

I really take offense because I've been a gamer longer than most of these boys have been alive. My mom gave me my first video game, PONG. Yes, we had PONG at my house when I was a kid. Then we got the upgraded pong with skeet shooting. That was awesome. (later followed by the atari 2600, etc.)
kaelstra 8th-Nov-2012 05:15 pm (UTC)
I love that Blizzard sent her a signed copy of Pandaria. X3

I also adore how this absolutely backfired in the Republican party's face. They are so amazingly out of touch with voters today it's kind of sad.
the_physicist 8th-Nov-2012 05:44 pm (UTC)
they did? bwhahaha! i guess it was good publicity for them
georgeslymaniv 8th-Nov-2012 05:17 pm (UTC)
WoW is not violentat all. There is about as much violence on Power Rangers. I cast fireball at your head and numbers popped up saying you have less health. sooooooo gorey!
rhyana 8th-Nov-2012 06:30 pm (UTC)
Well, there was the one quest in the 30s in the Southern Barrens where the Undead necromancer asks your toon to go out and cut up the Alliance dead for spare parts that he was using to create his Abomination. That one was a little gorey.
mercystars 8th-Nov-2012 05:22 pm (UTC)
lmaooooooooooo @ the GOP thinking that participation in WOW would be DETRIMENTAL to their opponent

another great example that shows how totally out of touch they are
world_dancer 8th-Nov-2012 05:45 pm (UTC)
FOR THE HORDE!!!
possiblyevil 8th-Nov-2012 05:57 pm (UTC)
I hope she runs for Warchief next. No more Garrosh, plz. >:(
mirhanda 8th-Nov-2012 06:51 pm (UTC)
+1
shortsweetcynic 8th-Nov-2012 05:58 pm (UTC)
This makes me so happy my toes are curling.

I don't play, but the fact that she does has NOTHING to do with how well she does her job and this election keeps getting better and better.
miffedplatypus 8th-Nov-2012 06:15 pm (UTC)
This is so awesome! :D
deathbytamarind 8th-Nov-2012 07:15 pm (UTC)
I just came here to say I'm an unapologetic Pokemon nerd and I will play the games until I die and/or they stop making them (LBR which is never). My L100 Charizard won't affect my ability to legislate and represent my state to the highest standards.
webbgirl 8th-Nov-2012 07:39 pm (UTC)
NGL, I'm ridiculously happy that she's Horde too.
nonnycat 10th-Nov-2012 05:26 pm (UTC)
And a lady orc at that! *swoon*
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