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
sunktheglow 8th-Nov-2012 04:12 pm (UTC)
UGH, I want to join Skyrim because everyone is playing it and they say that Pandaria is pretty awful, but I just cannot get sucked into another game. I gave up gaming and committed to losing weight instead and I lost 44 pounds. I CAN'T DO IT.
sunktheglow 8th-Nov-2012 04:19 pm (UTC)
I love how you're endorsing it while simultaneously calling it a giant timesuck, haha. Maybe I just need to figure out how to attach my laptop to a treadmill or something.
sunktheglow 8th-Nov-2012 04:31 pm (UTC)
Focus on Nano instead! I say this as a person who has been deliberately avoiding writing in favor of reading and baking.
sunktheglow 8th-Nov-2012 04:51 pm (UTC)
I actually do a lot of gluten-free/sugar-free/vegan baking and I put soy protein in all my treats, so not only are they lower in carbs and have no sugar, they also have about 10g of protein per serving, which is how I've survived this long, but exercising. YUCK.
skellington1 8th-Nov-2012 04:30 pm (UTC)
I borrowed a friend's bike trainer (not an exercise bike, but something you hook the back axle of your own bike onto so it's functionally the same) for awhile and tried to ride while playing the Xbox version of Morrowind. Whenever things got tense I'd stop pedaling, though, so it mostly only worked when I was running everywhere (as one does in Morrowind). :( Another brilliant theory that doesn't quite work in reality.
sunktheglow 8th-Nov-2012 04:32 pm (UTC)
But still, that's at least a marginal amount of running you wouldn't be doing otherwise, right? Maybe it'd work better if you attached it to a stationary bike, do you think?
skellington1 8th-Nov-2012 04:35 pm (UTC)
I wasn't clear -- it functionally WAS a stationary bike. The running was only in the game. :P The bike def. works better than trying a treadmill, but once you get into what you're playing it's so easy to stop the exercise without noticing it. :P

Perhaps a little under-the-desk pedal thing where if you stopped your mouse wouldn't work anymore... :P
sunktheglow 8th-Nov-2012 04:37 pm (UTC)
I need this invention JUST for sitting around surfing on the internet, to be honest. Not just for gaming.
skellington1 8th-Nov-2012 04:39 pm (UTC)
YES. I can't imagine how much healthier I'd be just from Tumblr and LJ.

We need a kickstarter! And an actual engineer...
dustbunny105 8th-Nov-2012 06:17 pm (UTC)
Sounds like you need a TrekDesk!
sunktheglow 8th-Nov-2012 06:20 pm (UTC)
NOW I KNOW WHAT I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS. Oh god, you're wonderful.
catalana 8th-Nov-2012 05:10 pm (UTC)
I adore Mists of Pandaria, but my guild is also really awesome. So I've had a very different experience than you. :)
sunktheglow 8th-Nov-2012 05:14 pm (UTC)
I haven't played it myself, I'm just going on what I've heard from friends. Is it awesome? Are you playing pandaren?
butterbuns 8th-Nov-2012 06:45 pm (UTC)
Pandaria is pretty freaking awesome. >.>
sunktheglow 8th-Nov-2012 06:50 pm (UTC)
AHHH, I will try it. I should probably not listen to the opinions of a group of gamer boys who hate everything.
butterbuns 8th-Nov-2012 06:52 pm (UTC)
Haha my only big problem with it was totally my own fault XD I wanted to do ALLTHETHINGS and because there's a massive amount of dailies, I got burned out really quickly XD But really, like, all the crap people are complaining about (dailies, gated reps/gear/profession recipes, low vp from dungeons) aren't things that bother me so there's that.
sunktheglow 8th-Nov-2012 06:55 pm (UTC)
Oh god, I'm downloading the patch now. I haven't played in forever, but I guess if I can be a kung-fu panda, all will be well.
butterbuns 8th-Nov-2012 07:00 pm (UTC)
one of us, one of us... XD

That reminds me I should probably play my panda one of these days, haha.
merinnan 8th-Nov-2012 11:23 pm (UTC)
I LOVE Pandaria. It's one of my favourite expansions so far. The panda starting zone and Pandaria itself are so pretty, there is SO MUCH STUFF to do, and I'm really enjoying the storylines in Pandaria. I'm also loving having female models that aren't skinny and sexualised (and I'm forever lol-ing at pandas telling my night elf that she's too skinny and needs to eat more!).

As for guilds, there ARE good guilds out there, it's just a matter of finding them. I've been lucky enough to be in some incredible guilds on the servers I play on, all of which I joined because I had RL friends in them who recommended them to me.
sunktheglow 8th-Nov-2012 11:24 pm (UTC)
I'm actually downloading the expansions. Can't wait to try a panda now that I've gotten good reviews from everyone. What server do you use? Maybe I'm picking all the wrong ones.
merinnan 8th-Nov-2012 11:37 pm (UTC)
My main server is Steamwheedle Cartel (US), where I play both factions. I also have toons of both factions on Proudmoore (US), where I have met some of the friendliest people to date in WoW, and Alliance on Dragonblight (US) and Horde on Kirin Tor (US).

I have been wanting for ages to join 'Daughters of the Horde' or 'Daughters of the Alliance' on Bronzebeard (US), which are a pair of sister all-woman guilds made up of a lot of wow_ladies members, but I really don't have time for yet more toons :-D
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