-by Gabrielle Friesen, student staff
Connecticut’s kind of a shit show currently.
Here’s the newest nonsense. In the upcoming state senate race, Republicans are trying to run a smear campaign on Democratic candidate Colleen Lachowicz for…wait for it… playing World of Warcraft.
Really, I’m not making this up.
Ms. Lachowicz plays an Orc rogue (an assassin type character), which means her character primarily relies on backstabbing and poisons. Maine Republican Party spokesman David Sorensen’s take on this: “They certainly raise questions about Lachowicz’s maturity and her ability to make serious decisions for the people of Senate District 25.” Thank God she didn’t roll a necromancer.
But what would have pleased the Republicans? A paladin, perhaps? They are the zealots of Warcraft. Maybe a hunter whose animal companion is an Imperial Eagle Chick named Democracy?
A human character would also have maybe been more endearing to the Republicans. None of this monster business. Probably should have rolled a dude. And picked the whitest skin tone possible in character creation. But I digress:
Republicans are trying to say that playing an online videogame disqualifies one for public office.
Where will the line be drawn? Are politics now facing a console war? Will only PC players be allowed to run for office, anyone who has ever played on a console is just flat out of luck? If you’ve played any game beyond the 8-bit era, are you now unfit for public service because the increase in pixels has over-stimulated your mind and left you a shell of your former intelligence level? Will high scores on space invaders be touted as a necessary requirement to serve the country, but winning Donkey Kong renders you unfit? Where will the madness end?
But really, this is absolutely ludicrous. The Republicans may have failed that speech check, they should probably level up their speechcraft skill before continuing to say things that anyone might hear.
(I don’t know if they’re even at novice level yet.)
I almost made this a long, deep, footnoted article defending video games and those who play them, citing studies about increase in problem-solving skills (the U.S. is facing some problems, y’all), better micromanagement skills, increased media literacy, the ability to use the internet, etc. Or making a note of how funny it is that probably a lot of dudes in U.S. government (which is disproportionately dudes) have played videogames, and women are always struggling to be acknowledged within the gamer community (also disproportionately dudes), but suddenly a woman politician is being derided for being a gamer while none of those other dude politicians, who at least a few of had to have played videogames at some point, are being dragged through the mud. But then I realized: this smear campaign does not even dignify a serious response.
Because again: Republicans are trying to say that playing an online videogame disqualifies one for public office.
I feel like the real maturity level in question isn’t Lachowicz’ but Sorensen’s and the Repbulican Party’s, since they seem unable to distinguish fiction from reality. Playing an assassin in a game does not mean that someone does that in real life. When I still played WoW, my main was a Draenei hunter. Does that mean that in real life I’m a blue, humanoid-space goat with a trusty saber-tooth tiger sidekick, going around shooting people with a bow and arrow? Of course not.
Ms. Lachowicz is right in saying this attack proves the Maine Republican party is “out of touch.” (embed again) If playing a videogame seems like enough to disqualify someone for public office, we’re really in trouble. What’s next, really?
Anyone who’s ever watched t.v. (those cartoons feature some violence sometimes) —- Ineligible.
Anyone who’s ever watched a movie. (sometimes they’re not even set in the U.S.)— Ineligible.
Anyone who’s ever read a book (they have vampires and wizardry and shit in them? We can’t run the risk of a vampire wizard being in public office) —- Ineligible.
Anyone who’s ever enjoyed themselves (democracy doesn’t run on joy and laughter, y’know) —Ineligible.
And really, as Ms. Lachowicz points out: “183 million other Americans…also enjoy online games.” Are they too immature to vote now, too?
(I’m sure the republican party thinks yes, yes they are, what with all their bullshit voter suppression laws.)