Democrat Senate candidate attacked for playing World of Warcraft

Colleen Lachowicz's Orc character from World of WarcraftWe already know how important digital campaigning has become and that those standing for office have to be increasingly careful of what they say and do online.

This story from Maine in the US, however, takes that to a new level and delves into what are the essentially the hobbies of political candidates and uses the information against them.

Local Republicans have launched an attack on Democratic Party candidate Colleen Lachowicz, who is standing for the State Senate, on the basis that she plays the online role playing game World of Warcraft. That’s right it is an Orc attack.

The Republican Party in Maine has sent a mail shot to every house in her district with a picture of the character she has created in WoW. The character happens to be blood thirsty  “68th level Orc Rogue”.

The GOP in Maine seem to believe that playing such online games somehow makes Lachowicz unfit for office and they have created an entire website, called ‘Colleen’s World, devote to attacking her WoW hobby and her online posts about it:

“Colleen Lachowicz is a Democrat candidate for Maine State Senate. In Colleen’s online fantasy world, she gets away with crude, vicious and violent comments like the ones below. Maine needs a State Senator that lives in the real world, not in Colleen’s fantasy world.”

Online Democratic fundraising platform Act Blue has responded by raising funds to help Lachowicz fight back.

Under US rules it can’t give money directly to her, but it can donate the money to groups that have endorsed her candidacy.

Colleen Lachowicz, a State Senate candidate in the state of Maine is under attack for playing World of Warcraft. The Maine Republican Party just sent a mail piece to every house in her district with a picture of her 68th level Orc Rogue, attacking her for spending time in a “make-believe world.” 

Colleen is a clean elections candidate and can’t accept direct contributions, but we can show our support by contributing to these groups that have endorsed her candidacy and are working to get her elected.

The story serves as another reminder of how our lives online, documented as they are through social media, can be used as ammunition by those who have something against us.

And if you’re standing for political office that is even more true. It is impossible to tell what kind of impact this attack will have on her chances of being elected, but what is certainly true is that it is a new and unpleasant side to digital campaigning.

What next attacks on MPs who play Call of Duty: Modern Warfare?