Wednesday, November 7, 2012

For the Horde! WoW-playing politician wins State Senate seat in Maine

Election night in America has come and gone, and there's plenty for political leftists to celebrate.  Outside of the obvious win for Obama, marriage equality initiatives passed in Maryland, Maine and Washington (while Minnesota voted down a ban on same-sex marriage), and recreational use of marijuana was legalized in two states (Washington and Colorado).

Up in the hinterlands of Maine, however, there was another reason to celebrate.  Colleen Lachowicz - a proud and avid player of World of Warcraft - won a state senate seat after being criticized by her opponent for daring to play an MMORPG in her spare time.

If you think about it, currying votes from constituents is a lot like a RL fetch quest...

Back in the beginning of October, Lachowicz's hobby became the target of a smear campaign by her opponents in the Republican party who alleged that Lachowicz was unfit to be in the state senate because she played an online video game.

These Republicans then - maturely - set up a smear website to try and scare voters not familiar with WoW into thinking that Lachowicz was a homicidal maniac because she played a Rogue and was a Horde player to boot.  Lachowicz defended herself by wisely stating that because she played online games, she was just like millions of other Americans.

Once the polls closed last night, it appeared that the people of Maine agreed with Lachowicz -  she had successfully ousted one-term Republican Sen. Thomas Martin of Benton to win Senate District 25.  Once again proud to let her geek flag fly, Lachowicz posted the following to her campaign's Facebook page to celebrate:



Lachowicz's win was not managed in a vacuum, however, and it represents a showing of solidarity from the online gaming community.

After seeing the attacks leveled against a fellow gamer, many of Lachowicz guildmates joined with several good-natured gamers to raise money for  Lachowicz's campaign.  Unfortunately, no good deed goes unpunished and the $6,300 raised by these benefactors was the target of a complaint by Lachowicz's opponents who argued that it was an unfair campaign contribution.  The Maine Ethics Commission disagreed with the Republicans, thankfully, and unanimously voted not to investigate Lachowicz's campaign.

So... way to go, voters of Maine!  I'm going out for Lobster this weekend to celebrate.