The Republican Party often has trouble attracting younger voters. Perhaps they should try not attacking one of the most popular pastimes for those voters. According to an entertaining report at Ars Technica, the Maine Republican Party has gone after a Democratic candidate for State Senate, Colleen Lachowicz, by attacking the fact that she played World of Warcraft
, pulling a bunch of forum quotes she made a few years ago, and taking them out of context -- such as her statement that "I love poisoning and stabbing. It is fun."
Tim Lee's writeup at Ars hits on exactly the right response:
Lachowicz uses salty language in some of the comments, but someone needs to sit the Maine GOP down and explain the difference between fantasy and reality. Every day, millions of people engage in simulated video game violence without committing any real-world violence. By suggesting a World of Warcraft hobby should disqualify someone for office—and implying that voters are too dumb to tell the difference between virtual and real violence—the party is only embarrassing itself.
Later, a spokesman tried to defend the flier, arguing that it raised questions about her work ethic. How? Well, state GOP spokesperson David Sorenson used "the number of hours most World of Warcraft gamers spend playing the game (22.7 per week, on average) and the number it must have taken her to reach such a high level" as some sort of proof that her work ethic is problematic. First of all, using the average amount of time someone plays WoW is meaningless in looking at how much any individual plays. Also, isn't achieving a high level a sign of a strong
Once again, Lee's response is perfect:
It's worth noting that the average American watches more than 30 hours of television per week. Many other Americans spend their evenings and weekends at the golf course. Yet it's hard to imagine anyone suggesting that devoting 22 hours per week to those hobbies made a candidate too lazy to hold elected office.
I realize it's election season, and with that comes really, really dumb campaign ideas from nearly every political party and/or candidate, but it's difficult to see how this particular strategy is good for anyone -- especially if you want younger people to vote for you. The younger generation tends to respect and look up to gamer politicians
. Attacking them for doing something that millions of people enjoy just doesn't seem particularly smart.