World of Warcraft has ten million or so monthly users. That makes it pretty solidly popular — more people play it than watch a first broadcast of Mad Men, 30 Rock, Sons of Anarchy — and basically everything we love here is less popular than running around Azeroth. Most TV shows, at this point, would kill to have ten million viewers. Most websites would kill to have ten million eyeballs a month. That actually makes it one of the most popular video games in the world, month to month.
So it’s beyond weird that Republicans in Maine has decided that playing World of Warcraft means you’re not qualified for public office. And, yet, that is exactly what they’ve decided to do, attacking Democratic state senate candidate Colleen Lachowicz in a flyer for spending “hundreds of hours playing in her online world Azeroth, as an Orc Assassination Rogue named Santiaga.”
Further, they doubled-down on the attack when Ars Technica contacted them about it.
David Sorensen, a spokesman for the Maine GOP, stood by the flyer in an emailed comment: “Referring to herself as ‘lazy’ and writing about how she has been playing World of Warcraft all day and has gotten nothing done at work, combined with 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 – all raise questions about her work ethic and her ability to devote her time and energy to serving the people of Senate District 25 in a mature and effective manner.
Lachowicz, for her part, simply noted that more than half of Americans play games online. Also, we’d be curious to know why, exactly, spending three hours a day playing a video game is any different from, say, watching three hours of TV.
The point, of course, is not to get the votes of trendy urbanites like us, but to play off Lachowicz as immature and thus incapable of public service to old people who fear the Internet. Hopefully it doesn’t work. Really, considering that Maine was in the bag for Ron Paul, it shouldn’t be all that effective.