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Now, World of Warcraft Dragged into Political Arena in Maine

In a Maine Senate race, state Republicans sent out a mailing this week accusing Democrat Colleen Lachowicz of living in a fantasy world, and making crude comments in online forums at World of Warcraft. Lachowitz says, “I think it’s weird that I’m being targeted for playing online games … What’s next? Will I be ostracized for playing Angry Birds or Words With Friends?”

The mailing sent by the Republicans, however, claims, “We need a senator who lives in our world, not Colleen’s world.” The mailing also highlighted comments made by Lachowicz in online forums to other World of Warcraft players in the years 2009, and 2010 including comments like, “I love poisoning and stabbing,” and “I can kill stuff without going to jail.”

Ericka Dodge, a spokeswoman for Maine Democrats said referring to Lachowicz, “Clearly before she started the campaign she spent a lot more time gaming … She’s also a knitter, but my guess is no one is going to attack her for that.” Dodge says, since January, Lachowicz had spent about 30 minutes playing World of Warcraft as she spends her free time on campaigning.

However, it seems, to many, life in the World of Warcraft should not be mixed with what takes place in real life. Across the internet in places where the story was reported, a majority of comments were in support of Lachowicz. A comment made on Reuters’ website below the news report says, “At least with Ms. Lachowicz she is aware where her fantasy world starts and stops, while most Republicans believe their fantasy world is the real world.”

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An estimated 211.5 million people (2/3 of the population) in U.S. play video games on the internet, and in an effort to clarify that the campaign against Lachowicz was not one against online gamers, David Sorensen, a spokesman for the Maine Republican Party, said on Friday, “As far as we’re concerned. It’s not a ‘World of Warcraft story.’ It’s a ‘candidate saying outrageous things through World of Warcraft story.”

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