The gaming hobby of a political candidate has become an issue in a state senate race in New England, US.
Maine Republicans have created a webpage revealing that Democrat candidate Colleen Lachowicz plays an orc rogue in World of Warcraft (WoW).
Ms Lachowicz's liking for back-stabbing and poison in WoW raise questions about her "fitness for office", they claim.
Ms Lachowicz has hit back saying the attack showed the Republicans were "out of touch".
This may be the first major battle in what could be a civil rights movement for alternative avatars, doe people have a right to engage in other identities.
Frankly I find this pathetic. It is my understanding that the GOP is coming in third place in Maine, where this happened. Still it brings to the surface some prejudices that people often have towards people who enjoy playing other identities in virtual worlds. Several years ago I stopped talking about the work I had done exploring Second Life because of the response it got from people. I was utterly confused to see that a large group of the public seems to view Second Life as a kind of mental illness. People who spend 5 hours a day watching TV or dozens of hours a month on Facebook seem to think their lives are more real then someone who likes a 3-D VR game.
I also understand that many people running for office watch TV shows that are not real, that show killings and violence. Are these valid issues to bring up in an election? Well the thing is if you ran an add attacking someone for watching violent TV shows you would be laughed at, but it it was porn you might make some ground. The question is if VR is TV violence or Internet sex: acceptable in public or not?