After Hours

Could the online games you play affect your employability?

A woman running for state senate in Maine has been "outed" by the opposing party for being an experience WoW player. Say what?

As a blogger who writes about employment issues in the tech industry, I'm well aware of the effect one's online presence has on the search for a job. I'm not above cautioning people to watch their social media interactions and postings. But this latest news piece is just a notch above (or below?) that.

Colleen Lachowicz, a Democratic candidate running for State Senate in Maine, has recently been "outed" for her participation in World of Warcraft. Lachowicz, a level 85 orc in WOW, is "unfit for office," according to Maine's GOP. They sent out a press release titled:  "Democratic Senate Candidate Colleen Lachowicz's Disturbing Alter-Ego Revealed" and has accused Lachowicz of living a "bizarre double life."

My first reaction was, gee, the woman is not making snuff films, so what's the big deal? But apparently some people were alarmed at some of the statements she's made in regard to the game: "I can kill stuff without going to jail. There are some days when this is more necessary than others."

One of my colleagues, Bill Detwiler, said, "The fact that this person plays WoW (or any video game) is completely irrelevant to her ability to perform her duties as an elected official. However in the age of the Internet (where everything lasts forever), she should have known better than to post those kind of comments if she wanted to run for political office."

So what do you think? Is the alarm over Lachowicz playing an online, sometimes violent, game warranted? Or is it no one's business?


Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.

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