A Senate candidate in the American state of Maine has been attacked on the grounds of comments she made in relation with online game World of Warcraft. But as her opponent discovered, the power of the internet should not be underestimated.
Colleen Lachowicz, the Democrat candidate for the Maine state senate, has become the victim of a smear campaign by the Republican opposition coined "Colleen's World".
Maine Republican party attacked her on the grounds of some comments made in the context of the game. The party argued that her choice of pastime proved that she was not fit for the position of senator as she lived in her "own world", making comments deemed "violent" and unfit for a senator.
The campaign has used some of her comments about the game to turn electors against her. It played up one Lachowicz quote in which she said she enjoyed stabbing enemies - a lot. According to David Sorensen, communications director of the Maine Republican party, the comments Lachowicz made in the game are "shockingly offensive and crude."
The campaign may have backfired, however, and has been met with a robust response on Lachowicz's campaign website.
Her campaign team says that 183 million Americans also enjoy online gaming and targeting her as being unfit for office because of her leisure activities risks alienating a large percentage of the population.
The story has exposed Lachowicz to international interest and people from all over the world have left comments on her website, even going so far as offering to fund her campaign and pledging support - even though they cannot vote for her.
"This may be the best thing that could ever happen to her," said one commentator.
This article was edited to reflect clarifications made by the Maine Republican Party, notably about Senator Tom Martin's detachement to the whole affair.