RSS
Politics’ new third rail: Dungeons & Dragons
McCain’s blogger pays for insulting gamers.
M

ichael Goldfarb, John McCain’s campaign blogger-in-residence, “has discovered an unknown third rail of politics: Dungeons & Dragons,” said Jackson West in the blog Valleywag. In two separate posts, he ridiculed the “pro-Obama Dungeons & Dragons crowd” that stooped to “disparage a fellow countryman’s memory of war from the comfort of mom’s basement.” Goldfarb apologized, apparently after he realized that many “Republican-leaning libertarians have a velvet bag of polyhedral dice tucked away somewhere safe.”

The apology might have come too late, said Steve Benen in The Carpetbagger Report. Judging from the reaction in the blogosphere, “the McCain campaign has inadvertently woken an angry nerd army.”

And some members of the U.S. army, too, said Robert Mackey in The Huffington Post. “I’m a card carrying geek” who’s played D&D for years, several of those years as a soldier. And I wasn’t the only one. There are D&D players “all over the U.S. military,” and it seems a little rich for a blogger to criticize them. When their country called, “gaming geeks rallied around the flag.”

Maybe that’s why he’s chosen to “lump Obama supporters with D&D nerds,” said Bill Simmon in Candleblog. As a “pro-war” candidate trying to make Obama supporters look weak, McCain and his team “can’t paint with too broad a social brush.” Luckily, there’s still “one social group it’s still okay to make fun of”—nerds. Well, bring it on. “Nerds for Obama, unite!”

I’ll hand it to Goldfarb, said the blog Ace of Spades HQ. “It’s pretty bold for a political blogger to play the “dork” card on anyone.” But come on, "some people seem to be taking this ... a bit too seriously.” For those who are, “I invoke the William Shatner Diktat: Get a life.”

You think this is a joke? said Bob Younce in the blog RPG Digest. I’m “to the right of John McCain” politically, but I won’t be voting for him “as long as Mr. Goldfarb remains on staff.” In fact, most D&D players I know are not liberals. But “forget politics for a minute. I’m amazed that this stereotype still exists of gamers in their mom’s basement. What do we have to do to prove it?”

EDITORS' PICKS

THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER

Subscribe to the Week