A McCain campaign staffer states on the candidate’s official website:
It may be typical of the pro-Obama Dungeons & Dragons crowd to disparage a fellow countryman’s memory of war from the comfort of mom’s basement…
Gaming as a political statement? While I am not a gamer of any stripe, I know many people who are either past or present gamers (though not always of D & D) across the political spectrum — from liberal to moderate to conservative to libertarian. Perhaps I just know people who don’t fall into this new-to-me stereotype of gamer=liberal, but this stereotype exists in parallel to larger equally inaccurate negative stereotypes of liberals, specifically Obama supporters, as “latte-drinking, Prius-driving, Birkenstock-wearing, trust fund babies.”
As I’ve previously written, the exclusion of some people from inclusion in their fandom based on race/ethnicity or gender is problematic, and the use of “true fandom” language is often used to exclude.
This gaming stereotype is no less boundary-drawing — stating that unless you want to be considered to be a non-patriotic sissy loser without a job like those Obama gamers, you should be McCain-ing it up. This political statement draws limits on what is and is not acceptable masculinity; in other words, real men don’t game — or rely on women. (And what about women? Their interest in gaming — or potentially voting isn’t worthy of comment or insult).
There have been some interesting fan-based responses, including Wired‘s McCain inspired D&D creature contest and pro-Obama D & D shirts.