Is WoW-playing Senator the Coolest Politician Ever...?

July 26, 2007 -
...he just might be. 

On Monday GamePolitics scooped the gaming press with news of a senator from Guam who plays World of Warcraft as Paleray,  a maxed-out level 70 Dwarf priest. 

The story got picked up everywhere, which is always nice. Even cooler, however, the man himself, Senator Ray Tenorio, dropped by GP to offer a few thoughts. We've verified that the IP attached to the comments comes from Guam.

Here's what the level 70 Senator had to say:
Hey everyone. Paleray here. I thought your comments were fun and I thought I’d reply to some of them.

Yeah, I have time to do my job AND play Wow, it’s cheaper and less time consuming than Golf and I think a lot more fun.

I don’t play more than [GP reader] Nate but I have to admit it can be a challenge to walk away sometimes. Some believe gaming is the problem when, I think, it’s really a matter of ‘everything in moderation,’ remembering and following your priorities, and the real cause of the problem: lack of either self-control or parental control.

True: “Government guys are just like everyone else.” And the more that is true of me the better I’ll be able to represent a great number of people of Guam.

I only WISH I got Xp by signing all the government documents while leveling to 70, oh well, and if you applied the gold in lieu of Xp, woot woot.

I agree with the sentiment “How can you not be a wow fan????” There’s no wonder on my part why there’s 9 Million players.

Finally, I’ll gladly receive your gold and you can call it a campaign contribution, mana from Heaven, or just a gift any day. Wouldn’t you?

Have fun all and thanks for your comments.

Tenorio also followed up with brief answers to a few questions from GP readers.

UPDATE: Tenorio dropped by Kotaku as well...

Comments

Re: Is WoW-playing Senator the Coolest Politician Ever...?

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Hooray! We have a Senator who actually CARES about gamers' rights!

@Brass:

What's your point? Most people here realise that even though 'Paleray' may not have the same political authority of a senator in a US federal state, it is still a step towards something gamers have known for a long time: anyone can be a gamer, and more and more people are embracing games rather than demonizing them.

Your posts seem to be trying to insult the man by calling him a "hamstrung politician" etc.

@Tritius

Um... just because he plays, doesn't mean he's an addict. I'm sure your experience isn't any indication, since what you are doing is like associated anyone who drinks alcohol with alcoholics. There are a lot more people who drink in moderation than there are alcoholics. The same goes for video games.

"Yeah, I have time to do my job AND play Wow, it’s...less time consuming"

Less time consuming? o rly?

Watch for the influx of politicians claiming that they play Warcraft now in hopes that 9 million WoW players will support them in coming elections/political campaigns lol. This is good though, it really does put a more 'human' perspective on TENORIO.

Seems like a really cool guy and I would have never, ever suspected a Senator would play something like this and actually appear (judging by armoury profile) to put a decent amount of time and effort into it.

I wish you luck, Senator!

he just might be. but he definatly would be if he played EQ2.

“How can you not be a wow fan????”

Dude, I think I just had a politician from Guam ask me a question... COOL!

I'm just not a big MMORPG gamer. I'm more a FPS gamer - Counter Strike, Tribes & Tribes 2, Planetside... I also enjoy a good strategy game (currently loving Supreme Commander, looking forward to the next Blizzard masterpiece), and an offline RPG (Oblivion, Fallout series).

I think I just don't really care for MMORPGs beause I don't like doing the same dungeon runs over and over. It's the same reason I got tired of Planetside - same base designs, same sieges, over and over... even the varying defenses offered by the players defending the bases didn't keep it fresh forever. On the other hand, I completly understand the fun that can be had over Teamspeak/Ventrillo with a group of guys you know and like. I understand the sense of comradery and teamwork you must get when successfully completing a 40-man raid. Heck, I played a combat medic in Planetside, reviving and healing, repairing my comerades, then sending them back to the front, so I imagine our game experiences are little different in that regard, Mr. Senator. :)

In conclusion, WoW just isn't for me, but to each his own. Much respect for the lvl 70 healers, though, I hear they're awesome to have on the big raids.

Indeed, Ray is a professional politician as the voters and taxpayers pay to have him symbolically represent them in his position. I'm certain that he ran against others for the position as a partisan and that he exercises the procedural privileges afforded to him under senate rules. He is surely an effective spokesman and advocate for his people in that way. However, without the "Big League" interests involved in bearing a representational vote that is more than symbolic, he is not subject to all the normal forces of real politics. It's analogous to playing "Model UN" in high school where you "vote" and pass resolutions to make the world a better place, but all the votes of all the kids in Hoboken don't add up to a single representative vote in the real United Nations General Assembly, and a field trips to the UN Plaza only highlight the impotence of such a club. The club in instumental in education, just as the "Senate" seat Ray occupies is a good platform from which to speak and advocate, but he is a hamstrung politician at best when he is elected to represent and has extremely limited power to do so. Some people wouldn't call him a politician at all, but the winner of a popularity contest or beauty pageant. Is Miss America a politician because she competed against other contenders for a crown and no political power beyond her free speech?

Gaming's pretty big with the military contingent over in Guam, and I guess that goes somewhat for the politicians. People play pretty hard over there.

All the best for Ray Tenorio's career as a flagship gaming politician. w00t!

How about public LAN games with the President at the White House?

Our generation is soon approaching that point when we take power and kick out the old coots.

Well, I must admit to being jealous of Mr. Tenorio. I've been waiting for months to get that blasted Shard to drop for my Paladin!

@Brass....

Yes, he is not a normal politician and he cant vote on anything. But that does not make him any less of the coolest politician ever. He is an indication that in only 10 short years, we will have politicans that play games as the norm in congress. THe change is comming. That is all this means.

[...] Be sure to hit up Game Politics, where Paleray responds to even more commentors, leaving only one question unanswered. Who the hell is watching Guam? [...]

Actually, I am a little relieved to see that this "senator" doesn't have an active place in crafting federal legislation. If my experience with WoW addicts is any indication, he'd be too busy blowing off his responsibilities to conquer the latest quest or some such nonsense. It's more than a little scary to find a parallel in government with the guy we had to fire at my office because he couldn't keep his head out of the land of Azeroth. Just a little sad, really.

Fantastic news, and it gives me more hope that perhaps before shoveling through all the legislation that affect these services to such a degree, it may help to actually use them to increase their level of understanding.

Up next....a senator from South Africa reveals that he has an active MySpace account and is NOT a pedophile!

As a "senator" from Guam to the federal senate in D.C., it should be noted that his vote is NOT represented as Guam is a federal territory and NOT a state. This means that his "senate" seat, while elected by the people of Guam, is purely honorary. If Guam became a state of the federal union, then this senate seat would be subject to the same power plays and political forces that govern 100 others (actually, it'd become 101 as states each get 2 senators). As such, his job would become the hot focus of contested partisan politics and whether he retained the seat or not, his interest in catering to other political forces (including the need to play golf), would alter significantly. Hate to burst the bubble, but he is indeed not the average politician, not because he plays WoW, but because he has virtually no say in federal legislation.

Lawl @ woot woot!

Good to see this becoming more common, and I couldn't agree more, all things in moderation.

I must admit, I stopped playing Eve a while ago, basically because I felt like the game was starting to polarise too much, I've been thinking about either WoW or LoTR online....

That is neat. He does a good job representing gamers and practices self control. Besides most Congressmen don't play videogames and look how much change happens in Washington D.C.

@Thomas
That would be awesome. *After finishing his killing streak on GoW, the President begins working on his speech on world peace.*

HOLY SHIT MR PRESIDENT!!!!! DID YOU SEE THAT HEAD SHOT!


/cringe

I think we'll see alot more of this in the near future... WoW especially has bought video games into the mainstream, people from all walks of life play it and its not really that suprising that a politician does... more that they admit it in the current political climate.

Who knows, give it a few years and we might hear of LAN parties in the white house.

Haha, he sounds like a great guy. He almost sounds like a real human being... which is quite rare for politicans.

Now, if only this guy was running for President...

I don't think he's that cool. Now, if he'd have rolled Horde instead of Alliance... ;)

And I absolutely agree with him when he says "it’s really a matter of ‘everything in moderation,’ remembering and following your priorities, and the real cause of the problem: lack of either self-control or parental control."

So, I suppose he's pretty much the polar opposite of Ted 'Series of Tubes' Stevens--both intellectually and geographically.

I just have to say, this is one of the best titles for an article featured on this site

I... I don't know what to say. For years I've been demonizing politicians in my mind, and looking at the current state of US politics, can you blame me?

Any senator that says "woot woot" and look like he means it gets my vote. A pity I don't live in Guam.

I think part of my soul just thawed....

@Brass

Paleray still plays a much bigger role on politics than probably any of us combined. I'd call him a politician.

[...] Be sure to hit up Game Politics, where Paleray responds to even more commentors, leaving only one question unanswered. Who the hell is watching Guam? [...]

? can possibly be fabulous topic and you informed miraculously; thank you much!

@brass,

I dont know what your problem is. Are you one of those people who hate their life and feels the need to make everyone else miserable? What makes you think we want to be a part of federal legislation. With all the "power" in D.C. they still can't get it right. You lost me on the intellectual argument Homie! Come for a visit I be glad to show you around Chamoru Style chelu.
 
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