Hawaii State Rep. Beth Fukumoto recently attracted national attention when she was ousted in a dramatic face-off (above) from a GOP leadership role after she protested Trump's misogyny. Drawing just as much national attention, she's since started the process of changing her political affiliation to Democrat.
And notably for New World Notes, as she explained in a recent Reddit AMA, she's not only a hardcore MMO player with a level 70 Blood Elf Paladin in World of Warcraft, but studied MMOs for her Master's degree -- specifically, "the impacts of MMORPGs and other pop culture phenomenon on our national narratives":
"[O]ur American identity is rooted in finding new frontiers and progress (at best) or that we believe that somehow by conquering other people we make our identities stronger (at worst)," she explained. "I think MMOs are a new form of those same narratives."
Just as notable, she also touches on a point that I first heard MIT's Joi Ito discuss: The importance of MMOs for fostering and surfacing real world leadership skills and character. As she puts it:
I think who you are in an MMORPG - leadership positions, professions, even roles in the game (I'm always the tank) - says something about who you can be in the organization you're applying for. If someone tells me they play WoW, I always ask them specifics because I know that the how you interact with people in a game or online can be a predicator of how you'll acting a workplace.
Now 34, Rep. Fukumoto is in a new generation of politicians and other leaders who take the importance of MMOs and virtual worlds for granted -- and as they grow in influence, we'll see that perspective becoming commonplace in the very national narrative she once studied.