Playing Orcs is normal - Medvedev

Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev (L) passes by Medvedev's Girls, members of an Internet community supporting him, while meeting with bloggers in Moscow's Kremlin, on November 9, 2011 (AFP Photo / Pool/ Alexander Nemenov)
At a meeting with Internet activists, tech-savvy President Medvedev said that while he knew little about the popular game 'Warcraft' he felt it was perfectly normal to be an Orc.

When one of the meeting participants reminded the President that a year ago he had cited the need for a 'Russian Warcraft' game, the president acknowledged it was an interesting possibility but that he really knew very little about the game, unlike his teenage son.

The young man then told the President that he was a comic book artist and produced a first issue featuring Medvedev and Vladimir Putin as World of Warcraft characters. The president, obviously impressed by the young man's initiative, signed the comic, but was pushed on who he would play in a Warcraft game – finally admitting that in his opinion, playing an Orc was normal. Medvedev said that the issue was interesting as it practically allowed the users to live in a new separate world. He even promised to start playing if Russian programmers succeed in creating their own Warcraft version – possibly on the basis of the comic book.

During the Wednesday meeting with Internet activists, Medvedev also said the topic of the Internet is of great interest to him and will remain so in the future. He also said he would keep up his activities on the Internet in order to set a good example, to make life more interesting and also promised to broaden his online presence. In particular, Medvedev said he plans to open an account with the Russian social network, Vkontakte.

Medvedev pointed out that the Internet is a pioneering way for politicians to receive unedited feedback from the public. The president said any news reports or digests presented through official channels are subjective and the Internet is very valuable because it offers a multi-faceted and unbiased picture.

“Sometimes it is unpleasant, sometimes it is very interesting, but in any case this is a good demonstration. In general, the authorities must look for allies on the Internet to be modern and up-to-date. If the authorities do not have such allies, most probably there is a gap between them and the vast majority of people. This is bad. I try to set an example in this regard,” the Russian President said.

Moreover, the president said that computer literacy and internet use should become a qualification requirement for Russian civil servants. “I hold that if a civil servant cannot use the computer and is not aware of how one should behave in the Internet, he must simply be fired because he is not matching the requirements for his profession,” the President said.

At the meeting, Russian bloggers and journalists presented various projects to the president and asked for support, both personal and official.

At the end of the meeting, Medvedev reiterated his belief that the Internet is bringing to fruition the concept of “digital democracy” – government based on the public will via wide use of polls and referenda by means of special online services.