Culture

Scott Ludlam Will Out-Dork Himself This Weekend; Play ‘Dungeons And Dragons’ Live On Stage At A Games Expo

We asked him if he would be playing as a dungeon or a dragon.

The PAX Australia games conference kicked off in Melbourne today: a three-day expo of freeplay, exhibits, panels and stalls, featuring some of the biggest names in the games industry.

Judging by the queues to get in, you’re probably already there.

Even for a non-gamer, the agenda looks interesting: there’s panels on diversity in gaming, a pinball championship, a whole bunch of Mario Cart competitions, and something called ‘X-Wing Miniatures — Dog-Fighting Tournament’, which may or may not be a tournament of miniature dogs.

But right down the bottom on the Sunday afternoon is ‘Dragon Friends: A Dungeon’s & Dragons Comedy Show’: an offshoot from the live Sydney night (and fortnightly podcast) that’s been taking over Giant Dwarf Theatre every month since July. Hosted and Dungeonmastered by David Harmon (Zedtown, brother of the writer) and Ben Jenkins (The Checkout, Story Club), the night features regular guests like Alex Lee (Buzzfeed), Simon Greiner (Geldweldt, occasional Junkee cartoonist) and Michael Hing (Good Game Well Played).

But on Sunday they have a few special guests, like Lee Naimo (The Axis of Awesome), Lawrence Leung (Sucker, Maximum Choppage) and, announced this morning, Greens Senator Scott Ludlam, the Deputy Leader of the Australian Greens.

Yep.

So we asked him about it.

Hello Senator, why are you doing this? 

Because [my media advisor] Dave Paris told me I had to.

Did you play Dungeons and Dragons growing up? Which edition?

Yes, for years.

This one:

D&d_original2

And then later, this one:

Wow. Looking over those covers again has brought back a few memories.

What were your other games of choice? Were you a video game guy? A board game guy? None of the above?

All of the above.

I got deeply absorbed in Commodore 64 games, like Elite and Paradroid. I made-up elaborate board games instead of doing the uni projects I was supposed to be doing. And a good number of years was spent going mad in Call of Cthulhu, and a couple of RPGs that I made myself. Good times.

Are you going to be playing as a dungeon or a dragon on Sunday?

I haven’t had time to figure it out. I presume I will be playing as an object of ridicule, but I’m not sure what race.

I suspect I will have to sort that out at the last minute and surprise everybody. I might put my character in a deep coma right before the game starts, to avoid any awkwardness. Honestly I didn’t think D&D was meant to be played in front of an audience so this is all terribly confronting.

SCOTT LUDLUM_DF

Illustrator (and Dragon Friend) Simon Greiner’s rendition of what Scott Ludlam may or may not be playing as.

If Parliament was a game of D&D, what would Malcolm Turnbull play as?

A fairly high-level illusionist.

What about Peter Dutton?

Nobody wants to play D&D with Peter Dutton.

Tony Abbott? 

A Revenant, but an embarrassing one that nobody’s scared of.

Jacqui Lambie?

I’m honestly stumped. I’m not sure. The more I think about it the more abstract that question seems.

Bill Shorten? 

A few square feet of brick paving in a room nobody has visited in a while.

‘Dragon Friends’ takes over PAX at the Wombat Theatre for a two-hour megashow, from 3.30pm on Sunday November 1. Head to the Dragon Friends homepage here.

Feature image by Simon Greiner.