i wasnt able to post this in the podcast but gekitsu brought up a point, they wanted to see giant robots baking. it made me ponder what goes on with robot performances and audiences.
you know there is something i have been thinking about for 20 years regarding robots and audience.
when i was in college they decided to have a "robot night". a bunch of little kids showed up with their parents. the "robot night movie" was Termi nator 2. a bunch of the little kids were crying as their parents walked them out the door.
maybe we need to give up on our obsession with building violent robots. they are fun in movies, but in real life we have emotional attachments to robots.
its the difference between watching a war movie, and seeing real war footage. one is fun, the other is horrifying. i know that artists and writers who describe war have described the beauty of it, the awful paradox, but that is the point. we are of dual nature, primates descended from other primates, who show affection and social bonding, but also tendencies for hom icide and infan ticide.
when we have robots actually kill ing each other, it triggers part of us that thinks its horrifying, even as it is in theory, supposed to be fun. and its supposed to be fun because its fake, a fake battle, and everything can be repaired.
but its not fake. they are really robots. they really are ripping each other apart. something inside of us emotionally connects with them. they are physical beings. that we created.
we would not want to watch humans ki lling each other, but we would watch humans race each other.
we would watch humans play sports against each other
we would watch humans dance and sing and bake.
we have seen so many robot fighting shows come and go over the past 30 years, i dont think its a question of timing or production values or ho sts or teams. or rules, or budgets, or anything else.
i think maybe it is a fundamental question of how we feel about robots, and how we relate to them as a kind of... new species. and there is something inside of us that watches them destroying each other, and maybe it is unspoken, but its there nonetheless, that says "i enjoy this, but i also kind of h ate it.".
we want, somehow robots to reflect the better parts of ourselves, not the worst. movies are only fun because they are fake, and nobody gets hurt. sports are only fun because of, literally, sportsmanship. robot figh ting just doesnt fall into that category, because these little robots we build just get slaughtered. and its not an accidental byproduct... its the point of the show.
thats my theory. probably there will always be some niche for a robot fight league just like there are people who enjoy human beings fight league. but thats the point. bare fist fighting is a niche. and once people figure out all the famous bare fist fight stars probably have brain damage and will get parkin sons in their 40s, it will probably di e out as a sport too. something in us just rebels against our animal nature, even as it is fascinated by it.