Technology Porn

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"We'll battle using my new duel-disk system, because I have a hard-on for technology."

A sequence, scene, or overt emphasis on the design and/or workings of machines, gadgets, and vehicles, with the intent of showing admiration and possibly invoking audience lust for the items in question. Often features smooth pans across ultra-glossy exteriors, a sequence of parts moving in intricate and complex patterns, lingering close-ups of key components, or highly detailed descriptions and diagrams of how a device is put together.

It appears most commonly in visual works, such as movies, television, animated series, comic books and manga, where the creators put in extra effort to focus on details that might not influence the plot. In literature, Technology Porn may appear as paragraphs that go into greater detail than necessary about the tech, such as describing at length the interlocking mechanisms of a watch, or highly detailed and elaborate technical diagrams.

Any Cool Starship , Cool Tank , Cool Gun , or other type of cool machine is likely to be an example of Technology Porn. Sometimes referred to by Super Robot Wars fans as "Ryusei Porn".

While this may induce Nerdgasms, note that this is not Rule 34 with robots (aka that Fetish). Though Bender might disagree.

Compare to Scenery Porn, Food Porn, Costume Porn, Gun Porn, Description Porn, etc. A method of Pandering to the Base. See also Creation Sequence, Schematized Prop, and Robotic Assembly Lines and Techno Babble.

Examples of Technology Porn include:


Anime & Manga[edit | hide | hide all]

  • Just about every stock Transformation Sequence in every Japanese Transforming Mecha or Combining Mecha anime ever:
  • This trope is the sole premise behind Ghost in the Shell. Series Creator Masamune Shirow holds a degree in engineering and the original manga contains countless side notes that explain how many of the machines and mechanisms are supposed to work. Both of the Oshii films contain several scenes which can be considered hardcore technology porn, some of them several minutes long. The two season series does it to a lesser extent.
    • Any incarnation is sure to show several scenes of both the main characters and the antagonists carefully assembling and preparing their high-tech equipment.
    • Both films start with highly artistic scenes showing the assembly of androids. Female, of course. And naked. Up close. Technology Porn for real. [1].
      • It's a cyborg being fitted to a prosthetic body in the first movie, actually...There's deliberate contrast between the two, as the making of a cyborg is very mechanical, while the birth of a gynoid has an organic feel, especially with the initial formation of the neurochip, resembling an egg being fertilized.
    • The second movie includes a several minute long scene showing nothing but a plane circling a massive cathedral with its segmented wings flapping in the wind like feathers. And then there's the horde of naked robo-chicks spinning and jumping through the corridors while decapitating armed guards. And the virtual assault on the facilities internal computer defense. And...
  • Obsessive detail for futuristic machines and weapons is a recurring trait in Masamune Shirow's creations. He even has a recurring small arms manufacturer, Seburo, which shows up in his various works.
  • Serial Experiments Lain is full of Technology Porn, from descriptions of psychogenic drugs of the future (Accela) to Lain's Hacker Cave to an entire episode filled with strange shots of technology and god knows what else.
  • Since Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha takes more notes from Humongous Mecha anime than Magical Girl shows, it's no surprise that this is present. The Transformation Sequence focuses just as much time on the individual components of their Devices snapping together in place as much it does on the characters themselves for one, and every time a Device switches forms, it will dominate the screen while it goes through the process.
  • The works of Kosuke Fujishima like Ah! My Goddess & You're Under Arrest.
  • The painstaking detail in which the Texhnolysis process is depicted in Texhnolyze (duh) certainly qualifies, especially seeing how Doc, the doctor performing the operation has nearly orgasmic reactions throughout it, and makes clear in her dialogue that she considers it an erotic experience.
  • The introduction of MADOX-01 - see it here.
  • The battle against Ramiel in Neon Genesis Evangelion. Particularly the Rebuild version.
    • And the battle against Iruel, which was left out of Evangelion 2.0.
    • Unit 00's berserk incident. Hell, even Unit 01's first Rebuild launch counts, what with the copious amounts of hi-res CGI. And Unit 02 engaging Beast Mode.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam's first battle starts with Amuro reading Project V manual for Gundam complete with rather detailed diagrams. Supplementary materials go even further with detailed explaination of science behind almost every tech used and assembly instructions for HG model kits are often broken up with illustrations showing various internal working of Mobile Suit in questions along with description of various parts functions.
  • Armored Trooper VOTOMS being gritty Used Future setting had more than one scene of the mechs - usually Scopedogs - in various stages of disassembly and repair. The whole first 15 minutes or so of Last Red Shoulder OVA are dedicated entirely to the team modifying four ATs into Turbo Custom variants. Supplementary materials have detailed diagrams of internal workings of every mech in the show too.
  • Akira. The manga and anime, especially the motorcycle scenes. Katsuhiro Otomo's obsessive eye for detail makes for some of the best Scenery Gorn and porn.
  • Sky Blue has several long scenes depicting nothing but the motorbikes of the future speeding along ruined landscapes of a post-apocalyptic Earth.
  • Tsutomu Nihei's works often include generous amounts of tech-porn, though the actual mechanics behind them are rarely elaborated on. When it is, it's all Techno Babble anyway given how far into the future he likes to set things.
  • The only part of Haruhi Suzumiya that was made in 3D (well, obvious 3D), was the futuristic videogame "world." Tons of ships and views of torpedoes being loaded and general "technology smut."
  • This is one of the many appeals of Air Gear.
  • An in-universe example from Fullmetal Alchemist would be Winry's reaction to Rush Valley, the automail mecca of Amestris.
  • Transformers Cybertron's transformation sequences.

Comic Books[edit | hide]


Commercials and Advertising[edit | hide]

  • The new Droid commercials are just made of this. Or this.
  • This Signal Commercial.


Film - Animated[edit | hide]

  • Watching Unicron's transformation in Transformers: The Movie in the theater was a life-defining experience for some tropers. Earlier in the movie the Autobot city shifting into battle mode was rather impressive as well.
  • From Cars, the first unveiling of Lightning McQueen.
    • Similarly, from WALL-E, when EVE first arrives on Earth, particularly the intricate routine where she is unloaded from the shuttle and activated.
  • The Iron Giant: Both when the Giant repairs itself after the train crash, and when it is attacked by the Army and deploys its weapons.


Film - Live-Action[edit | hide]

  • The Delorean gets some of this in the Back to The Future movies, especially when Doc Brown introduces it in the first movie.
    • Also, the opening of the first movie, showing off various gadgets Doc has at home.
    • The refrigerator doc makes in 1885.
  • In the Iron Man movie, when Tony Stark suits up to rescue the besieged villagers. A legion of computer-controlled waldos, cranes, hoses and parts dance all over, building his suit around him with lavish close-ups of automated ratchets buttoning it up. Reaches a crescendo when his chest piece closes with a pneumatic hiss, and climaxes with Iron Man's mask slamming shut and his visor's eyes lighting up.
    • An earlier scene when Tony gets ready to try-out the Mk.II suit has a 360 degree pan as Tony runs a diagnostic to "test flight surfaces," so many shiny moving fiddly-bits. *drool*
    • There's also that one lovely scene with Tony getting de-suited/undressed by said robots.

Tony: Hey!
Jarvis: It is a tight fit, sir.
Tony: Aaah!
Jarvis: Sir, the more you struggle, the more this is going to hurt.
Tony: Be gentle! This is my first time! I designed this to come off, so... Hey! I really should be able to...
Jarvis: Please, try not to move, sir.
Pepper: What's going on here?!
Beat
Tony: Let's face it. This is not the worst thing you've caught me doing.

    • The sequel delivers, as there's a wonderful scene showing Tony putting on the movie version of the Suitcase Armor.
      • Heck, forget about the armour, just look at his completely automated holographic interfaces! Or the computers he can access anywhere in his mansion, including on a coffee table! Or his personalized PDA that he used to hack the Pentagon! Iron Man may as well be renamed Technology Porn, The Movie!
    • The tradition of Iron Man's Technology Porn continues in The Avengers, where Iron Man has a walkway on the Stark Tower that takes his suit off, piece by piece, as he walks along it without obstructing his movement in any way. The amount of motion tracking technology and smoothly operating mechanics such a device would require is insane... But it looks so cool
      • The Avengers also features the Mark VII armor (with cool features like panels on his chest that open up and allow repulsors to provide more vertical thrust) and its emergency deployment mechanism: The suit is a rocket that flies to Tony and, once it locks in on Tony's position by lining up laser beams with discrete wristbands hes wearing, pulls in and unfolds around him.
  • Michael Bay's Transformers movies have loads of Technology Porn, most often when the titular robots are transforming for the first time. The result of which is Optimus Prime taking anywhere from from eight to thirty seconds to transform as opposed to an animation sequence that was completed by the end of "chii-choo-chuut."
    • Prime's first transformation in the first movie, and the transformation in in NEST HQ in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, are both accompanied by a 360-degree camera pan.
    • Then there's the collapsing of the AllSpark from a cavern-sized cube to a block no more than two feet on a side.[1]
  • From the original Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, the opening scene with the the massive Imperial Star Destroyer flying past the camera in all of its Rebel-crushing glory.

Jonathan Coulton: "And which 80s sci fi movie would be complete without the pointless mothership flyby?"

    • Mel Brooks says on the DVD commentary that if he could've gotten away with it, he would've had nothing but 90 minutes of the ship passing the camera. Unfortunately for him, the studio insisted there be a plot.
  • A frequent feature of James Cameron movies. Even in Titanic he managed to have the camera linger just as lovingly on the heavy metal of the ship's engines as on Kate Winslet.
    • "Warning: This Ship Has Triple Screws"
  • The puzzle box from Hellraiser films.
  • A more macabre example: The Saw movies feature scenes showing off the intricacy and complexity of the various deathtraps.
  • The Star Trek movies ran the gamut on this. In Star Trek: The Motion Picture, they played the full movie orchestral theme while Kirk and Scotty toured the Enterprise in a loading shuttle. In Star Trek II the Wrath of Khan, it took a little less time, but they still showed off the model quite a bit. By Star Trek III the Search For Spock it was just business as usual, and by Star Trek V the Final Frontier it was just "get em on the ship, wham bam thank ya ma'am."
  • From The Fast and the Furious, there were CGI-generated shots showing the inner workings of the cars' engines, notably when enhancements like nitrous were used.
  • Hellboy II had a bunch of this going on, especially with the closeups showing off the inner workings of the Golden Army robots.
    • And watching Nuada's crown put itself together is like a free stripper-cake!
  • The "assembly line" teaser trailer for Terminator 2.
  • Minority Report was full of these. Especially the computer and eye scanner scenes.
  • Enemy of the State brings this to paranoia.
  • Alien, in Alien:Resurrection, especially the labs. Want some whisky ?
  • [[2001: A Space Odyssey]] is pretty much a 50/50 mix of this and Scenery Porn.
  • Tron is nothing but technology porn.
  • All over the place in James Cameron's Avatar, when it isn't indulging in Scenery Porn or naked blue Fan Service.
  • The Inventing Room in the 2005 version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
  • The ejection sequence in Behind Enemy Lines with slow-motion tracking and close-ups of each step of the ejector seat's operation.
  • Station's assembly of the Good Robot Usses from Bill And Ted's Bogus Journey combines this trope with Homemade Inventions.
  • Waterworld has any scene where the contraptions work.
  • Blade Runner is ALL OVER this trope with the Voight-Kampff test machine.
    • There's also some action with the photos in the Esper.
  • Brainstorm is made of this.
  • Any scene in a James Bond movie in Q's workshop where he demonstrates his latest gadget for Bond to use on his next mission. A great example is in Goldfinger where he shows 007 his new Aston Martin DB 5 with all kinds of hidden weapons and features.
  • Galaxy Quest, being an Affectionate Parody of Star Trek and Star Trek fandom, shows one of the fans with a wireframe model of the entire interior of the NSEA Protector. Later, when Jason and Gwen walk through the room that houses the Omega 13, we're treated to geniune technology porn, complete with awe-inspiring music.
  • The opening sequence of Short Circuit shows the construction process of the S.A.I.N.T. robot line.
  • The Conversation has this is spades. Aligning playheads, long distance mikes re-mounted and aimed by snipers, and each multiple audio pass savored for it's methodical slowness. In the digital age, it still qualifies as analog porn that would make the typical Dieselpunk aficionado blush.


Literature[edit | hide]

"These books would represent the most thorough research ever done on these vehicles and would receive Lucasfilm's formal imprimatur as canon."

    • However, that statement should be taken with a grain of salt, given the rather... Egregious... overestimations found in some of those books.
  • Anything by Tom Clancy.
  • David Weber. Notably, Honor Harrington lovingly describes in exquisite detail the physics and appearance of starships in hyperspace. In fact, almost every single time a ship actually enters hyperspace. It goes on for several pages.
    • See also the missile salvos. It gets even more epic in the later books, when tens of thousands of missiles are all fired at once.
  • The more serious works by Stanislaw Lem tend to fall into this at times, especially Fiasco.


Live Action TV[edit | hide]

  • The UK TV show Top Gear is full of Technology Porn, especially with the camera swooping over the glossy curves of expensive cars.
  • Similarly, just about every sports car commercial ever made.
  • The Viewer-Friendly Interface in NCIS: Los Angeles. McGee was practically doing a Homer Simpson-drool on it.
  • Many tokusatsu series do this, especially when a character or mecha first transforms, even in some cases where the transformation only results in a fairly shapeless spandex bodysuit.
  • How It's Made, on the Discovery Channel, lives on this trope.
    • As do Factory Made and How Do They Do It?
  • The Gadget Show in the UK is full of this. Given the sheer amount of stuff they give away and the scale of the things they do on the show, companies probably pay more than a pretty penny to have stuff gushed over (not that all stuff is shown to be excellent).
  • Modern Marvels is a technophile's dream come true, going into the history and the mechanics behind everything from knives and swords to the B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber.


Music[edit | hide]


Tabletop Games[edit | hide]

  • The BattleTech fluff has a lot of this, although in many cases the writers Did Not Do the Research about the military technologies they were describing.
  • Warhammer 40,000's Imperial Guard is tank porn.
    • How were the Imperials mentioned above the Tau?
      • It's the way Tau cannot bring 9 Leman Russ equivalents.
    • It also has Technology Gorn, in the form of literally everything the Orks use.
  • Appears very frequently in the various GURPS *-Tech books.
  • Traveller : Has tons of space tech porn.


Video Games[edit | hide]

  • The StarCraft 2 trailer. Look at the comments in the Iron Man example above.
  • Done in No More Heroes before the nonexistent boss fight with Letz Shake and Dr. Shake. The game goes to great lengths to show the Earthquake Generator powering up before Henry shows up and cuts Letz and his machine in half.
    • Incidentally, said machine's inner workings are based on the Play Station 3.
  • Samus' entrance in Metroid Prime was pretty much made to show off her power suit in glorious 3d. Echoes and Corruption both mirrored this scene, with Corruption also treating us to an extended landing sequence for Sammy's new gunship.
  • Final Fantasy VIII. Basically every FMV that isn't directly related to the characters is either technology porn or Scenery Porn. Exemplified by this FMV.
  • From Final Fantasy IX, we have Ark.
  • The intro sequence to Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake is a prime example. An entire three minutes is dedicated to highlighting every single little mechanical detail about the titular Metal Gear.
  • The introduction to Crysis, which includes the camera rushing between the ridges of the nano-muscle-suit the soldiers wear in the game, complete with the hammy "MAXIMUM!" voice-over.
  • Mass Effect has an in-game codex which goes to great lengths to explain how technology in the game's universe works, most of it related to element zero. It even goes so far as to describe what FTL travel looks like to an outside observer, and explains how spaceship stealth systems work. It furthermore describes the weaponization of element zero, it's effect on biology, and how the interstellar 'extranet' allocates bandwidth on its priority levels.
    • Visually, the geth and the Reapers are probably technology porn. (And the mass relays. And the Citadel.)
  • In the Modern Warfare series (and in the latest Call of Duty game) during loading screens, there are occasionally long sequences showing the exact design parameters and armaments of whatever vehicle will be involved in the next scene.
  • Sonic Heroes. Mecha Sonic transforms in a completely awesome and freaky fashion, extending cables and assembling rubble he made on the ship he's in. Looks even cooler than it sounds.
  • Deus Ex: Human Revolution, judging by the trailers, is looking to be crammed to the gills with this, not at all unlike Ghost In The Shell.
  • The Ghost Recon video games contain a lot of attention to details regarding weapon performance and other military hardware.
  • The mission briefings in Golden Eye Wii before each new locale is a cavalcade of tactical maps, personnel profiles, and target identifiers all spinning, sliding, and panning in rapid choreography.
  • The Myst series as each sequel came out. Oh yes. In this troper's opinion, probably the most notorious would have to be Myst III: Exile. In fact, one of the worlds (Amateria) in Myst III has giant, automatic mechanics as its main motif.
  • The opening sequence to WipEout Pure.
  • In Team Fortress 2, placing a level 1 Sentry Gun involves it quickly unfolding and setting itself up. It's awesome to watch.
  • Xenogears and Xenosaga just EXTRUDES this in a refined way.
  • In Dead Space 2, whenever Isaac exchanges his RIG for another at one of the in-game stores, it's always accompanied by a short sequence of him flexing his arms, sections of the suit moving, and the helmet closing into place.
  • The ARS in Vanquish sure likes to shift and reconfigure, as does the BLADE.
  • The Autovista mode in Forza Motorsport 4, which lets you explore a select number of cars with absurdly detailed bodywork and interiors. Detailed diagrams appear in the air above the cars like holograms, the narrator describes all the technology in the car, the engine revs, and Jeremy Clarkson gives his blunt opinion about the cars.


Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • Just about every kid in the 90s wanted a room like Arnold's in Hey Arnold!.
  • Dexter's Laboratory spent ludicrous amounts of time on this kind of thing, usually combined with some sort of montage.
  1. Travel-sized for your convenience.