Alfred Urrutia (
Sat, 02 Sep 2000 20:59:02 -0700

Dom Tetreault wrote:

> For military mecha, if you're building on this huge scale, a humanoid is the
> perfect shape for one reason: psychology.

You're trying to say that something familiar (human shape) would be more
intimidating or psychologically damaging than an alien (bug, tank, etc.)
shape? I disagree. Many guys I know are fully prepared to fight a guy who's
bigger than they are but wig out when a smaller, weird adversary (snake,
tarantula, octopus) makes a move towards them. You know what to expect with a
guy, even a huge, nuke powered 'guy' mecha (especially if you've been training
in your own similar humanoid machine and have seen them repeatedly) but some
metal "shape" coming at you that could, at any instant, fire at you with
something you had taken for a side skirt or light instead of weapon would be
far more nerve wracking, in my opinion.

> But the point is, humans are inspired and fearstruck by giant death-dealing
> machines that have two arms, two legs and a head. It just isn't the same
> with tanks or planes or bizarre contraptions bristling with mega particle
> cannons. (Besides, there's always the constant human urge to literally step
> on enemies smaller than you.)

Then explain the complete absence of these battle-turning human shaped machines
on any field of battle. What really causes fear is the knowledge that the
other side is about to roll over you and that you can't stop them. This is the
same on a football field as on a battlefield. When a group of tanks covered by
helicopters and artillery is tear-assing through its opponents it wouldn't
matter that the opponents have human shaped gear. Whoever's in the groove is
the more intimidating presence. Works for ships, planes, whatever.


"Johnny Gibson's gonna do what Johnny Gibson's gonna do."

- Johnny Gibson, speaking through his people

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