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Technology Porn

"We'll use 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. Nor is it about technology used to deliver porn.

For tech geeks in the audience, this can be real Fanservice... even if it's not realistic but sufficiently cool.

A Sister Trope to Scenery Porn, Food Porn, Costume Porn, Gun Porn, Description Porn, Fighter Launching Sequence, Creation Sequence, Schematized Prop, Robotic Assembly Lines.

Compare/Contrast Techno Babble.

Examples

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • 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.
    • As are his insanely legged and chiseled female protagonists, especially in his recent H-works. Which again bridge Technology Porn with, well, normal porn.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • Both Yoshiyuki Sadamoto and Hideaki Anno worked on the first Macross anime (see below), and Anno also was one of the key artists for Miyazaki's Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind with its lush and detailed tech, before founding Studio Gainax. No surprise here.
  • 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.
    • Gundam Unicorn, which is weighted more towards long-time fans, is full of Technology Porn, from the suits to the cockpit displays.
  • 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 A Ts 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.
    • Nihei was educated as an architect, and some of his wider shots are sometimes impossible to distinguish from architectural sketches.
  • 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.
  • The CGI anime Transformers series tend to have Transformation Sequences that mimic the toys, i.e. they're really long and detailed.
  • Shoji Kawamori graduated as an aircraft engineer, and entered the animation industry only because there weren't many open vacancies in Japanese aircraft industry in early 80es. So when SDF Macross producer Noboru Ishiguro needed a mecha designer, he knew whom to ask: Kawamori was a friend and a schoolmate of Macrosss artist Haruhiko Mikimoto, better known as HAL.note  Kawamori then applied all his engineering training to the lovingly detailed and well thought-out series' mechas — and continues to do it ever since, having with time replaced Ishiguro as a Macross mastermind.
    • Their team also included the famous animation director Ichiro Itano, already a living legend for his "Itano Circus". Itano, just as HAL, also worked on the first (and many other) Gundam series, so there's actually a lot of creative cross-pollination between the two franchises, as both were produced (at least partially) by Sunrise, and creators often migrate between projects. It is therefore not entirely surprising that both are known for their attention to complex and detailed technology.
  • Uchuu Senkan Yamato 2199, full stop. The rest of the franchise probably as well, but its visual style is just too Leiji Matsumoto-specific and his early-Seventies look seems really dated for some, despite being a conscious aesthetic choice. 2199, OTOH, updated it with more mainstream stylings.
  • Steamboy. Pretty much every single device in the film can induce steam-boners in fans of Steam Punk. Even Scarlett's little treadmill for her pet chihuahua is meticulously detailed with gears, levers and ornate designs.

    Comic Books 
  • Featured in Steelgrip Starkey And The All-Purpose Power Tool whenever the title tool goes to work, thanks to Alan Weiss' highly detailed and clean mechanical drawings.
  • In the German comic Werner: Brösel can't draw women (at least, he couldn't for most of his career), but boy, can he draw machines and vehicles!
    • The Red Porsche Killer concept drawings in Eiskalt!, provided by the real-life Ölfuß, definitely count, too. While he drew them, he kept stating that it's possible to actually build all that. He did, and it worked.
  • Iron Man lapses into this from time to time, but Len Kaminski and Kevin Hopgood's run in the early 90s was the best example, with the War Machine, Telepresence 2, Modular and Hulkbuster armors and the "Iron Manual".

    Commercials and Advertising 
  • The new Droid commercials are just made of this. Or this.

    Film - Animated 
  • 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 
  • Back to the Future movies:
    • The Delorean gets some of this, 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.
  • In every Iron Man movie, when Tony Stark suits up.
    • The first: 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 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!
  • From The Avengers:
    • The tradition of Iron Man's Technology Porn continues, 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.
    • There's also the Helicarrier's transformation from sea mode to flight mode, plus it turning invisible.
    • Close-ups of the mechanics of Hawkeye's arrowheads deserve a mention.
  • 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. note 
  • From the Films in the Star Wars series:
    • A New Hope gives a long, detailed view, in the opening scene, of the the massive Imperial Star Destroyer flying past the camera in all of its Rebel-crushing glory.
    • And The Empire Strikes Back topped that by showing the Super Star Destroyer utterly dwarfing the monster ships from the first movie!
  • Parodied in Spaceballs, with an overly long ship passing. 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.

    Literature 
  • A literary example would be the various Star Trek Technical Manual books. Hundreds of pages of diagrams, technical schematics, and plans for vehicles that don't exist. The Ships of the Line calenders and collections are basically pinup collections for Starship porn.
  • Star Wars Expanded Universe has those too. Some for people, places, and creatures, some for tech. Incredible Cross Sections, Visual Dictionaries, New Essential Guide to Vehicles and Vessels.
  • Galaxy of Fear never goes into high levels of detail about tech, but there's an in-universe example in The Nightmare Machine, when the mechanically inclined Zak finds rare droid parts and everything he wants to see in a workshop, and excitedly chirps about this and that while his sister has the same blank reaction non-tech lovers often have to this kind of thing.
  • The "techno" in "techno-thriller", like for example those written by Tom Clancy, is there for a reason. Authors in the genre tend to go into loving detail about the hardware used in the work.
  • David Weber's Honor Harrington lovingly describes in exquisite detail the physics and appearance of starships in hyperspace, and the Manticore Missile Massacres often go into the fine points of missile warfare technology in the Honorverse.
  • The more serious works by Stanislaw Lem tend to fall into this at times, especially Fiasco.
  • Bolo covers both Tech Porn AND Gun Porn with their AI tanks that ultimately get up to cruiser and battleship sizes, and acquire enough firepower to justify being called Continental or Planetary Siege Engines.

    Live Action TV 
  • The UK TV show Top Gear is full of Technology Porn, especially with the camera swooping over the glossy curves of expensive cars.
  • 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 Its 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.
  • For Doctor Who, they sell blueprints of Daleks, a diagram which can be seen in one of the episodes.

    Music 

    Pinball 
  • Bally's Spectrum attempted to invoke this trope with its playfield design, which was decorated with illustrations of diodes, capacitors, and other electronic components.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The BattleTech fluff has a lot of this, although in many cases the writers didn't know the facts about the military technologies they were describing.
  • Warhammer 40,000 is, as an RPG about war tens of thousands of years into the future, loaded with tech porn in the "fluff"note  for the various units of all the factions, especially the Tau and Empire of Man. The latter even has an entire cult/organization devoted to studying the technology of the past in order to understand it, the Adeptus Mechanicus.

    Video Games 
  • The StarCraft II trailer. Look at the comments in the Iron Man example above. One magazine editor commented after seeing it that he finally understood why it took so long to build ''one'' marine in the original game.
  • 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.
  • 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. The rest of the Metroid Prime trilogy has some intricate high-tech looking mechanisms complete with tron lights in the intro, slowly zooming out. It doesn't reveal it's the inside of Samus's arm cannon until the player starts a game.
  • In 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 Eezo, its effect on biology, and how the interstellar 'extranet' allocates bandwidth on its priority levels.
  • 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.
  • In 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 is 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 GoldenEye 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. Possibly the most notorious case is Myst III: Exile. In fact, one of the worlds (Amateria) in Myst III has giant, automatic mechanics as its main motif.
  • Transformers: War for Cybertron and Transformers: Fall of Cybertron, just reloading your gun has it shift into place, with things like an automated set of arms loading new rockets into your launcher.
  • 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.
  • Portal and Portal 2 have numerous intricate scenes of test chambers coming together, as well as GLADoS' "resurrection" in Portal 2.
  • 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.
  • TRON: Evolution and TRON 2.0 continue the tech porn from the movies, given they use the same setting.
  • Kerbal Space Program is to Technology Porn as your run-of-the-mill H-Game is to actual porn — it takes the scenario and makes the player an active participant rather than a passive viewer. More specifically, the game is a spaceflight simulator that allows the players to assemble relatively true-to-life designs from various bits and bobs and pilot them in a solar-system-scale sandbox under the constraints of real-world physics.

    Western Animation 
  • Dexter's Laboratory spent ludicrous amounts of time on this kind of thing, usually combined with some sort of montage.
  • Just about every kid in the 90s wanted a room like Arnold's in Hey Arnold!.
  • In Bravestarr: The Legend citizens of the New Texas rebuild their town into a weaponized metal fortress which starts its long and stunning Transformation Sequence right before the Stampede invasion.
  • Megas XLR is an homage to classic video games, 90's mecha anime and kaiju movies, and American hot-rod culture. why wouldn't the giant robot hot rod be filled with more pop-out gadgets, clever devices, special attacks, gleaming metal, and industrial hydraulics than you can fit into it's two season run-time?!
  • Western Animation/Motorcity has all kinds of technology porn, starting (of course!) with the main character's cars, and moving on to the scrap-punk Motor City itself and later Detroit Deluxe.
  • In Transformers Armada, Unicron gets another chance, after the movie, to cause massive Nerdgasms, as seen here.
  • In Transformers Cybertron twenty years later, seeing Primus transform caused quite a few jaws to drop in the fandom. Lesser examples include Optimus Prime's Super Mode sequence, and any shot of him as a flying fire truck.
  • As with the movies it's based on, TRON: Uprising is practically built on tech porn, the main setting being inside computers.

Script WankIt's Not Porn, It's an IndexTerminator Twosome
Stock FootageTokusatsu TropesTheme Music Power-Up
Taxidermy TerrorSpectacleTickertape Parade
The Future Is NoirCyberpunk TropesTron Lines
Power PalmsImageSource/Live-Action FilmsIron Man 2

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