Earlier this year, Namco Bandai celebrated the 30th anniversary of the seminal mecha series Mobile Suit Gundam with a life-size statue of its hero's iconic battle armor. But the country's love affair with robots goes much further back than Gundam. John Funk sheds some light on why robots - especially those of the "giant, fighting" variety - are so popular in the Land of the Rising Sun.
Nowadays it's assumed that Mario has always been Nintendo's chief mascot. But for a brief period in the mid-'80s, that duty fell to an unlikely character: Nintendo's Robotic Operating Buddy. Sam Machkovech explains what went wrong with the ill-fated robot, and how his influence nonetheless lives on in modern games.
Robots in science fiction often serve to remind us of what we're not: nuts and bolts versus blood and guts; unflinching steel versus frail flesh. But one videogame robot's story is more personal than those of his human companions: Chrono Trigger's Robo. Brendan Main examines what makes Robo more than just another mechanical sidekick.
A mechanical monk in the court of the Holy Roman Emperor in 1560 and a videogame NPC in 2009 have more in common than you think. Jim Rossignol looks at the history of automata and how they've managed to captivate audiences for millennia.