Battlebots is NOT violence

Posted by James Jones at 04/11/2001 1:53 PM EST

Engineer on team #267, The Demolition Squad, from North Broward & St Andrews and Motorola.

Let’s be careful how we throw about the word “violence”. Websters defines it as: “Physical force exerted for the purpose of violating, damaging, or abusing”. Two robots robots built for the purpose of destroying one another and put into an arena to do just that neither violates (as in violating an inherent right) nor abuses (as in using for a purpose other that what it was designed for) either robot. Yes, they do exert force for the purposes of damaging but be carefull how you apply that. If any damaging is violence then driving a nail into board or crushing a can for recycling is violence.

When a person beats, rapes or kills another person, THAT is violence. Let’s not cheapen the concept of violence by throwing in every activity that might be aggressive or involve destruction. One robot running into another is not violence IMHO (whether it’s on Battlebots or in a FIRST match).

Posted by Thomas A. Frank at 04/11/2001 2:23 PM EST

Engineer on team #121, The Islanders/Rhode Warrior, from Middletown (RI) High School and Naval Undersea Warfare Center.

In Reply to: Battlebots is NOT violence
Posted by James Jones on 04/11/2001 1:53 PM EST:

James;

Thank you for your well written statement, which needed to be said.

TAF

: Let’s be careful how we throw about the word “violence”. Websters defines it as: “Physical force exerted for the purpose of violating, damaging, or abusing”. Two robots robots built for the purpose of destroying one another and put into an arena to do just that neither violates (as in violating an inherent right) nor abuses (as in using for a purpose other that what it was designed for) either robot. Yes, they do exert force for the purposes of damaging but be carefull how you apply that. If any damaging is violence then driving a nail into board or crushing a can for recycling is violence.

: When a person beats, rapes or kills another person, THAT is violence. Let’s not cheapen the concept of violence by throwing in every activity that might be aggressive or involve destruction. One robot running into another is not violence IMHO (whether it’s on Battlebots or in a FIRST match).

Posted by Mike Sklar at 04/11/2001 2:35 PM EST

Engineer on team #21, ComBBAT , from Astronaut H.S. and Titusville H.S. and Brevard Community College and Boeing Company and NASA-KSC.

In Reply to: Battlebots is NOT violence
Posted by James Jones on 04/11/2001 1:53 PM EST:

Amen!

I agree violence in society (the so called bad behaviour FIRST is trying to improve or get away from)
refers to violence between human beings not machines.

Too often we personalize or humanize machines especially robots. They are nothing more than cars, cranes or backhoes. Are demolition derby’s violent?
Of course not. Is auto racing violent (Perhaps but only becuase human drivers get hurt).

Intensity is the word/characteristic we should be striving for. That is what makes football, basketball, tennis, golf, racing, and yes wrestling to a lesser degree so popular in America.

FIRST should realize this and become as entertaining and intense as any other sport in America. The value/cash produced from this can then be used to meet the real objective of creating a technically aware, technically capable, intense society. If it does not than someone else will.

Does everyone know that Battlebots is creating an educational partnership and youth event! They have the profits and money to do this and know they can capture the attention of kids and change their lives also.

Posted by Kevin Sevcik at 04/11/2001 3:15 PM EST

Other on team #57, Leopards, from BT Washington and the High School for Engineering Professions and Exxon, Kellog Brown & Root, Powell Electrical.

In Reply to: amen!
Posted by Mike Sklar on 04/11/2001 2:35 PM EST:

Whether or not BattleBots counts as actual “violence” is immaterial. The point behind Dean and Woody’s statements is that BattleBots and programs like it are symptoms of our violent culture. And don’t start denying that America has a culture that tends towards violence. Anyways, the point is that BattleBots is glorifying using all this wonderful science and technology that we have to make something for the sole purpose of destruction. Even if it’s just for destroying other robots. D&W obviously are of the opinion that science can be turned toward more noble goals, and that it cheapens FIRST to be associated with such competitions. I’m inclined to agree.

Also, I think that by changing the competition to eliminate head to head and to remove purely defensive strategies, D&W have greatly increased our design options. Yes, increased. Defensive strategies tend to rely solely on pushing other robots around, and usually aren’t terribly innovative. Just about anyone can design a robot to knock others over. However, while these options are open to teams, offensive designs and strategies suffer. When you have to worry about adding armor and protecting electronics, you’ve got less weight and material to work with. And when you have to consider other robots ramming you, it gets rid of a lot of strategies and design options. Do you think some of the cooler designs like Demolition Squad’s goal lifting robot would have survived when another robot crashed into them? I don’t think FIRST should be about who can design the robot that can best resist getting beaten to a pulp while still scoring points.

Posted by Jason Iannuzzi at 04/11/2001 3:47 PM EST

Engineer on team #11, Marauders, from Mt. Olive HS. and BASF, Rame Hart, CCM.

In Reply to: The point is…
Posted by Kevin Sevcik on 04/11/2001 3:15 PM EST:

I thought Team #25 did an absolutely incredible job of defense last year. Holding that big arm out over the goal was more effective than any other defense I saw.

Yes, pushing and shoving is one possible way to play defense, and it’s usually the easiest, but you can never win a game on defense alone.

While eliminating defense makes many offensive options easier, it most certainly decreases our total number of options.

Regardless, like other people have said on numerous occasions before, the mission of FIRST is to get HS students interested in engineering. If the best way to accomplish that is through a big robot sumo match, so be it. We can have the friendliest competition in the world, but if noone wants to watch, and in turn participate, it’s all for naught. In this case, the end most certainly justifies the means.

If it helps my argument any, several of the students on my team are considering competing in BattleBots. I have to believe if FIRST was a little more bullish this year, that wouldn’t be the case.

Posted by Wayne Cokeley at 04/11/2001 6:27 PM EST

Coach on team #25, Raider Robotix, from North Brunswick Twp. H.S. and Bristol-Myers Squibb.

In Reply to: Re: The point is…
Posted by Jason Iannuzzi on 04/11/2001 3:47 PM EST:

: I thought Team #25 did an absolutely incredible job of defense last year. Holding that big arm out over the goal was more effective than any other defense I saw.

: Yes, pushing and shoving is one possible way to play defense, and it’s usually the easiest, but you can never win a game on defense alone.

: While eliminating defense makes many offensive options easier, it most certainly decreases our total number of options.

: Regardless, like other people have said on numerous occasions before, the mission of FIRST is to get HS students interested in engineering. If the best way to accomplish that is through a big robot sumo match, so be it. We can have the friendliest competition in the world, but if noone wants to watch, and in turn participate, it’s all for naught. In this case, the end most certainly justifies the means.

: If it helps my argument any, several of the students on my team are considering competing in BattleBots. I have to believe if FIRST was a little more bullish this year, that wouldn’t be the case.

Thanks Jason-
Both for the kind words and saving me the need to write a letter myself. Defense in the game allows a whole new approach to the problem. We honestly felt as a team that our innovative approach to last year’s game was taken as “bending the rules” by FIRST and that it contributed to their decision to elimination of all defense from this year’s game. Oddly, we never heard another word from FIRST after we left Orlando last year despite coming away in the first place alliance. I am convinced we stepped on somebodies toes by playing the game “backwards”. Nonetheless, if we are given the chance again, we’ll consider doing it! Originality is the path to ingenuity.

WC

Posted by James Jones at 04/12/2001 8:30 AM EST

Engineer on team #267, The Demolition Squad, from North Broward & St Andrews and Motorola.

In Reply to: Re: The point is…
Posted by Wayne Cokeley on 04/11/2001 6:27 PM EST:

As a team that lost to you guys at in semifinals last year I can certainly say we didn’t feel you bent the rules in any way. I would seriously doubt FIRST does either. We had a similar idea but the idea of building a 130lb robot with such a long, overhung telescoping arm that would get pounded by other robots scared me to death. I’m sure alot of other teams though of the idea but killed it for that reason or the fact that it the strategy didn’t play real well in seeding. If we thought of it, I’m sure FIRST thought of it. The fact is you guys executed the design more successfully than we and many other teams thought could be done. As far as FIRST not contacting you, maybe other past winners can chime in, does FIRST contact any team after the season’s over?

Bottom line, you guys “thought down” the game and had a great robot last year but don’t get a guilty conscience about forcing changes in the game this year. Hey, we bent a few robots and got some people upset with us last year, maybe we’re to blame for “coopertition”.

Posted by Jason Iannuzzi at 04/12/2001 9:38 AM EST

Engineer on team #11, Marauders, from Mt. Olive HS. and BASF, Rame Hart, CCM.

In Reply to: Re: The point is…
Posted by Wayne Cokeley on 04/11/2001 6:27 PM EST:

: Thanks Jason-
: Both for the kind words and saving me the need to write a letter myself. Defense in the game allows a whole new approach to the problem. We honestly felt as a team that our innovative approach to last year’s game was taken as “bending the rules” by FIRST and that it contributed to their decision to elimination of all defense from this year’s game.

No way. Your machine was the one machine that year that made me laugh because it was so devilishly ingenious. Not to kiss your ■■■ or anything, but your machine made the entire competition look good. You guys thought “outside of the box” to the extreme, and it payed off. Honestly, after seeing your machine last year, and again this year, I’ve vowed to enter next year with a completely open mind to what can and can’t be done. “Remember the Claw” is now my mantra.

Posted by Jay Lundy at 04/11/2001 8:06 PM EST

Student on team #254, The Cheesy Poofs, from Bellarmine College Preparatory and NASA Ames, Cypress Semiconductor, and Unity Care.

In Reply to: The point is…
Posted by Kevin Sevcik on 04/11/2001 3:15 PM EST:

Actually, I disagree that Battle Bots should be viewed in such low esteem. The point of Battle Bots is to blow up other robots which I think we all agree is pointless, but how relevant do you think the task FIRST has us do is? Its not, frankly, but it doesn’t matter. We still get to learn about how to build a robot just like they do in Battle Bots. Now I understand that Dean and Woodie’s approach is more noble, invent for several decades, get enough money, start robotics competition for young kids. However, Comedy Central is doing the same thing, just faster and in a different fasion, run Battle Bots for two seasons, collect money, start robotics competition for young kids. I’m not actually planning on entering anything on Battle Bots and I’ll always stick to FIRST because of its atmosphere of success, its just that I don’t understand why they take so much heat.

Plus once we invent AI I think the new robot population won’t exactly like seeing their friends blown up and they’ll probably vouch for congress to ban it.

: Whether or not BattleBots counts as actual “violence” is immaterial. The point behind Dean and Woody’s statements is that BattleBots and programs like it are symptoms of our violent culture. And don’t start denying that America has a culture that tends towards violence. Anyways, the point is that BattleBots is glorifying using all this wonderful science and technology that we have to make something for the sole purpose of destruction. Even if it’s just for destroying other robots. D&W obviously are of the opinion that science can be turned toward more noble goals, and that it cheapens FIRST to be associated with such competitions. I’m inclined to agree.

: Also, I think that by changing the competition to eliminate head to head and to remove purely defensive strategies, D&W have greatly increased our design options. Yes, increased. Defensive strategies tend to rely solely on pushing other robots around, and usually aren’t terribly innovative. Just about anyone can design a robot to knock others over. However, while these options are open to teams, offensive designs and strategies suffer. When you have to worry about adding armor and protecting electronics, you’ve got less weight and material to work with. And when you have to consider other robots ramming you, it gets rid of a lot of strategies and design options. Do you think some of the cooler designs like Demolition Squad’s goal lifting robot would have survived when another robot crashed into them? I don’t think FIRST should be about who can design the robot that can best resist getting beaten to a pulp while still scoring points.

Posted by ameya agaskar at 04/12/2001 7:06 PM EST

Student on team #293, Bullbots, from hopewell valley central high school and Janssen/Morehouse Engineering/Lucent/Worldwater.

In Reply to: The point is…
Posted by Kevin Sevcik on 04/11/2001 3:15 PM EST:

: Also, I think that by changing the competition to eliminate head to head and to remove purely defensive strategies, D&W have greatly increased our design options. Yes, increased. Defensive strategies tend to rely solely on pushing other robots around, and usually aren’t terribly innovative. Just about anyone can design a robot to knock others over. However, while these options are open to teams, offensive designs and strategies suffer. When you have to worry about adding armor and protecting electronics, you’ve got less weight and material to work with. And when you have to consider other robots ramming you, it gets rid of a lot of strategies and design options. Do you think some of the cooler designs like Demolition Squad’s goal lifting robot would have survived when another robot crashed into them? I don’t think FIRST should be about who can design the robot that can best resist getting beaten to a pulp while still scoring points.

But last year, when the competition was 2 vs. 2, there was no “getting beaten to a pulp.” Yes, there was defense involved, but i don’t remember anything violent by anyone’s definition of the word. And the qualifying round rule that gave the winners 3x the losers’ score made some co-operation necessary, anyway.

Posted by Dan at 04/11/2001 3:38 PM EST

Other on team - from Carnegie Mellon sponsored by -.

In Reply to: Battlebots is NOT violence
Posted by James Jones on 04/11/2001 1:53 PM EST:

Here, here! I move that we outlaw all forms of destruction including–but not limited to–all automobile crash tests, materials tensile strength measurements, pyrotechnics of every sort, and–of course–that damned Gallagher and his giant mallet. His “comedy act” only glorifies the destruction of innocent fruits and vegetables which provide us with valuable vitamins and nutrients!
Ok, seriously, Battlebots is violence. But I don’t believe it’s a type of violence that easily translates into violence against humans. And besides, proper engineering requires testing until failure. This just happens to be a very entertaining form of failure and none of the aggresion leaves the arena; I think the only problem with Battlebots is that Comedy Central misrepresents it.
BTW, don’t take your eye off the ball. There are much bigger problems out there, for whatever negative aspects you feel Battlebots promotes don’t forget it’s doing some things Dean has been trying to do for a while–like glorifying engineers.
Peace, Dan

Posted by Joe Johnson at 04/11/2001 3:58 PM EST

Engineer on team #47, Chief Delphi, from Pontiac Central High School and Delphi Automotive Systems.

In Reply to: Re: Battlebots is NOT violence
Posted by Dan on 04/11/2001 3:38 PM EST:

I have typed and ALMOST submitted a half dozen messages on this subject.

I am really on the fence on this one.

Yes it is violence, but I don’t think it is anywhere near the violence that we see in a typical blockbuster movie nor is it the kind of violence that is as objectionable as say, oh I don’t know, boxing.

Yes, this is a kind of blood sport but one where everyone knows that the blood and guts are only feaux blood and guts. Nobody is really getting hurt there.

Maybe my main objection at this point is the treatment that Comedy Central give the competition. It doesn’t have to be that way though. That is just the way they have decided to play it.

Who knows, you may yet see a robot with a name something like DrJoesCrabberHammer…

…or maybe not. Time will tell.

Joe J.

Posted by Dan at 04/11/2001 8:12 PM EST

Other on team - from Carnegie Mellon sponsored by -.

In Reply to: Comedy Central vs violence
Posted by Joe Johnson on 04/11/2001 3:58 PM EST:

What are your thoughts on Robotica, Joe? It happens to be airing as I type on TLC. The second series will probably be filmed this summer and they really wanted to get some FIRST teams on this last one but it overlapped with FIRST.
Be sure to watch in a week, April 18th, at 9PM. Myself and a friend of mine (formerly on tetam 10 and 267 respectively) compete with our spunky little wedge Hamerschlag. And for all critics out there, keep in mind that we had a little less build time than you did for FIRST and way less money, people, and tools.
Dan

Posted by Nola Garcia at 04/11/2001 11:10 PM EST

Other on team #59, RAMTECH, from Miami Coral Park and Environmental Aeroscience.

In Reply to: Re: Robotica…
Posted by Dan on 04/11/2001 8:12 PM EST:

: What are your thoughts on Robotica, Joe? It happens to be airing as I type on TLC. The second series will probably be filmed this summer and they really wanted to get some FIRST teams on this last one but it overlapped with FIRST.
: Be sure to watch in a week, April 18th, at 9PM. Myself and a friend of mine (formerly on tetam 10 and 267 respectively) compete with our spunky little wedge Hamerschlag. And for all critics out there, keep in mind that we had a little less build time than you did for FIRST and way less money, people, and tools.
: Dan

Dear Dan,
I was at Robotica and was proud of you two. You did a GREAT job and people who knew you were a former FIRST team member knew to expect a lot from you not only as a robot builder but also as a gracious professional. You guys were both. FIRST is a great foundation for so many things!!
I would like to hear from you to see what your future plans are as I saw some of your old teammates at the Nationals.
Nola

Posted by James Jones at 04/12/2001 8:50 AM EST

Engineer on team #267, The Demolition Squad, from North Broward & St Andrews and Motorola.

In Reply to: Comedy Central vs violence
Posted by Joe Johnson on 04/11/2001 3:58 PM EST:

I have to agree that the way Battlebots and Robotica are packaged for television is disgusting. I don’t watch Battlebots any more just because of the commercials on the Comedy Channel. I saw Robotica for the first time last night and my high hopes for the show since it was on TLC were dashed. I thought the hosts on Battlebats were palpably stupid. Mr. Zappa makes them look like refined intellectual giants. Why is it that networks think nobody will watch a show unless the hosts are acting like deranged morons? I may watch it next week to see some of our former students but that will be about it. Not that I’m saying you’re wrong if you continue to watch. I just think we often object to pop culture yet we continue to support it by buying the movie tickets, records, video tapes and magazines (or watching the shows)that keep it running.

My intent with my original post was not to defend these shows per se. Let’s seperate the concept of dueling machines from the way it is packaged. I just don’t believe that a robot crashing through a glass wall is violence. If it is, we have all been paragons of violence since our youth. Come on, have you ever taken a grinder to something that didn’t need to ground just to see the sparks? Violence? No.

Posted by Joe Johnson at 04/12/2001 9:25 AM EST

Engineer on team #47, Chief Delphi, from Pontiac Central High School and Delphi Automotive Systems.

In Reply to: It’s the low-brow presentation
Posted by James Jones on 04/12/2001 8:50 AM EST:

My kids (and I, truth be told) were watching WAY too much TV. My wife, clever sheep that she is, decided to limit our TV hours by limiting our choices: She called the cable company and busted us down to “Antenna replacement” level.

As a result, I have missed all the Robotica shows as well as the latest round of Junkyard Wars.

I may ask someone to make me a tape.

I will let you know.

Joe J.

Posted by ChrisH at 04/12/2001 3:23 PM EST

Engineer on team #330, Beach 'Bots, from Hope Chapel Academy and NASA JPL, J & F Machine, Raytheon, et al.

In Reply to: DrJoe Unplugged…
Posted by Joe Johnson on 04/12/2001 9:25 AM EST:

When we got married, almost 19 years ago, my wife and I decided not to get a TV. We still don’t have one and about the only time we regret it is during the Olympics and Nationals (if she’s not there).

Not that I’d object to watching Junkyard Wars either if I didn’t have to put up with everything that goes with it.

Chris Husmann,PE
Team 330 the Beach’Bots
Who probably reads too much Shakespear among other things

Posted by s_alaniz at 04/11/2001 6:02 PM EST

Other on team #57 from Houston Regional co-ordinator.

In Reply to: Battlebots is NOT violence
Posted by James Jones on 04/11/2001 1:53 PM EST:

YIKES!
When did this discussion start??? Hey agreed there’s great entertainment value for the masses if we destroy each other’s robot… We can always build weapons, but we can also build other things that are a lot more useful on a daily basis.
Robotic warfare is already a reality… and I am grateful for the people who do it to keep us safe and free, but one of the missions of FIRST is to foster co-operation. That doesn’t happen in Battlebots… (and…as was pointed out… bashing some of these robots would be like tearing up the Mona Lisa…) (Ok so I exaggerate…) Don’t forget, our robotic warplanes, tanks and other necessary military hardware were built by engineers who co-operated in the process.
As for that dictionary definition of violence… a definition is by nature broad but can’t cover every situation. As long as it’s impersonal… robot bashing is probably not violent… but how many teams at FIRST took no personal pride in their work? It wouldn’t take much to start up some really hard (and nasty) feelings between FIRST teams in a combat style competition and I’m sure there are hard feelings fostered in battlebots.
I think the FIRST teams could take over battlebots and dominate… but we’re trying to promote engineering … not warrior sports events.
There is an issue here and it’s a tough one, but my real objection is that programs like battlebots (robotica) have sold out to the entertainment business and do little to promote engineering and teamwork. Some pro sports have gone this direction and it’s not a pretty sight…
For anyone doing Battlebots… (sigh) as Yoda said, “strong is the dark side in that place…” (WHY does he always talk backwards?)
Still there is a temptation to go into battlebots and show them what REAL robots can do… think they would care for a robot that simply renders the other ineffective but not destroy it?

Posted by Nola Garcia at 04/11/2001 11:47 PM EST

Other on team #59, RAMTECH, from Miami Coral Park and Environmental Aeroscience.

In Reply to: Re: Battlebots is NOT violence
Posted by s_alaniz on 04/11/2001 6:02 PM EST:

: YIKES!
: When did this discussion start??? Hey agreed there’s great entertainment value for the masses if we destroy each other’s robot… We can always build weapons, but we can also build other things that are a lot more useful on a daily basis.
: Robotic warfare is already a reality… and I am grateful for the people who do it to keep us safe and free, but one of the missions of FIRST is to foster co-operation. That doesn’t happen in Battlebots… (and…as was pointed out… bashing some of these robots would be like tearing up the Mona Lisa…) (Ok so I exaggerate…) Don’t forget, our robotic warplanes, tanks and other necessary military hardware were built by engineers who co-operated in the process.
: As for that dictionary definition of violence… a definition is by nature broad but can’t cover every situation. As long as it’s impersonal… robot bashing is probably not violent… but how many teams at FIRST took no personal pride in their work? It wouldn’t take much to start up some really hard (and nasty) feelings between FIRST teams in a combat style competition and I’m sure there are hard feelings fostered in battlebots.
: I think the FIRST teams could take over battlebots and dominate… but we’re trying to promote engineering … not warrior sports events.
: There is an issue here and it’s a tough one, but my real objection is that programs like battlebots (robotica) have sold out to the entertainment business and do little to promote engineering and teamwork. Some pro sports have gone this direction and it’s not a pretty sight…
: For anyone doing Battlebots… (sigh) as Yoda said, “strong is the dark side in that place…” (WHY does he always talk backwards?)
: Still there is a temptation to go into battlebots and show them what REAL robots can do… think they would care for a robot that simply renders the other ineffective but not destroy it?
As a Battlebot builder and driver I feel like I have to respond to what you said about there being no cooperation in Battlebots. Being in the pits at Battlebots is like being in the pits at a FIRST competition. What you see are all kinds of people who have built robots. Guys who built them in their garage, and people who have built them in professional machine shops. People who are eningeers and people who are aspiring engineers, as well as people who just love to build these things. At the last competition in Las Vegas Nightmare and Surgeon General were in the Battlebox - Surgeon General took a hunk out of Nightmare and Nightmare ended up beating Surgeon General and messing up his blade pretty badly. Nightmare had to go on pretty quickly but his gear box gave out and the builder of Surgeon General gave him a new motor to help him on his way. This was not an unusual thing, believe it or not it happens all the time. In fact it is a tradition to give your opponent a small piece of your machine after the competition.
As far as promoting engineering - you would not believe the amount of people who come up and talk about engineering and how to improve my robot Buddy Lee Don’t Play in the Street. From my son’s neurologist to the manager at the bank to a limo driver in Boston who recognized me. They all have their ideas for a winning robot. When Battlebots goes to commercial break most people talk about the last match and what they would have done differently. People who would never think about engineering are actually THINKING. They actually envision themselves as robot bilders.
There are many ways to inspire people, and FIRST is a true leader. In the Olympics there is more than one event. Shows like Robotica and Battlebots are another. Their viewing audience reaches over 6 million people, many of whom have never heard of FIRST. When I talk to people I tell them about FIRST as well as Battlebots. In my mind they are BOTH good. There are good things to be gotten out of both.
Battlebots is also putting major funding from their entertainment profits into Battlebots IQ - a high school competition. So the entertainment industry is making a positive effect on kids, education and engineering and technology.
As far as Battlebots liking a robot that simply renders another ineffective and doesn’t destroy it - they would love it - they welcome all. And by the way if you watch the show you will see that very rarely do the robots get totally destroyed. The builders and drivers know that the other guy put in a lot of time and more often than not want to compete again. There is always the rumble at the end of the competition.

I will end by saying that I LOVE FIRST and Dean has created a wonderful thing and has started many people on a great road, me included. I also LOVE Battlebots, the creators Trey Roski and Greg Munson have inspired quite a few people and are working to do even more - they think Dean is AWESOME!!
Long live robotic events!!

Posted by s_alaniz at 04/12/2001 12:25 AM EST

Other on team #57 from Houston Regional co-ordinator.

In Reply to: Re: Battlebots is NOT violence
Posted by Nola Garcia on 04/11/2001 11:47 PM EST:

Sorry if I stepped on your toes, but in all you’ve said, what exactly are you demonstrating to the people who watch this spectacle? It’s interesting, but unnecessary and I think it appeals to a very low mentality in human nature. As I said… there is a temptation, even for me, but I think it sends the wrong message especially to impressionable youth. You’ve told me I’m wrong, that there is a real comeradery in battlebots… but it still looks too much like a gladiator spectacle and I suppose you and I will just have to agree to disagree.

Steve Alaniz