The Narrative Logic of Rube Goldberg Machines

Olsen, David and Nelson, Mark (2017) The Narrative Logic of Rube Goldberg Machines. Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling, 10690. pp. 104-116. ISSN 0302-9743

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Abstract / Summary

Rube Goldberg's cartoons famously depict absurd, unreasonably complex machines invented by Professor Lucifer G. Butts to carry out simple tasks. Rube Goldberg machine has now become a byword for overly complicated machinery or bureaucracy of any kind. The specific structure of Goldberg's original cartoons, however, is quite interesting. Beyond simply being complex, his machines are based on a particular repertoire of objects used in stereotypical, coincidental, and comical ways, exhibiting almost as much of a narrative logic as a mechanical logic. In this paper, we analyze the structure of these cartoon machines' construction, with a view towards being able to generate them using a planning formalization of this analysis.

Item Type: Article
Identification Number: 10.1007/978-3-319-71027-3_9
ISSN: 0302-9743
Subjects: Computer Science, Information & General Works
Technology > Digital Works > Digital Games
Courses by Department: The Games Academy > Digital Games
Depositing User: Mark Nelson
Date Deposited: 27 Nov 2017 12:02
Last Modified: 11 Nov 2022 16:30


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