A Rube Goldberg machine or device is any exceedingly complex apparatus that performs a very simple task in a very indirect and convoluted way. Rube devised such pataphysical devices. The best examples of his machines have an anticipation factor: the fact that something so wacky is happening can only be topped by it happening in a suspenseful manner. A Rube Goldberg machine usually has at least ten steps. One story about Rube Goldberg holds that, while sleep-walking barefoot in a cactus field, he screamed out an idea about a self-operating napkin.
Rube Goldberg’s Machines uses complex apparatus to complete a simple task. Many of these machinese have been used in the media and games.
One fine example would be the 1990 film Home Alone and its three sequels include many scenes where the protagonist, Kevin (Macaulay Culkin), employs Goldberg-esque devices to trap and/or slow down the progress of burglars attempting to ransack his home.
Rube Goldberg Machine Contest <Link>
The best of Pitagora Suicchi <Link>
Hapland 2 <Link>
Hapland 3 <Link>