They say when all you have is a hammer, all the world’s problems look like nails. I think they just don’t understand hammers. Or nails for that matter. There are all kinds of hammers for all kinds of jobs, from two ounce jeweler’s hammers to twelve pound mauls. And there are all kinds of nails, from carpet tacks and escutcheon pins to ten penny sinkers and railroad spikes.
But hammers aren’t just used on fasteners.You can use them to bash things together, bash things apart, or just give something a tap of friendly persuasion. And you can play music with them! A piano has 88 hammers that are flung against strings to good effect. And percussionists are professional hammerers. Their arsenal of mallets, both hard and soft, could make a mere cabinet maker weep.
OK, hammers are all about using their mass and momentum to bully something into happening on impact. Maybe not always the best solution to every problem. But the point is, sometimes you find a really useful tool with lots of complicated parts and fine adjustments that does a certain job superbly well. And sometimes you just need to hit it with something. We’re definitely not advocating a brute force approach to problem solving. What we want to emphasize is tools and resources that have impact. (Ah! There’s the point!) What is a virtual hammer? It’s a script or a tool or a piece of software or an idea or… anything… that is so interesting and useful that it can have impact on what we do or, if we’re really fortunate, on how we think. When I come across something like that, I want to share it. So here it is.
MetaHammer is about tools and resources for working in the virtual world. My experience so far is almost exclusively in the world of Second Life and web development, so most of what I have to say here is related to those environments. But my expectation is that SL will become decentralized as open source alternatives and accretions emerge and as it and other virtual worlds begin to cross borders. I’m taking the long view that tools will always be in demand, no matter the context.
My name in SL is Oriscus Zauberflote. If I’d known how quickly I’d become immersed in this environment, I’d have chosen a much simpler name. As a complete fluke, the initials happen to spell something reasonable, so I ask everyone to please call me “Oz.” I’ve been in SL since November of 2006, averaging about 6-8 hours a day there, I suppose. I’m a master prim builder, not too bad with textures, and am learning scripting as I need to (I’m getting pretty good with modding scripts). I am a founding member of the Port Spinoza community. I am interested in creating things — objects, ideas, communities. Creativity is what life is for. I have found SL to be a most gratifyiing outlet for my creative energies. If you want to contact me, IM Oriscus Zauberflote in world, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.