Hammers: Threat or Menace?

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

The game says, "When there's a nail, use a hammer."

The gamers see a nail. They pick up the hammer and smash each other's heads with it.

"Ow!" they say. "Urk!"

"Hammers suck!" they say. "For proof, you need only look at our bleeding scalps!"

"This game sucks, too," they say. "Because it told us to use a stupid hammer. Which hurts us in the head."

The game, second edition, says, "When there's a nail, use a hammer. DON'T BASH YOUR HEAD WITH THE HAMMER."

Hands are crushed instead. Little progress is made.



Blogger Rafial says:  

Third edition: "when there is a nail, strike nail with hammer" (as opposed to "use hammer") ?

Or if not that, why are the players failing to understand proper hammer use?

Blogger John Harper says:  

Edition 3.5 has an appendix: "Hammer Striking Techniques" featuring how to get one's thumb out of the way.

Often heard: "Our games are so great... most nights, we don't even pick up the hammer."

Blogger Matt Wilson says:  

That's why games need a "what is carpentry?" section in the beginning.

Blogger misuba says:  

Third edition: "when there is a nail, strike nail with hammer" (as opposed to "use hammer") ?

Yeah, see, I hate Third; it constrains your play so much.

Blogger Jonathan Walton says:  

4th Edition: Released for free because the author is fed up with this bullshit. It's 20 pages long and looks pretty much like the 1st Edition (the game they intended to make in the first place).

Blogger Brand Robins says:  

Suggestion: What the author calls a hammer and what the readers call a hammer are not actually the same tool.

One is in fact a claw hammer ("well of course it is, what other type of hammer is there?") and the other is a bush hammer ("well of course it is, its the only hammer I had!"). Or perhaps its a warhammer ("we're playing a game, why not use the weapon that will let you compete?") and the mistake isn't all that innocent.

But in the end, no one really figures it out, because we have to call it all "hammer" rather than being very specific about what we actually mean.

Blogger Philip says:  

Hey, if you fools don't understand how to use a hammer when playing Ball, that's not my fault. I'm going to take my Ball and go home!

Anonymous Anonymous says:  

I think miss use is often a sort of political move, to make everyone give up on using the game and revert to whatever pecking order method they used before. You'll probably find the highest person on the pecking order is bashing themselves in the head with the hammer the hardest. They have the most to gain from this.

Also, this: http://xprogramming.com/xpmag/jatBaseball

Anonymous JoyWriter says:  

The real trick is to stop players treating each other as nails.

Person/object, partner/problem, and all that.

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