A short Q&A with Michael Whapples a blind puzzler who loves Revomaze’s!
First question: How did you get into puzzling and Revomazes?
Hello everyone, it has been some time since we last updated you with another blog post, so today is the day! Michael began his Revomaze journey early this year and since then he has come a long way! Michael is a blind puzzler who has a number of activities he enjoys doing in his spare time. Particularly puzzles, like Revomaze! Below Michael answers some interesting questions for you, we hope you enjoy the read!
I have always enjoyed challenging myself and solving problems, so mechanical puzzles felt like a good fit as they are very tactile objects. I started out buying some Hanayama metal puzzles, but as time went on, I wanted a greater challenge and when I read about the RevoMazes and how long they can take to solve I could not resist buying some. At this point I have solved 10 RevoMazes, my eleventh is in progress and I look forward to more when they become available.
What is it about the Revomazes you like?
The fact that the Revomaze is a hidden maze means that it does not matter that I have no sight as the maze cannot be seen anyway. If I let sighted friends have a go with a RevoMaze they will have no advantage over me and in some cases, I have been quicker at solving it than my friends. Also, when I have solved a RevoMaze it is possible for me to feel the maze on the core, letting me appreciate what I have just done and to compare it with what I thought I was doing whilst solving it.
Did you have any concerns before buying a Revomaze and whether having no sight would be a problem?
Before I bought my first RevoMaze I had read about lining up the dots at the very end. I was not sure how possible this would be for me; however, it turns out this is not a problem as the dots are slightly indented and so can be felt.
Have you encountered any difficulties with a Revomaze because you cannot see?
When I bought a few Revomazes in a single order I realized I did not know which was which as they all feel the same, except for the maze inside. I had to get a sighted friend to help me identify the different puzzles and now I have my collection organized, so I know which one I am picking up.
Many people draw maps to track what they discover. I do imagine a map in my mind but have never actually drawn one out. This does make it difficult for me to share my map with other Revomaze community members. Whilst I can try and describe what I imagine, these descriptions can be very long if I want to include all the details.
Which is your favourite Revomaze?
It is difficult to pick one as they are all good in their own way. I liked the castle feature in orange as it invoked such a clear map in my mind. Copper took a lot of hard work and careful mapping and then finally have the reward of feeling all that maze crammed on the core gave such a sense of achievement. Then there is silver with all its crazy dynamic features.
What do you do when not puzzling?
My paid work is as a software developer writing software to help make documents accessible for the blind. When not working I do target shooting, yoga and when I want to get away from things some yacht sailing.
Target shooting, how do you do that, surely it needs sight?
The standard rifle sights are replaced with an electronic device that detects the target and produces audio signals to indicate the point of aim of the rifle. I listen for the highest pitch tone which means I am pointing at the target center. I must be doing something right as I am going to represent GB at the shooting parasport world championships in October. People can read more about me and how I do this sport on my website www.ashotinthedark.online.
An enormous thank you to Michael who has been incredibly open about his Revomaze journey as a blind puzzler. I hope that this blog post has had a positive impact on you, we definitely have been influenced by Michael as a blind puzzler as it’s really inspirational and it shows you that you can achieve anything.
If you’d like to follow Michael on social media, he has a Facebook page which you can find here: https://www.facebook.com/ashotinthedark.online/
As well as the website above: www.ashotinthedark.online
Have a great week everyone! Rachel. 🙂