A short Q&A with Michael Whapples!

We haven’t updated you with a blog post in quite some time, so now is the day! Michael started his Revomaze journey earlier this year, and he’s come a long way since then! Michael is a blind puzzler who likes a variety of activities in his free time. Puzzles, in particular, such as Revomaze! Michael addresses some intriguing questions for you below; we hope you enjoy it!

Q) How did you become interested in puzzles and Revomaze’s?

A) 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.

Q) What is it about Revomaze’s that appeals to you?

A) 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.

Q) Did you have any reservations about purchasing a Revomaze and whether or not losing your vision would be a problem?

A) 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.

Q) Have you ever had any trouble using a Revomaze because you can’t see?

A) 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.

Q) Which Revomaze is your favourite?

A) 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.

Q) When you’re not puzzle-solving, what do you do?

A) 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.

Q) Target shooting, how do you do that, surely it needs sight?

A) 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.

Summary

Thank you very much to Michael for being so honest about his Revomaze journey as a blind puzzler. I hope that this blog article has had a beneficial impact on you; as blind puzzlers, we have definitely been inspired by Michael’s storey because it’s inspiring and shows that you can achieve anything.

If you’d want to keep up with Michael on social media, you can find his Facebook profile here: https://www.facebook.com/ashotinthedark.online/

Visit the website: www.ashotinthedark.online

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