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 Post subject: Is the twisty puzzle community getting bigger?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2013 6:41 am 
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I have only been a fan of twisty puzzles for 8 months and in my town I know only one other person who is an enthusiast.

Most other people don't know alternatives to Rubiks brand 3x3x3 even exist and they also think that only geniuses can solve them. I am no genius but I am very interested if anyone has any insight as too how big this community is and whether it is increasing faster than people losing interest.

I did see a post recently about how many active members are on the twisty puzzles forum currently but not everyone is a fan of forums in general.

and then you have separation or speedcubers and puzzle solvers (both of which in my mind falls under the category of twisty puzzle enthusiast its just like doctors choosing a speciality)

What would be the best way of finding this sort of information out?

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 Post subject: Re: Is the twisty puzzle community getting bigger?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2013 7:16 am 
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Difficult to answer. However I believe the number of speedcubing competitions would be an indication. New ones will only come about if there is a call for them and existing ones (I assume) will get cancelled if there's not enough interest. Perhaps analysing these lists will help- https://www.worldcubeassociation.org/re ... itions.php .
Some people may point out the rise in members to this forum but that does not of course take into account members that become inactive. There does seem to be a fast turn around and I have seen fanatical collectors come and go in a relatively short period of time.
Another indication is puzzle production. There seems to be more and more puzzles coming out all the time so although not a scientific study it feels to me that the community is steadily growing.

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 Post subject: Re: Is the twisty puzzle community getting bigger?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2013 7:37 am 
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I hope it is growing, I am a late bloomer with puzzling but I would hope that I am not arriving past its peak.

since I have been involved I've seen so many new puzzles arrive and I've been thinking "wow I have arrived at just the right time" but maybe new mass produced puzzles have been coming out at this rate for years or even decades.

Obviously handmade puzzles are still being produced but new handmade puzzles I imagine have been quote consistent especially since the arrival of 3d printing.

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 Post subject: Re: Is the twisty puzzle community getting bigger?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2013 7:40 am 
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Like Tony said, looking at the number of puzzles being produced is a good indicator. Even if I only started "puzzling" in 2010, i find there is a difference. With the internet now it way much easyer for some one to discover different type of puzzles.

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 Post subject: Re: Is the twisty puzzle community getting bigger?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2013 11:21 am 
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andychilly wrote:
maybe new mass produced puzzles have been coming out at this rate for years or even decades.

As I said in my post there seems to be an increase. A massive one when comparing decades.

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 Post subject: Re: Is the twisty puzzle community getting bigger?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2013 2:29 pm 
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If the rate of new mass-produced puzzles is increasing, it raises the question: Is the increase due to greater demand for such puzzles, or is it due to technological advancement lowering the threshold to produce a new puzzle.

CAD and 3D Printing has lead to an explosion among custom builds and made-to-order puzzles as making a custom puzzle no longer requires the craftmanship or labor involved in a hand-made puzzle(not trying to be little the handcrafters, but I know I could have never taken my Hex Crystal concept to a working prototype if I had to hand carve pieces instead of Cadding the puzzle and uploading to Shapeways), but have other technological advances decreased the cost(be it time, effort, or money) to mass-produce a puzzle?

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 Post subject: Re: Is the twisty puzzle community getting bigger?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2013 2:41 pm 
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Well, we could take a look at IPP: it's been getting bigger, with more new members each year.

andychilly wrote:
and then you have separation or speedcubers and puzzle solvers (both of which in my mind falls under the category of twisty puzzle enthusiast its just like doctors choosing a speciality)


Side note: there are collectors as well, those who don't speedsolve and aren't very good at solving the puzzles, but who simply enjoy playing around with the pretty patterns 8-) . There's also the non-twisty collectors (whole other conversation).

A good way to find out about puzzle people in the community is to get a job at your local puzzle/toy store, and see who buys puzzles. Be friendly, and ask questions like "are you interested in puzzles?". Also, I'm using the name of my University's math club to attach importance to a 'Puzzles Night'. They have access to room bookings at the Uni and they're pretty friendly. I made up a poster, and I'm sticking that both at the local puzzle supply store (because that's where any puzzle people in my city will go for puzzles) and at the University (because there are some students who are casually interested but might not have the funds to acquire new puzzles, so they would be attracted by the prospect of getting to play with some neat toys).

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 Post subject: Re: Is the twisty puzzle community getting bigger?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2013 6:58 pm 
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You know 1 more than most. That being said if anyone's in the northern/central jersey area that wants to meet up pm me


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 Post subject: Re: Is the twisty puzzle community getting bigger?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2013 10:39 pm 
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There are at least 3 people in my school (me included) who are into twisty puzzles.

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 Post subject: Re: Is the twisty puzzle community getting bigger?
PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 12:37 am 
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rubikcollector123 wrote:
There are at least 3 people in my school (me included) who are into twisty puzzles.

I know about 20 people at my school who can solve a cube. How many are actually into twisty puzzles? Just me :( :scrambled:

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 Post subject: Re: Is the twisty puzzle community getting bigger?
PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 1:14 am 
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There are 3 other twisty puzzles enthusiasts in my school. :D

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 Post subject: Re: Is the twisty puzzle community getting bigger?
PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 1:19 am 
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Personally, I'd make a distinction between "cubers" and twisty puzzle enthusiasts.

So much of the 3x3x3 solving experience is a dexterity challenge and pattern recognition + rote memorization.

I'd say to be a twisty puzzle enthusiast you need to have a broader interest in twisty puzzles beyond WCA sanctioned events.

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 Post subject: Re: Is the twisty puzzle community getting bigger?
PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 5:20 am 
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I think there is little doubt that it is growing. Most people still don't know a community exists. Competitions keep getting larger and larger, and more frequent, the twisty puzzle websites continue to grow. I don't think it has reached its peak. Whether it has or not, there is a still quite a large group of people interested and active in the community.

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 Post subject: Re: Is the twisty puzzle community getting bigger?
PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 11:47 am 
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I would say more people are becoming interested, but for a shorter time, probably in line with increasing exposure/visibility but decreasing attention span with the internet.

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 Post subject: Re: Is the twisty puzzle community getting bigger?
PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 1:14 pm 
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KelvinS wrote:
I would say more people are becoming interested, but for a shorter time, probably in line with increasing exposure/visibility but decreasing attention span with the internet.

This forum has seen a pretty significant increase in membership in the recent past but a somewhat significant decline in posts over the last ~1.5 years.

I do think this has to do with the increased "things to see on the Internet" diluting any specific hobby like this one.

We continue to get great new members and solvers and designers and collectors though so I don't think we should be worried about the community dieing a slow death.

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 Post subject: Re: Is the twisty puzzle community getting bigger?
PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 3:55 pm 
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bmenrigh wrote:
I'd say to be a twisty puzzle enthusiast you need to have a broader interest in twisty puzzles beyond WCA sanctioned events.


I fully agree. I see a sharp divide between speedcubers and twisty puzzle fans.

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 Post subject: Re: Is the twisty puzzle community getting bigger?
PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 6:17 pm 
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themathkid wrote:
bmenrigh wrote:
I'd say to be a twisty puzzle enthusiast you need to have a broader interest in twisty puzzles beyond WCA sanctioned events.


I fully agree. I see a sharp divide between speedcubers and twisty puzzle fans.

There is a divide but I don't think that is relevant and I couldn't disagree more with bmenrigh's comment. Someone who practises with a twisty puzzle for hours on end, enters competitions, has numerous different types and brands of speed puzzles etc etc is as much a twisty puzzle enthusiast as anyone. It's a bit like saying you're not a true puzzle fan if you only like twisty puzzles.

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 Post subject: Re: Is the twisty puzzle community getting bigger?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2013 4:40 am 
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Thank you everyone for getting involved in this discussion.

I have to agree with Tony, I don't make a personal distinction between speedcubers and twisty puzzlers because I personally enjoy both equally as I am sure a lot of people do.

My question included both SC'ers and TP'ers as that is what I am and I was curious how many people in the world were in my boat.

The REAL issue we have to worry about now is that if the community is increasing then eventually there really will be a big divide between speedcubers and twisty puzzlers, world war 3 will break out (world war 3x3x3) and I will be hung, drawn & quatered for being a heratic!

So im making the most of my life and am going to go climb mount Everest (soon to be renamed mount Pyraminx thanks to the twisty puzzler political party!)

:D

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 Post subject: Re: Is the twisty puzzle community getting bigger?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2013 6:01 am 
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andychilly wrote:
The REAL issue we have to worry about now is that if the community is increasing then eventually there really will be a big divide between speedcubers and twisty puzzlers, world war 3 will break out (world war 3x3x3) and I will be hung, drawn & quatered for being a heratic!

I believe as they get older a lot of speedcubers discover the other side of puzzling. Many of us non speedcubers started with a Rubik's Cube frantically trying to solve it as fast as possible, I certainly did.

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