The “maze” has been around forever. There have been archeological sights discovered that hint that mazes have been built in ancient Greece and Egypt. You can find mazes today in amusement parks, in those famous corn mazes at Halloween or in old gardens styled by hedges.
1. Labyrinth vs. Maze
Basically a labyrinth has one route in and out.
A maze has dead ends, multiple paths, but one route out.
A labyrinth is “unicursal” with one path that goes to the center and then you can exit by turning around and going out the same way.
Mazes are confusing and labyrinths are not.
In myth the labyrinth is home of the Minotaur, but in today’s world it’s mainly for walking meditation.
When you walk through a labyrinth you walk methodically, in a civilized fashion because sometimes it’s a group activity and once you get to the center you have to turn around and avoid the other people.
A labyrinth can be a painted floor, built with with rocks, or cut from hedges. There was one time I saw someone spraypaint a labyrinth design onto a grassy field. He even made a mistake with one line and should’ve cut the grass to get rid of the mistake, but left it.
Mazes can be life-like for you to walk through, but mostly they are printed in books for you to go through with a pencil and eraser. You can find them on restaurant place mats or in coloring books. There’s also this great marble maze I played as a child. Maybe you did too?
2. Maze Video Games
Long ago in the 80s, “Maze Craze: A Game of Cops ‘n Robbers” for the Atari 2600 was one of the first maze video games to enter the market. Pac-Man is also considered a maze video game. Would Q-Bert be considered one, too?
3. Of Mice and Ants
Scientist John Lubbock, in 1882, studied insects by putting them in mazes. All the fascinating data he discovered was published in his book Ants, Bees, and Wasps.
Willard Small was the first scientist to make rodents go through mazes for study. He was inspired by a hedge maze, you know, like in the ending of that Stephen King movie “The Shining?”
If you can’t get enough of mice and mazes try reading a good book called “Flowers for Algernon” by Daniel Keyes.
Buy a Maze Book by DD Stewart
DD is a publisher and designer of mazes.
He’s designed hundreds of mazes in his lifetime. He told me he used to design his mazes with marker, white out and by making copies at Kinkos (Now FedEx, but Kinkos sounds better). Now he designs them in PhotoShop.
His book is called “Tome 1: From Here To There (kulsiz Tome) (Volume 1).”
His second maze book is actually printed in color, “Tome 2: From Here to There in Color (Kulsiz Tome).”