Periods have never been this fun!

By Drum Digital
24 September 2014

American high school girls create “Tampon Run” videogame to end menstruation stigma.

Two American high school students, Sophie Houser (17) and Andrea Gonzales (16), recently created a groundbreaking videogame to confront the menstrual taboo that women and especially young girls are faced with.

The two teenage girls, both from New York, have taken it upon themselves to break down the taboo surrounding menstruation by using tampons as weapons in a light-hearted and quite addictive videogame. Houser and Gonzales first met while attending a Girls Who Code summer programme (a tech programme for girls who love computers), and used their coding skills to invent Tampon Run, an ’80s-style  computer game in which you shoot enemies with tampons.

“The taboo that surrounds periods and menstruation teaches women that a normal and natural bodily function is embarrassing and crude,” reads the intro to the game. “Tampon Run is a way of discussing the taboo in an accessible and fun way”.

In the game, players have a backpack full of tampons. As enemies approach, players throw tampons in their faces rather than shooting them with guns. The game’s intro says that if we’ve normalised violence and guns in games, we should be able to normalise tampons and periods as well.

The game begins, naturally, with a bright red background and a red tidal wave. “Most women menstruate for a large portion of their lives. It is, by all means, normal,” reads a banner on the screen. “Yet most people, women and men alike, feel uncomfortable talking about anything having to do with menstruation.”

Not only is the game a clever way to demystify menstruation, but the girls – who share the Twitter handle @TamponRunner – have also used it as a medium for expressing their views on violence: “Although the concept of the videogame may be strange, it's stranger that our society has accepted and normalised guns and violence through videogames, yet we still find tampons and menstruation unspeakable,” says the videogame's introduction.

So far Tampon Run, which was Sophie and Andrea's final project for Girls Who Code, has been shared more than 400 times on Facebook and 332 times on Twitter.

-Mia Du Bois

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