Your mission, should you choose to accept it, involves running down the street and throwing tampons at your enemies. This message will (or not) self-destruct in 5 seconds. Good luck.
Read it over. Again. Yes, tampons.
I’m talking about Tampon Run, an old-school, vintage-styled video game that’s currently climbing the charts in the internet. The highly-raved game has since been featured on publications with the likes of Time, Daily Mail, msnbc and Today.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see why this is a huge deal. There’s a message behind this video game that deserves our attention.
The Masterminds Behind Tampon Run
Tampon Run is the virtual brainchild of high school students Andrea Gonzales and Sophie Houser. Both girls, who hail from New York City, decided to create the video game as part of the Girls Who Code programme they attended last summer.
Founded by Reshma Saujani, the national non-profit organisation aims to close the gender gap in the technology and engineering sectors. During the course of the programme, both Gonzales and Houser worked on projects that were designed to use their creative and logic chops.
During an interview with Teen Vogue, Gonzales shared that she wanted to develop an impactful video game empowering women. She said, “We were brainstorming and we joked that maybe we could have a girl throw tampons in our game, because we have both personally experienced the menstrual taboo. As we researched, we realized what a serious and broad issue it is, and we wanted to make a difference.”
This is not your typical first-shooter video game.
To start the game, press SHIFT. You will then be introduced to a couple of animated slides (some of which are shown in this post) that aims to de-stigmatize menstruation. To hit the enemies with tampons, press SPACE. To jump, press UP. To reload, collect tampon boxes. If the enemies run past you, they’ll take away your tampons. Friendly advice: if you run out of tampons, it’s game over.
I decided to give the video game a shot and unsurprisingly enough, I had bucket loads of fun. Its simple rules and classic gameplay made it engaging and fun. More importantly, it encourages creative thinking in the long run.
Let Us End The Stigma
Did you know that in India, menstruation is culturally considered dirty and impure? It’s sad that despite living in the 21st century, we’re still facing these problems around the world. If you think this social stigma only hurts women, think again. It’s also holding the economy back. In a shocking report by Bloomberg Businessweek, the writers share, “Taboos around sexual health reflect a level of discomfort with the female body that affects women’s contribution to the economy.”
I remember back in school, I had a classmate who was experiencing painful menstrual cramps. When she asked if she could head down to the sick bay, she got chided by the teacher for announcing it in front of us. Not only did it not reflect well on the teacher, it also sent out the wrong message to the rest of us impressionable youngsters.
I could never understand certain things like Hello Kitty and Long Champ Bags (You have no idea, they’re everywhere.), but the taboo around menstruation? It always leaves me baffled. We’re all human beings. It’s part of the biological process; what’s there to be embarrassed about? If we don’t talk about this, if we don’t learn how to deal with it, it’s going to jump out of the frying pan into the fire.
According to News.Mic, an iPhone app is currently in the works. One thing is for sure, Tampon Run has evidently raised the bar for the gaming industry. This video game is addictive and best of all, it makes you think. If you’d like to try this rad game, check this link out!