Tampon Run Game Makes Menstruation Less Taboo
October 7, 2014
It’s a problem when violence is more accepted and normalized than a healthy bodily function, such as menstruation. This is what motivated two New York City high school seniors to create a tampon video game for their final project at Girls Who Code, a summer coding camp.
Andy Gonzales and Sophie Houser created Tampon Run, an online 8-bit video game, to normalize menstruation. In the introduction to the game, a message reads,“The taboo that surrounds it [menstruation] teaches women that a normal and natural bodily function is embarrassing and crude… Hopefully one day menstruation will be as normal, if not more so, than guns and violence have become in our society. Normal enough to place in a video game without a second thought.”
Instead of using guns to shoot the enemy, players throw tampons at them and have to collect tampon boxes before they run out of their supply. It’s a simple, yet addicting game all in its 8-bit glory—an homage to video games of yore.
At first it was a little strange to be playing a game where you throw tampons, but I got over it because, frankly, the game is fun! I realized this is exactly what Gonzales and Houser are talking about—that violence is more acceptable and commonplace in our vocabulary and culture than menstruation. I like how Tampon Run opens up a dialogue about something that’s usually taboo in a fun and accessible way. I can’t wait to see what Gonzalez and Houser will create next. In the meantime, hopefully we’ll be able to make the topic of menstruation more commonplace and acceptable in daily conversation.