Seventeen-year-old Sophie Houser and sixteen-year-old Andy Gonzales from New York, were brainstorming an idea for a video at the Girls Who Code summer programme when they came up with a game instead that addresses a topic that is still considered taboo in the 21st century, menstrual cycles.
Tampon Run is an 8-bit videogame featuring a young girl who shoots at an enemy using tampons instead of a gun.
“Although the concept of the videogame may be strange, it’s stranger that our society has accepted and normalised guns and violence through video games, yet we still find tampons and menstruation unspeakable,” reads the game’s description. “Hopefully one day menstruation will be as normal, if not more so, than guns and violence have become in our society.”
You get 10 tampons to start off with and must be careful not to overuse them otherwise it’s game over. To stay alive and get more points, you can jump over the enemy and must collect more lady ammo by jumping at tampon boxes as they pass by.
“One of the most incredible things is that with a little bit of code and the Internet, some girls in New York can make something that can reach people around the world,” Houser told Mic in an interview.
“It’s a problem in Western countries and around the world. People don’t want to talk about periods. In other countries, women have to isolate themselves,” added Gonzales.
Tampon Run has already been played more than 100 000 times online, has been shared over 1 500 times using social media like Facebook and 600 times on Twitter. The game is also set to be available on iTunes in the near future and Houser and Gonzales are working at adding more features such as maxi pads and a player jetpack.
In the meantime, you can play Tampon Run on the game’s website.