Meet the Girls Who Developed the Internet’s Most Talked-About (and Addictive, and Awesome) New Game, ‘Tampon Run’
Oh yeah, Andrea Gonzales and Sophie Houser are going there.
Real talk: We live in a world where it’s totally cool to run over prostitutes for fun in video games like Grand Theft Auto, but women talking about their periods is still a cultural taboo. Luckily, we also live in a world where girls are demanding more from the gaming industry and society at large—and they’re taking matters into their own hands.
Sophie Houser, 17, and Andrea Gonzales, 16, are the dream team behind the new girl-power game Tampon Run that’s been taking the internet by storm the past few weeks. It’s a little likeAngry Birds in that you launch missiles at enemies and will definitely become addicted within the first five minutes of playing (guilty…), but instead of launching feathered friends, TRfeatures a warrior woman armed with—you guessed it—tampons. It’s fun and simple, with a powerful message that shows up in the opening frames: “Although the concept of the game might be strange,” Sophie and Andy write, “it’s stranger that our society has accepted and normalized guns and violence through video games, yet we still find tampons and menstruation unspeakable.”
So how did Tampon Run start? Its creators met this summer while they were both students atGirls Who Code. Throughout the course, they worked on projects designed to use their creative and logic skills to make products and solve problems. “Tampon Run was a culmination of all the stuff we learned over the summer,” Andy told us. She wanted to create a video game with a social impact and a feminist twist as soon as the assignment came up, and Sophie immediately jumped on board. “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.”
Their biggest technical challenge in the game was getting the character to jump—Andy spent many frustrating hours trying to get her to hit the right height mark, but eventually she cracked the code. (Now you can clear the bad guys who are trying to steal your tampons. Phew.)
“There’s a lot of emphasis right now on how few women there are in the tech industry,” Sophie says. “But I think it’s important to point out how the welcoming the community of women in tech actually are. We need more women in tech because women have a unique perspective. I don’t think a guy would have made this game.” Neither do we—and we’re glad this one came from the girl’s team.
Tampon Run is a must-play, whether you’re interested in coding, curious about the awesome feminist message, or just looking to kill a few minutes between classes. Hop over and check it out.
Anyone else think this is the coolest thing they’ve seen all week? Chat with us in the comments, and give us a shout if you have any questions for Andrea and Sophie, or about Girls Who Code!
Source: Teen vogue