“We had the fortune of seeing boys and girls shout ‘I want my period.’”
We know you feel the same — the thing that’s really been holding women back is the lack of menstruation-based board games. But no more!
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The game: A Kickstarter campaign has been launched this week to fund “The Period Game,” aiming to “change the way we teach” about the female menstrual cycle and the havoc it wreaks on women on a regular basis, according to the crowdsourcing campaign page.
By gamifying a subject that is “typically uneasy,” it hopes to decrease the stigma and make the topic more palatable, if not a downright “fun, positive, learning experience” for children of all ages (although it’s “primarily geared toward prepubescent young people”).
“It’s pretty much impossible to play the game without saying words like “period” and “tampon,” making it a lot easier to talk about them in real life,” the website promises.
Within four days the campaign managed to raise almost $17,000, more than a third of the goal.
The gameplay: The game takes the player — using pawns shaped like pads and “period undies” — through the travails and discomforts of periods. The player receives different types of “period protection cards” like tampons and menstrual cups, as well as “PMS cards” that require immediate actions like, “take a hot shower.” The board is designed as a circle surrounding plastic ovaries (that need to be twisted at the beginning of each turn).
The makers: It was conceived by socially-minded designers Daniela Gilsanz and Ryan Murphy, who met at the Rhode Island School of Design.
Gilsanz told HuffPost Tuesday that she and Murphy originally thought of the game for a class exercise in 2014. When they presented the game, their classmates showed signs of discomfort, “which surprised us, as we were all in our 20s at art-school, but it proved that there was still a long way to go in how we talk about periods,” she said. “Watching our peers get more comfortable with the subject while playing the game clued us in that we made a tool that might help move us forward. Then watching that same pattern happen again and again as we tested with young people really reaffirmed that we were onto something.”
Gilsanz also said she was encouraged by reactions among “young people.”
“We’ve heard so many different period stories, and had the fortune of seeing boys and girls shout ‘I want my period’ at the top of their lungs,” she said. “We also had a fourth grader try to buy it on the spot, and an 8th grader understand what PMS was for the first time, to extreme relief that she wasn’t alone.”
Read more: Gilsanz’s full interview on HuffPost.
Read more: A sharply designed children’s book aims to show kids it’s time to “eradicate” gender.
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