Tampons Are Weapon of Choice in Student-Made Tampon Run

 Pages 1 2 NEXT
 

Tampons Are Weapon of Choice in Student-Made Tampon Run

TamponRun 2 (Source=Screenshot)

Tampon Run, the creation of two high school students, switches out firearms as weapons in its game to question why gun violence is more socially acceptable than menstruation.

Guns are fairly ubiquitous in media, from books to movies to video games. Two young programmers, though, are questioning why society as a whole is more comfortable with displays of gun violence than it is talking about menstruation. The web game Tampon Run, created by New York City high school students Andrea Gonzales and Sophie Houser, wants to bring attention to this inconsistency by swapping out firearms for feminine hygiene products.

Taking cues from the "infinite runner" style of game, Tampon Run has players dispatching enemies in their path not with bullets but by throwing tampons at them. Touching the enemies drains your supply of the projectile, which you can refill by grabbing tampon boxes. Running out of tampons means game over.

The game opens with a message from Gonzales and Houser, explaining their goal with the game. "Most women menstruate for a large portion of their lives. It is, by all means, normal," reads the opening text. "Yet most people, women and men alike, feel uncomfortable talking about anything having to do with menstruation. The taboo that surrounds it teaches women that a normal and natural bodily function is embarrassing and crude."

Tampon Run ultimately seeks "a way of discussing the taboo in an accessible way," the game states. While it admits that giving enemies a face full of tampon might be a strange way to go about having this discussion, "its stranger that our society has accepted and normalized guns and violence through video games, yet we still find tampons and menstruation unspeakable."

The game was created as Gonzales and Houser's final project for the "Girls Who Code" camp held earlier this summer. Regardless on what your thoughts may be on the concept, you have to admire two young programmers for being willing to not only make a social statement but also developing a game to accompany it. You can play Tampon Run for free here.

Source: Tampon Run via The Mary Sue

Permalink

I'm not sure the gameplay message of "tampons eliminate boys" is in line with their goals.

Bugged out on me after a couple tries.

This is an interesting concept - I also like that we've still got highschool students doing projects like these. It's interesting on a bunch of different levels. I'm not a woman, but I've always been confused at the taboo about talking about menstruation. I bet a lot of what makes it uncomfortable for people is that it's scary and pretty gross (or horrifying and absolutely terrifying, depending on how severe a lady gets it)

a

So if you run out of tampons, does your character just bleed to death?

Is there some sort of PMS "rage mode" that can be unlocked?

If they add a river level, can the tampons be used as flotation devices?

The game is pretty simplistic as it only has 2 buttons,BUT the chiptune it uses is nice and it is cute enough. Give it a shot.

Deathfish15:
So if you run out of tampons, does your character just bleed to death?

Is there some sort of PMS "rage mode" that can be unlocked?

If they add a river level, can the tampons be used as flotation devices?

laughed too hard at this, and loved the second one.

OT: Pretty cool this was made by high school kids, and I agree with the message it's supposed to send. so kudos to them.

I think this game illustrates a larger social misconception: video games aren't a great medium for conveying topical awareness or social issues.
This game basically makes periods into laughing stocks. The most important question any game faces is 'is it fun?' That's what gives a game play value, not some half hearted message.
If there is a worthwhile message, great! But the primary focus of a game is to entertain.

Not knocking the issue. Women should not be made to feel shame about their periods, but I was always under the impression(as a guy FYI) that periods were personal things. Not embarrassing, just personal. Like I can't imagine I can just ask random women how their cycle is going. It's not an open table topic, or stand in line for a movie chitchat.

...Okay, you want to make a game about flinging tampons. Fine. I guess that was a niche that stood to be filled; I certainly didn't know it existed.

But "our society has accepted and normalized guns and violence through video games"?

Yes, video games rely on violence as a crutch to create easily conceptualized and understood conflict too often.

But anyone who grew up with gangster movies and cowboy TV shows would be perplexed by the idea that video games were the medium that normalized guns and violence. The fact that violent crime dipped as video game violence surged deserves an eyebrow, and I have a memory of a Canadian person on a panel in the era of Doom commenting something along the lines of "I would say it was something in American media, but we have all the same things up here..."

By all means contribute to the conversation, girls, and welcome. Just don't get the idea that you've already figured out all the answers from the lofty perch of high school.

Crackerjacks:
This is an interesting concept - I also like that we've still got highschool students doing projects like these. It's interesting on a bunch of different levels. I'm not a woman, but I've always been confused at the taboo about talking about menstruation. I bet a lot of what makes it uncomfortable for people is that it's scary and pretty gross (or horrifying and absolutely terrifying, depending on how severe a lady gets it)

Blood coming out of the cooch is very rarely ever going to make anyone not uncomfortable... Sure it is a perfectly natural bodily function... and so is shitting and I can guarantee you, people want to hear as much about your last shit and your toilet paper as they do your last mensie.

It's pretty much right up there with hemorrhoids in the list of things other people want to hear about. And yet... there are fetish sites on the net about all three of these things.

When our species is being evaluated for acceptance into the galactic council these things are going to be pretty damaging to our argument of 'We are rational, sane and perfectly proper and upstanding species' of course no where near as damaging as Justin Bieber.

That said... tampons aren't the weirdest thing I've used as a weapon in a video game... not even in the top tend, and not even in the top 20 for most uncomfortable.... that does not say anything good about our medium does it?

That is fine, they can produce the game they want to. But I also think it's not an issue society has as much a culturally held belief that "we don't talk about menstruation", which is not explicitly true. I have no issue talking about, joking about, asking informed questions about, any of it. It's not gross, it's just a fact of life. I think this is most people and the people who are made genuinely uncomfortable by it are in the minority.

"Deal with me!"
- menstruation and Adversity Jones

Baresark:
That is fine, they can produce the game they want to. But I also think it's not an issue society has as much a culturally held belief that "we don't talk about menstruation", which is not explicitly true. I have no issue talking about, joking about, asking informed questions about, any of it. It's not gross, it's just a fact of life. I think this is most people and the people who are made genuinely uncomfortable by it are in the minority.

"Deal with me!"
- menstruation and Adversity Jones

Hear, hear!

Personally, I think it's either a symptom of immaturity, but then again I've never been embarrassed by most natural functions...
Then again I had a very different upbringing, so I may be an outlier. Farm raised, so being shoulder deep in cow-vagina with a fist full of frozen bull sperm is the norm.. We as kids were regularly sent to town for tampons for mom and our sisters, and we did it because we love our mother and sisters. I also love my wife and will get anything she needs without hesitation. Also, as a man, buying products like tampons shows that I have women in my life whom I love and who also love and trust me. That's a GOOD feeling, not something to be embarrassed about. No, I'll not be embarrassed to do what I must to help out those I love, but that's MY perspective (limited as it may be).

Post Note: The wife is reading over my shoulder and I just got a kiss. I'm a good boy! I hope I'm still good come bed-time...

Just so long as this doesn't degenerate into something like "Boys are stupid! Throw rocks at them!".

Menstruation happens to a segment of the population who isn't me. Ok.
It's something that's happening to maybe less than a tenth of the world's population daily. With you so far.

Where I'm losing you is why we need to discuss it. Why should it not be taboo? It's taboo to talk about waste removal in most aspects of mixed society. Why should menstruation be any different? I mean, why should we HAVE a discussion over it? It's nature. It's not like people don't know it exists. It's not shameful. It just is.

I'm just at a lost of the sentiment here.

FalloutJack:
Just so long as this doesn't degenerate into something like "Boys are stupid! Throw rocks at them!".

Tampons. Throw tampons at them. Not rocks. ;)

Guns make sense, you pull a trigger and a small piece of lead gets fired out and does significant damage. A tampon is a bit of cotton wool with string on ... I don't see any red in that picture but lets say for arguments sake that they were "used", it's still not doing damage ... unless, well, lets not get into that.

How can you expect me to buy this concept of dispatching bad guys by throwing cotton wool at them? How does this start a conversation about bleeding once a month? Do guys need to make a game to start the conversation about NRB's (no reason boners) or trying to tinkle while sporting wood?

Everybody over the age of ... 14? Knows women have periods, why do we need to discuss this more?

Well better than anything I could make so I won't complain.
Personally I always thought all genital/crotch hygiene wasn't talked about, not just menstruation. I also think the creators completely missed the point of gun violence in video games, you can't really have a modern conflict story without them.

well last I remember years back, wet dreams was a issue, nocturnal emissions was the scientific term...basically teenage male involuntary discharge.

My point is both genders suffer from issues, its not a girl thing or a boy issue...its the same thing viewed from different angles.

As far as I can tell, people don't like talking about any substance coming out of the human body. Unless it requires surgery at which point it will be discussed at length.

A game where things associated with menstruation repel people probably isn't helping matter though.

ObsidianJones:
Where I'm losing you is why we need to discuss it. Why should it not be taboo? It's taboo to talk about waste removal in most aspects of mixed society. Why should menstruation be any different? I mean, why should we HAVE a discussion over it? It's nature. It's not like people don't know it exists. It's not shameful. It just is.

It's rather more taboo than going to the toilet, though, for some reason.

I mean, how often have you seen someone on TV doing that dance they do when they need to go to the toilet, usually as comedy? You are very rarely going to see something tampon related done the same way.

They should have also implemented queef power.

I'm waiting for a concerned parents groups to flip out and blame this game now next time there's a tampon flinging incident.

Silentpony:

Not knocking the issue. Women should not be made to feel shame about their periods, but I was always under the impression(as a guy FYI) that periods were personal things. Not embarrassing, just personal. Like I can't imagine I can just ask random women how their cycle is going. It's not an open table topic, or stand in line for a movie chitchat.

Pretty much this. Ladies I don't know how you feel about it (obviously you certainly shouldn't be ashamed), but it is gross. It is a perfectly natural, healthy part of being an adult female, but it's also gross. Which doesn't make women gross... or at least not any grosser than men. In fact quite a few things about being alive are just gross. And that's okay, but it doesn't make them appropriate everyday topics of conversation.

Like bowel movements, vomiting, or rhinorrhea (the technical term for a runny nose... which apparently is something the Escapist doesn't know), it's one of those topics where it's just polite to keep it to yourself.

So all in all I am not really certain about this game and its intended message. If there are any girls out there who feel any sort of shame or embarrassment, and this helps, then that's great. But I don't think it's a topic that ought to be, or needs to be, more openly discussed.

The only menstruation talk I want to have is why do girls who use tampons ridicule girls who use pads? Like seriously? Why does this happen? Yeah, yeah, I know "Hahaha it's like a diaper for adults!" but hey, lady, I ain't the one sticking bits of wool up my special place. I ain't the one who has to shift and squirm to find a comfortable sitting position. I sure as hell ain't the one who has freak outs over TSS because, hey, pads are a thing that exist and Holy God they are so much more comfortable than tampons.

Seriously, I want a game about that. Where all the tampon-sporting, pad-shaming jackasses get their comeuppance.

I do not like toilet humor or really any discussion of bodily functions outside of a scientific context. I believe it to be the worst type of humor and cannot help but cringe when hearing it.

Saetha:
The only menstruation talk I want to have is why do girls who use tampons ridicule girls who use pads?

If anyone needed further proof at how driven we are to factionalism...

My guess is that menstruation isn't really a socially acceptable hot topic in conversation is because guys think it's gross (though totally normal) and girls get angry if you bring it up. I doubt a little game will change that.

At the base of it this is still just a buggy little flash pixel art game that is solely being highlighted because of it's 'message'. Menstruation is about as taboo topic as pooping, people don't like to talk about it... because it's considered not polite.

Can we start judging games on their merits and not some half-message they've cooked up. We get it, it's a feminist game about vaginal bleeding. It's also... just not very good. This is airspace an unsung gem of a game could be taking up.

If i took 20 minutes in some game creation software i could probably make "Ejaculation the videogame" where you shoot sperm instead of bullets. Would that get my game featured on some news pages simply because I'm breaking 'taboo'?

Bolo The Great:
At the base of it this is still just a buggy little flash pixel art game that is solely being highlighted because of it's 'message'. Menstruation is about as taboo topic as pooping, people don't like to talk about it... because it's considered not polite.

Can we start judging games on their merits and not some half-message they've cooked up. We get it, it's a feminist game about vaginal bleeding. It's also... just not very good. This is airspace an unsung gem of a game could be taking up.

If i took 20 minutes in some game creation software i could probably make "Ejaculation the videogame" where you shoot sperm instead of bullets. Would that get my game featured on some news pages simply because I'm breaking 'taboo'?

Thank you, I was thinking the exact same thing. You could pretty much substitute urine, semen, or feces as your projectiles and it would carry the exact same "message" as this game is trying to get across.

Also, call me nuts, but isn't the fact that you dispatch your enemies by hitting them with tampons sort of killing their message, since it's showing that tampons are gross and you don't want to touch them?

Thanks to everyone who mentioned the same as what I'm about to say.

Gross bathroom humor in general is less acceptable than generic fake violence. No one is saying women are dirty or bad for menstruation. They're just saying that it's not a polite topic to discuss nor is it generally a necessary subject to discuss unless you're trying to explain why you just yelled at me for five minutes straight about something someone else did when normally you're a perfectly pleasant person to be around.

Real violence is also significantly less acceptable than bathroom talk...

So... are they trying to say that guns in games are bad? Or...?

I don't talk about my shit or piss. Blood and vomit are also usually vaguely discussed if ever.

Sorry ladies, bodily functions are just commonly seen as gross topics. You aren't bad for bleeding. It's just not something people want to hear about any more than you want to see pictures of my dookies or discuss other fluids that issue forth from my body..

Now, the thrill of taking down an obstacle with a power-fantasy-pistol, that is what people want.

A side-scrolling platformer with attacks based on bodily functions? Kind of reminds me of "Boogerman" for the SNES. Anyone remember that one?

Women do treat their menstrual cycles personally; they don't like to talk about them with anybody but close friends or family. Not disgusting or weird, just... well, personal. And I don't think anyone in their right mind actually considers women dirty for it. I also happen to treat any fluids leaving my body rather personally.

Now let's make a game where a guy kills women with condoms. We'll get critical acclaim.

Hey, hold on, stop right there. The very first sentence needs some serious back up. Since when and in which universe is gun violence more socially acceptable than menstruation? It's a gross bodily function like many other gross bodily functions, but how is it socially unacceptable? I guess it's socially unacceptable to go around making bloody finger-paintings in public spaces, but even that is more acceptable than gun violence.

Silentpony:
I think this game illustrates a larger social misconception: video games aren't a great medium for conveying topical awareness or social issues.
This game basically makes periods into laughing stocks. The most important question any game faces is 'is it fun?' That's what gives a game play value, not some half hearted message.
If there is a worthwhile message, great! But the primary focus of a game is to entertain.

Not knocking the issue. Women should not be made to feel shame about their periods, but I was always under the impression(as a guy FYI) that periods were personal things. Not embarrassing, just personal. Like I can't imagine I can just ask random women how their cycle is going. It's not an open table topic, or stand in line for a movie chitchat.

Games /can/ be a great medium for conversation on any subject, the problem is that developers too often fall for the idea that "If our product has a thing in it, then it's discussing that thing."

This is the root of all pretentious bullshit.

Re-skinning basic combat mechanics as 'throwing tampons' doesn't discuss anything. At /best/ it's a cheap reminder /of/ the things they supposedly want to discuss and why they want to discuss them. But it offers no perspective, no insight, no /thought/ on the subject of any substantive worth. That's not because it's a game, it's because it's a production born of a single question and no consideration.

Menstruating doesn't make women "gross" any more than nocturnal emissions make men "gross". The thing is that we really don't talk about either one in polite public conversation.

My last girlfriend actually knew less about the subject than I did and I didn't mind educating her; there's a woman I talk to who sometimes comments about the "cup" she uses, and it doesn't bother me in the least. But these aren't conversations we'd have in a restaurant, any more than jock itch or shrinkage. And the thing about guns in video games is that they're the easiest method of conflict resolution- "use gun on man" is a lot easier to simulate than "sit down and discuss our differences".

Saetha:
The only menstruation talk I want to have is why do girls who use tampons ridicule girls who use pads?

I was unaware that this was an actual "thing". Do the tampon-users doing the ridiculing not know about the (low but non-zero) risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome from tampons? I mean, it still happens....

The Rogue Wolf:

Saetha:
The only menstruation talk I want to have is why do girls who use tampons ridicule girls who use pads?

I was unaware that this was an actual "thing". Do the tampon-users doing the ridiculing not know about the (low but non-zero) risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome from tampons? I mean, it still happens....

Oh, it's a thing. It's not staggeringly common, but common enough that I just don't bring up my preference whenever it's mentioned. The first incident I recall was in the girl's lockroom in gym class. I have a friend who gets a lot of heat from her sorority sisters for it, too.

It's the stupidest thing, too. Many girls are aware of TSS. In fact, it's one of the most common negatives I hear about having a period. And every time it's brought up I think "Well, maybe if you swallowed your stupid pride and just wore the pad, you wouldn't have to worry about it."

 Pages 1 2 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here