This Teen-Created Tampon Video Game Is All Kinds of Awesome
What happens when girls code? Girls (and women) make amazing things. Things you want to download, share, play and tweet about, like the latest video game to totally take over our lunchtime funtime: Tampon Run.
Don’t LOL just yet, this game is made to make you think differently about more than just a high score. It follows a 16-bit-sized super heroine walking down the street, defeating dudes with a unique arsenal. The weapons in Tampon Run are, you might have guessed it, tampons. Strange? Um, not really. As the creators, NYC high school students and Girls Who Code grads Andrea “Andy” Gonzales and Sophie Houser, point out, “It’s stranger that our society has accepted and normalized guns and violence through video games, yet we still find tampons and menstruation unspeakable.” Preach, sisters.
The aim of the game is simple. You defeat your enemies by shooting cotton torpedos at them. To gain more ammunition, collect tampon boxes along your journey. Once you run out of tampons, it’s GAME OVER. The game is addictive, but it’s just a gateway for getting to know more about its true superheroes, the two young women who conceptualized, coded and created it.
Sophie and Andy are budding Internet stars by way of Girls Who Code, the nonprofit working to close the gender gap in the technology and engineering worlds. Sophie tells us that it was her mom who suggested she apply to GWC this past summer. “She thought I would like coding because it’s creative and mathy, both things I love.” Even if, Sophie soon discovered, coding is actually “more logical than mathy.” Andy spent previous summer vacays canoodling with coding at the co-ed SummerTech Computer Camps, and Summer ‘14 at Girls Who Code (once she was old enough to apply, of course).
For their GWC final project, the two new friends teamed up to work on a video game that they hope will be a gamechanger on a more global scale than your immediate social media circle. “Andy wanted to build a video game that made some sort of social impact. I liked the idea of using code to create social change (and I liked Andy!), so I joined,” Sophie explains. “While brainstorming, I jokingly said we could create a game in which a girl throws tampons. As soon as I said it, we knew there was something there.”
“My initial intention for the game was to address the hypersexualization of women in video games,” says Andy. “But when Sophie threw (haha) the tampon idea onto the table, I was swept away by it. We didn’t realize this issue really existed, and on such extreme levels (in some countries, women end up isolating themselves while they’re menstruating, are just uneducated on how to care for themselves, and/or can’t afford it). It’s a totally legitimate issue, and I’m so happy that we were able to help bring it to light.” We are too — a powerful concept, mission (and hopeful impact) behind a seemingly simple game.
We’re hard at work improving Tampon Run and guzzling bubble tea! pic.twitter.com/NzGcDUvN1D
— Tampon Run (@TamponRunner) September 6, 2014
Tampon Run as you know it now is just Version 1.0. Sophie and Andy tell us that they are working on making the game more difficult, creating a global leader board so people around the world can compare scores and answering the many requests they’ve gotten in this short launch period for a mobile version. You go, girls. ‘Til then, we’ll be using this pair as inspiration for our own foray into coding. Girls who code = girls who rule = women who will change the world — wouldn’t you agree?
Have you played Tampon Run yet? What do you think of Andy and Sophie’s mission? Seriously, how inspired are you by these two?! Give ’em some love below!
It can be intimidating to step out on your own and build a business from the ground up. As part of our collaboration with Office Depot, we're talking with Selfmade alum and solopreneur Colette Lawrence, the faith-based motivator and relationship builder behind The M.E.E. Movement, about ways in which women in business can find success.
B + C: How did you know M.E.E. Movement was your business to start?
The M.E.E Movement represents motivation, empowerment, and encouragement for women. It is what represents me. I did not know at first that it was my business to start, but then the thought of monetizing what I loved came to me. It scared me, however. I registered the business in July 2020 and have been slowly building my wings since.
B + C: What's one strategy that's helped you start your business?
Thinking through and researching what the requirements are to start my business, and then asking questions of people who are in the business. Not all advice worked; however, it helped me to figure out what I needed to do and not to do.
B + C: Did you always know life coaching would be your entrepreneurial path?
(Smiles) No, I did not. I 'stumbled" on it. I knew that people were always coming to me for advice and I found that I loved having conversations with them, especially with women, young and old.
B + C: What was your most valuable takeaway from Selfmade?
My most valuable takeaway was the first day of training: Get out of your own way. There were a lot of great moments and important takeaways from every presenter. However, getting out of my own way, pushing past doubts, was for me my most valuable takeaway. Doing something that I had never done before took courage. If I do not focus on what is happening with me mentally then I cannot deliver to my clients successfully.
B + C: What's one piece of advice you would give to female entrepreneurs on the brink of starting?
Get out of your head. You have something to offer. You have what you need to succeed so go ahead and do it.
B + C: How do you stay motivated?
I stay motivated by listening to music and listening to motivational speakers, and sometimes someone will just reach out and talk about the impact that I made in their life. That adds the extra juice or sauce I need to pummel through the day.
B + C: What's your best organizational tip?
Keep a diary and journal. It's the best way for me to keep organized and it also provides a source motivation as I record not only my "losses" but my wins as well.
B + C: Who inspires you in the entrepreneurial space?
Shirley Toliver – She motivates and empowers and makes me always want to show up.
B + C: What has receiving the Office Depot scholarship to Selfmade done to help you start or grow your business?
The scholarship was a blessing in that all the areas that were covered offered valuable information that I needed, from social media to HR. As a new business owner, I needed to know this to increase my own personal awareness in what it takes to run a successful business. The candidness of the presenters made it easy to see myself in their shoes and helped me to realize that I can also get there.
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Head to Office Depot's Selfmade page to check out even more amazing business resources (and discounts!) to help you accomplish more on your entrepreneurial journey. These offers are available for a limited time only, so be sure to take advantage of all this goodness while supplies last. Want to join the next Selfmade cohort this summer? Check out all of the scholarship details right here.