16-year-old Andrea Gonzales and 17-year-old Sophie Houser both came from Girls Who Code, a summer program that teaches girls skills related to the gaming and tech industry.
"Tampon Run" is a shooter game that features tampons instead of guns. Basically, the feminine hygiene product is depicted as a projectile weapon thrown at enemies, Fast Coexist Reported.
According to Gonzales, she had been tinkering around with the idea of creating a game that supports women's rights. Her classmate, Houser, liked the idea and decided to help her with the project.
"I had been pretty vocal about wanting to make a video game and maybe something with a feminist twist to it because I thought the hyper-sexualization of women in video games was a very addressable issue," Gonzales said.
"So I kind of pitched that idea to my class to get people to come and join the group, and Sophie joined," she added. "Sophie joked that we should throw tampons at people, and then we realized that was something we could actually do."
Houser explained that the idea of tampons as weapons came to her after seeing how violence is commonly depicted in video games. In contrast, menstruation, which is a very common subject for women, is usually ignored by society, according to NY Daily News.
"It seemed so silly to us that we have all these video games where you can shoot people and kill people," she said.
"And it's so normal that you can have a video game where you can hold a gun and shoot it but none of us can talk about something so normal like menstruation, which most every woman does for a large portion of her life," Houser added.
Shortly after the release of the game, the two girls received feedback from both their friends and strangers who played "Tampon Run." Houser said she and Gonzales are pleased after learning about how people responded to their creation.
"Actually a few days ago after we released the game, I had a guy friend come up to me and say that he realized that he actually did shut me down every time we talked about menstruation," she said.
"And he was like, 'I don't know why I do that. That's so weird.' And that was such a great moment because I had actually reached someone that I knew and changed their opinion," she added.
"In general, we've gotten emails from people all around the world, and from men and women," Houser continued. "It's so wonderful that we're reaching so many people, and making people think about it and discuss it. It's what we wanted to do with the game."
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