Young girls don't often feel comfortable using the words "tampon," "pad," or "period" in everyday conversations. Their bodies are changing, and along with this comes many questions and bit of taboo surround the topic of female menstruation. Because of this, two art school graduates decided to change the way periods are discussed and educate youth in a whole new way. This new period board game helps pre-teens learn more about the menstrual cycle and change talk about this natural process.
The Period Game was designed in 2014 by Daniela Gilsanz and Ryan Murphy when they were both students at Rhode Island School of Design, according HuffPost.
Their class was instructed to create a game about the human body, and they picked the menstrual cycle, as Gilsanz told HuffPost. Seeing how uncomfortable the topic made their peers, Gilsanz and Murphy knew they picked the right topic.
The Period Game's focus is to turn a difficult topic into a fun and informative learning opportunity, according to the creators' Kickstarter campaign.
The game first garnered media attention in 2016 but now the creators have started a Kickstarter campaign with a goal of raising $35k towards the project. So far, they've made about $12k in their goal to bringing the game to market.
The boxed set comes with one round board that walks players around the menstrual cycle from puberty, a woman's four week cycle, period symptoms and different flow patterns, according to Kickstarter.
The game's centerpiece is meant to be a physical representation of the female reproductive system, according to Kickstarter. There are 11 PMS cards that teach players about symptoms and solutions. Then there are period protection cards like tampons, overnight pads, and more. And it all comes with an educational booklet to help players learn along the way.
"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 told HuffPost.
While the game is designed for pre-pubescent girls, it's also great for anyone looking to learn more about their body or for boys who are curious and want to know more about the way bodies work, according to HuffPost. And, of course, teachers and parents can play as well in order to steer discussions in the right direction.
A recent study conducted by Diva International Inc., makers of the Diva Cup, garnered some startling results about women and their periods, according to the New York Post. Only 1 in 10 women under the age of 24 are comfortable talking about their periods to their fathers and 1 in 4 felt "unprepared" for their first cycle, the study reported. Combine this with the fact that 30 percent said their first period was completely confusing and it doesn't take genius to see that we are failing young women in this department. These are some scary numbers considering that 92 percent of women remember their first periods very well.
And that's what The Period Game is trying to change, according to HuffPost. They want the next generation of women to be comfortable and prepared for their menstrual cycles, which is a very good idea considering the average woman spends 10 years on her period or has about 500 periods in her life, according to Marie Claire UK and Net Doctor.
"Our longer term goal is to change the way we teach menstruation and help bust the period taboo," Gilsanz told HuffPost. "We want the next generation to not feel that they have to hide tampons in their sleeves!"
The average woman starts her first period between the ages of 11 and 14 and stops around age 50, according to Healthline. So having the right information from start to finish is invaluable.
The next time you shove a tampon up your sleeve on the way to the bathroom, in hopes that no one will see, stop and think. What kind of message will this send to young woman? Periods are nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, women should be empowered by the amazing things their bodies do. Take it from the makers of the Period Game — each month is a gift.