Imagine you are 11 again. You have your sleeping bag under your arm, your cool new jammies in your overnight bag and you are all set to head over to your bestie’s house for a sleepover. You and your friends sit and listen to music, gush about your latest crushes and binge on soda and junk food. Conversation begins to wane so someone throws out the idea of playing everyone’s favorite board game, The Period Game: Learn How to Go With the Flow, where you and your friends turn a giant ovary to see whether or not you’ve reached menarche and then race around the board (aka your cycle) to learn about periods.
Remember the time-honored teen treasure of Girl Talk? It’s like that for the cycledork set.
Sound too good to be true? (It does to us!) Well, that scenario can now be reality thanks to Red Dot Design award winners Daniela Gilsanz and Ryan Murphy who created The Period Game for a school project at Rhode Island School of Design.
Designed around an inclusive view of menstrual health (you can even choose a menstrual cup as your game piece), The Period Game was created to fill the educational void most prepubescent girls live in when it comes to learning about periods. In a world that views menstruation as taboo, it can be challenging to find trusted adults who are willing to discuss menstruation openly and honestly with teens. And with fewer and fewer schools teaching comprehensive reproductive health classes it is more important than ever to make discussing menstruation easy and comfortable:
“The Period Game strives to turn a typically uneasy situation into a fun, positive, learning experience. It is designed to teach participants about what is happening within the female body and how to ‘go with the flow.’”
There are preparation cards (“Took a cozy hot bath” “Got a good night’s rest”), protection cards (tampon, sanitary pad, menstrual cup, etc.) and specialty cards (“Extra undies” “Oops…you leaked”).
Here’s how it works…
Every turn begins with a player turning one of the two ovaries, releasing a marble into the tray below.
A red marble came out? Congrats! You got your period. A clear marble? Better luck next time. Depending on where your marble takes you, play a protection card, preparation card or go to the nurse’s office.
Make it around the board before anyone else to win. Either way, you’re a pro at handling your period.
(Your speakers aren’t broken, the video has no sound.)
The Period Game is in need of partners to help fund the project and bring the game to production. If you are interested in extending support to this amazing project you can inquire at www.periodgame.com.
Amy Sutherland is a period-positive advocate and graduate student at the University of Minnesota where she is currently researching and writing her thesis on how menstrual stereotypes and stigmas affect health outcomes in women and girls. Read her full bio here.