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Many of us may remember the infamous ‘Birds and the Bees’ class (or maybe you just attended it!). For me it was in 5th grade, and they split up the boys and girls for 3 longggg days as we learned ‘all’ about our ‘changing bodies.’ As informative as some may believe the class or ‘talk’ was, two former students at Rhode Island School of Design are trying a different approach to schooling the next generation of girls and guys in the coolest most innovative way possible. The two former RISD students, Daniela Gilsanz and Ryan Murphy, bring us "The Period Game!" (I hope you can sense my excitement). And guess what – I got to interview them! Read below for my interview with founder Daniela about how they developed the idea and what's next for the two of them!
The Period Game started as a school project in our senior year at RISD (the Rhode Island School of Design). We were in a Design and Play class and were tasked with making a game about the body, and thought that menstruation was a great place to start!
There is no standardized method for learning about your period. As a result, we realized that many people were confused and embarrassed about what was happening to their bodies as they began to menstruate. We wanted to make menstruation fun, and to create an open learning environment where learning the game, and learning about your body go hand in hand. Also, we thought it was great to create situations where people can excitedly exclaim, "I need a tampon!" without anyone thinking twice about it. We think that a positive learning experience and familiarizing yourself with these words can help destigmatize periods and make people more comfortable with their own bodies.
At first, people were somewhat uncomfortable with the idea of a period game and having to talk about menstruation publicly. As the game took shape and people began playing, that discomfort disappeared and we gained a lot of support. Having the ability to play test with so many different people and children was really inspiring and motivating.
The first time we played with children we had a girl who at the start didn't know what a menstrual cup was, but within the hour asked if she could keep her card for the whole game as menstrual cups are reusable. To see someone learn and understand so fully and quickly that they were able to challenge the preexisting game rules was very gratifying (and it is a rule we have now implemented!)
We hope to bring it to market and make it available to as many people as possible.
We would love to see it in schools and homes for prepubescent girls and boys. We think it's very important for everyone to know about menstruation.
We are talking to potential partners now.
We are always working on new things—stay tuned!
We look forward to what Daniela and Ryan have in store for The Period Game! Be sure to check out http://www.periodgame.com/ for more information.
(The above image is captured from The Period Game website.)
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