girl human is going to need this period board game, which makes menstruation so much easier to talk about
As much as we all know that periods are natural and a part of life for roughly half the planet’s population, there’s still a weird shame and stigma attached to talking about them. But this amazing new period board game, “The Period Game,” is raising money on Kickstarter to help kids (and many adults, let’s be honest) learn how to talk about periods without all the associated shame that, for some reason, can still be there.
What exactly does a period board game entail? So glad you asked.
The Period Game allows users to select a game piece that looks like a piece of period protection, like a pad, tampon, menstrual cup or even period underwear. Side note: They’re adorable.
Then, players move around the board to different spaces that represent different parts of the menstrual cycle. You can land on a period space, requiring you to combat Aunt Flo with a protection card before you can move on. You can also land on a PMS space, meaning you have to play a card describing a PMS-symptom-busting type of self-care. Unlucky players will get leaks and have to skip a turn to visit the nurse’s office. The winner is the player who makes it all the way around the board first, successfully navigating periods, PMS, ovulation and more.
Did we mention the game’s centerpiece, which is a model of the reproductive system? Not only is this game super cute and fun, but it’s educational as all heck.
The Period Game was designed by Daniela Gilsanz and her partner, Ryan Murphy, when they were design students in Rhode Island in 2015. One of their classes tasked them with creating a board game about the body, and this was what they came up with.
“Initially our classmates were a little uncomfortable, which surprised us, as we were all in our 20s at oue school, but proved that there was still a long way to go in how we talk about periods,” Gilsanz told Scary Mommy. “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!”
Clearly there was an educational opportunity here.
“We’ve tested the game with kids, health educators, gynecologists and child psychologists to make sure it’s as informative and fun as possible,” she said. “We’ve heard so many different period stories, and had the fortune of seeing boys and girls shout ‘I want my period’ at the top of their lungs. We also had a fourth grader try to buy it on the spot, and an eighth grader understand what PMS was for the first time to extreme relief that she wasn’t alone.”
Considering a recent study showed that 50 percent of girls would rather be bullied than talk to their parents about their periods, it’s clear there’s a sore need for a tool like this to help teach kids there is no shame in menstruation, and anyone, of any age or gender, can freely talk about pads, tampons, cramps, periods and everything else that’s associated with that time of the month.
If you want to support The Period Game (and pre-order or donate a copy to a school in the process), you can help Gilsanz and Murphy reach their Kickstarter goal. They’re close, but they only have until Thursday to fund their first production run, and if there was ever a game that deserves to be made, it’s this one.