Everyone has a unique story from when they first learned about Their Changing Bodies, but girls of the future might be able to say this: I learned about my period from a board game. At least, that’s the hope of Rhode Island School of Design students Daniela Gilsanz, 22, and Ryan Murphy, 23, who created The Period Game for their “Design and Play” class two years ago. Now, they’re looking for partners to help put it on shelves. The impetus behind the game is to change the way periods are taught to and viewed by tweens. “I learned about periods first from my mom,” co-creator Gilsanz told Refinery29. “But then in 5th grade health class where our teacher made us chant 'vagina' as loud as we could. At the time it was a little shocking, but it definitely helped lighten the mood and make us all more ok to say words we weren't that comfortable with. It was definitely still awkward, but I don't think I realized how lucky a learning environment that was, and the impact it had on the way I approach periods, until way later.” Gilsanz brought this environment to The Period Game. The game consists of two ovaries, which players spin until a marble comes out. Three of the marbles are clear, while one is red, representing the one week a month a uterus welcomes its monthly visitor. While clear marbles mean you move forward a space, getting a red marble hurdles you to the next “period” space. No matter what, playing the game means collecting cards, which teach players about the anatomy of menstrual cycles, as well as the hygiene products used. “We are currently starting to talk to a few companies, but are still in very early stages and collecting a lot of feedback,” Gilsanz said when asked about the future of the game.
The gap between what we learned in sex ed and what we're learning through sexual experience is big — way too big. So we're helping to connect those dots by talking about the realities of sex, from how it's done to how to make sure it's consensual, safe, healthy, and pleasurable all at once. Check out more here.