Girls can code, too. Period

Sophie Houser, 17, and Andy Gonzales, 16, are two ambitions, outspoken teenage girls who have something to say about gaming, tolerance of violence, and Western culture’s fear of menstruation. Did reading that word make you uncomfortable? They met last summer at an immersion program called Girls Who Code, an organization aiming to get more girls involved […]

Sophie Houser, 17, and Andy Gonzales, 16, are two ambitions, outspoken teenage girls who have something to say about gaming, tolerance of violence, and Western culture’s fear of menstruation.

Did reading that word make you uncomfortable?

They met last summer at an immersion program called Girls Who Code, an organization aiming to get more girls involved in computer science. It didn’t take them long to come up with the idea for Tampon Run, a first-person game that allows a player to throw tampons at people instead of using traditional gaming artillery. The girls are making a statement that somehow violence is more tolerated and acceptable than a conversation about menstruating.

Not only that, but it’s finally a game that isn’t totally marketed to boys. Males and females play video games almost equally, yet video game developers are 76% male.

“I don’t think there were any guys thinking about making a tampon game,” said Houser. “By having a lot more diversity [in the industry], it means the ideas and the products that come out of it will relate to a lot more people.”

Girls Who Code is one of many programs encouraging young women to get involved. Others include Black Girls Code, Girl Develop It, Girls Rock on the Web and Girls Make Games.

“I’m not sure what I actually want to do [for my career],” said Houser (who had never coded before last summer), “but I love the experience of using code to create social change. It’s empowering and exciting.”

The game has been such a hit the girls had to scramble last weekend to code a version for the iPhone.

[photo from @tamponrunner]

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