A Pakistani start-up created a period-themed mobile game to raise awareness on menstruation, which unfortunately still prevents many girls from accessing the same opportunities as their male counterparts.
Menstruation. Half of the population experiences it every few weeks for most of their adult life, and yet the monthly occurrence is still considered taboo and disgusting by many people. Just a few weeks ago, Chinese swimmer Fu Yuanhi made headlines in Rio by mentioning that her period had affected her Olympic performance. The attention generated by that remark just goes to show that we as a society have a long way to go in terms of accepting that natural bodily function.
In some countries, this taboo can turn into full-blown stigmatisation of menstruating women, which can have serious consequences and hinder the educational opportunities of girls. In Pakistan, girls are often shamed into staying at home during that time of the month. These repeated prolonged absences makes it difficult to catch up with coursework and many girls end up dropping out of school. This is why the start-up GRID (Gaming Revolution for Inspiring Development) decided to create a mobile game to demystify periods and bust some myths. And so MoHim (‘effort’ in Urdu) was born.
The game is very simple. The player is armed with a pair of pink panties and has to catch pads that fall down the screen, while avoiding objects that should not be used to absorb menstrual blood (leaves, paper tissues, newspapers, etc.). There are ‘super pads’ that give more points and ‘super bad leaves’ that remove more points.
As the player accumulates points, they receive keys that open locked doors. Behind each door is a message that demystifies a menstruation myth. For instance, one door explains that it is not true that menstruating women make food go sour by entering the kitchen, while another says girls will not become infertile if they shower during their period. These are, unfortunately, real myths in some parts of the world.
MoHim is a fun and simple way to educate people about menstruation and trying to catch virtual pads with pink panties is a quirky way of promoting period positivity.
The game is available for free for iPhones and an Android version is planned for the future. GRID partnered with Femme International – a Canadian organisation working to help women in developing countries – and they plan to promote the app in some disadvantaged neighborhoods in Nairobi, Kenya.