Tampon Run


High school students Sophie Houser and Andrea Gonzales created an 8-bit side scroller game, Tampon Run, last summer to combat the menstrual taboo. They made the game as their final project for the Girls Who Code immersion program. They posted it to tamponrun.com in early September to share with friends and family. To their surprise, it went viral. Tampon Run features a girl who throws tampons at oncoming enemies rather than shooting a gun. The game is meant to combat the menstrual taboo by using humor to promote thought and discussion about the topic. Since posting their game online, Sophie and Andy have been written up in newspapers, magazines and blogs globally and received moving emails and tweets of support from around the world. They have also appeared at public speaking engagements including a TEDx Youth talk and worked with leading development company Pivotal Labs to build a mobile version of the game, to be released on February 3. Sophie and Andy represent a fight against the menstrual taboo and also the important message that girls and women can and should code.

About Sophie: Sophie Houser, a 17 year old high school student at Bard High School Early College, created the 8-bit video game Tampon Run in the summer 2014 with Andrea Gonzales to combat the menstrual taboo in society.  It was their final project for the Girls Who Code summer immersion program at IAC. When they released the game online in early September, it went viral.  They then worked with leading agile development firm Pivotal Labs to build the mobile app which they released in February. Sophie and Andy have been written up globally, gave a TEDx Talk and continue to receive emails and tweets of support from people around the world. Through this experience, Sophie discovered her love of coding and its power to cause social change. She is now keen to devise other ways to use technology for social good. Sophie will be attending Brown University next year where she plans to major in Computer Science. It gives her great joy that her story is inspiring other girls to code too.

About Andrea: Andrea Gonzales, a 16 year old high school student at Hunter College High School, is the co-creator and co-developer of the 8-bit game Tampon Run. Ever since she attended her first coding class in 2011, Andrea noticed the gender gap in technology. To share her love of coding, Andrea has been passionate about pointing more girls and women towards computer science. This passion, coupled with her knowledge of coding and fascination with video game design, manifested itself in the game Tampon Run. She and Sophie Houser developed the game for their final project in the Girls Who Code’s summer immersion program, and ever since its launch in September, have worked hard at juggling school and the overwhelming attention from Tampon Run’s success. They recently released Tampon Run for iOS devices, and are strong advocates for girls and women to pursue education and careers in technology.

Social Media:

Website – www.tamponrun.com

Twitter – @tamponrunner

Download the Tampon Run App (iOS)


Select Publications:



The Huffington Post



Angela Brugioni