A storytelling card game about contraception and safer sex, plus relationships, emotions, and social networks
Hearsay is a card game I co-designed with Mason Arrington for Game Changer Chicago as part of Hexacago, a set of games teaching systems perspectives in public health and reproductive justice.
We made Hearsay for high school sex ed classrooms to prompt discussions about birth control and safer sex as part of everyday life. Taking turns, players tell a story about a randomly chosen protagonist in their first year of college, weaving together the characters, events, and feelings they’ve been dealt. Winning the game entails maneuvering to place yellow cards into the narrative, each of which describes a form of contraception or STD prevention, including PrEP, IUDs, condoms, and abstinence.
Hearsay aligns with the lab’s work toward reproductive justice through the destigmatization of reproductive health care and improved sexual health education. It aims to not over-determine the stories its players are telling, and to work with a sex ed curriculum that allows students to think through how contraception fits into their own lives and the lives of people around them—not as something taboo and scary, but as something normal, healthy, and worth discussing.