With various contraceptives on the market, from condoms to rings and patches and pills, men and women have a whole arsenal of ways to prevent unplanned pregnancies.
Now there's a new video game that takes that "arsenal" literally.
Dubbed "Birth Control Brigade," the game challenges players to stop sperm from reaching a waiting ovum (and thereby stave off pregnancy) by selecting from a variety of contraceptives, reports The Toronto Sun.
Intended to be both fun and educational, it asks players to destroy the "waves of sperm" by selecting birth control defenses at a certain price and placing them strategically in the field of play, according to a press release for the product.
Targeted at Canadian teenagers, The Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada (SOGC) released the game in celebration of World Contraceptive Day, which took place on September 27. It is available not only through Sexualityandu.ca but also as a free Facebook app.
“Our hope is that adopting a game format will allow messages about the array of hormonal contraceptive options and the importance of responsible and healthy sexuality to have a positive impact on the contraception choices they make,” said the SOGC's Dr. Edith Guilbert in the press release.
According to a recent Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals study also released on World Contraceptive Day, more young people throughout the world are having unprotected sex and know less about effective contraception, but a report released yesterday by the U.S. Center for Disease Control showed that more American teenagers are using condoms during their first sexual experiences, according to Reuters.
However you feel about "Birth Control Brigade" as an educational tool, it does provide an alternative to another way teens learn about contraception: birth control commercials. Here are a few notable examples from that advertising tradition.
"You never know what you may want later." This ad successfully plays to our fantasies of being able to choose what we do and don't want in our lives exactly when we want it. If you've never quite abandoned the illusion that your future could be charted through the decision between a split-level and a tudor, this is the Pill for you.
Yes, women have mood swings, but this suggests that we are effectively Jekyll and Hydes every 28 days. Isn't part of selling a product flattering your customer?
According to this ad, using the insertable NuvaRing will allow you to "let your hair down" and cut synchronized swimming class. 'Break free, women oppressed by The Pill!' these women seem to say as they strip into two-piece suits and smile knowingly at one another. (And that wink in the hot tub? We aren't even going to guess what that's about.)
This ad was actually pulled by the FDA. Apparently "We're Not Gonna Take It" wasn't the best song to promote a pill that needs to be taken daily to be effective.
Women in tutus frolic in a forest and crashing waves, joyous that their periods are regularized by Ortho Tri-Cyclen LO. Because doesn't having your period arrive on time make you want to don a ring of pink tulle?
Spy ring? Spandex commercial? Unclear.
Sound familiar? A series of Mr. Wrongs is finally followed by a very sweet, classically good-looking Mr. Right. The ad closes chastely with Mr. Right kissing her goodnight and leaving her at her door (because suggesting actual sex in a birth control ad would just be so tawdry, right?), but now she has opt-ions ..
Brilliant or despicable? This ad targets the stressed-to-the-limit mom by threatening her with the prospect of yet another child to chase around a soccer field.
This ad, the second in our slideshow for Yaz, shows women having "girl talk" about The Pill at a nightclub -- and focusing on how it improves their moods. They never quite mention it's primary purpose: preventing pregnancy.