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(2014) Andy & Sophie tried to take down my free clone

Started by gameblabla, October 15, 2017, 08:37:58 PM

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October 15, 2017, 08:37:58 PM Last Edit: October 15, 2017, 08:47:50 PM by gameblabla
So in 2014, two girls named Andy & Sophie made a small HTML5 game called Tampon Run.
It was a simple game where you controlled a girl throwing tampons at enemies. (which happened to be male teenagers)
Strangely enough, the game (and its strange premise) caught the attention of the media :


One of the reasons for this is because Andy & Sophie claimed that there's a taboo around the subject of menstruation and they decided to make a game around that.
My mom told me about the game and she thought the game was nice.
Upon trying it however, i was very unimpressed by how slow the game ran, at a very low framerate...
There was also little content in it.

Looking at the code, i was even more horrified by the quality of it :
Lots of repeated code, a huge framework doing absolutely nothing for trivial things and an attempt at doing object-oriented programming in javascript...

Upon witnessing this, i thought : "Hey, i could use this game and make it better."
And so i did, after a week working on it : https://github.com/gameblabla/tamponrunremix

The game was published for Android on Google Play Store and Amazon App Store.
Sadly, someone on Instagram reported the game to Andy & Sophie.
Later, they issued a DMCA takedown to my game.

I later discovered through the takedown it was in fact a University that was behind the takedown. (individuals don't have the power for DMCAs)
Btw, they never issued the takedown to the original game on Amazon App Store, which can be found here :

However, i somehow knew that was going to happen and i just needed to draw new assets for the game.
So here it is, the new version with new assets :

Link to Google Play store : https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tamponrun

They attempted to issue a DMCA but couldn't because the assets were not them...
Instead, they sent me an angry letter :

This is Andy and Sophie, the creators of Tampon Run.
We are emailing to ask you to please take down your version of Tampon Run ("Open Tampon Run") on Google Play.

We are high school students who spent this past summer learning to code, and we love programming!
We built Tampon Run as the final project for a summer program we both participated in.

We worked hard to create the concept, to design the game, to code the game, and recently to speak to press and promote it.
The game not only combats the menstrual taboo, but it also represents that women can code and that women need to be a part of tech.

By making a clone of the game, you are not only taking our intellectual property, but are also distorting a fundamental piece of the game & its story.

We encourage you to continue pursuing coding and game creation.
It is an incredible field. We are sure you have great ideas for games.
You should build them! We appreciate that you think the game is so terrific that you want to share it with the world via mobile, but it's not yours to share.

We hope you understand where we're coming from and hope you will take down "Open Tampon Run" tonight.

Sophie and Andy

They tried to intimidate me, despite that fact they no longer had legal power to take my game down.
I clearly took issue with the fact that they issued a DMCA claim several times to take down my game and the fact that they claim is to talk about a sensible issue.
I thought it was counter-productive to take down any clones that talks about menstruation and just keep it for yourself.
Clearly, activism was not their single motivation.

I also sent them an angry letter, calling them out on that :
I will change the name and put in the description that you had no
involvement in the game.
But i won't take the game down because you have no right over my open
source clone, ideas are not copyrightable you know.
Not to mention that i used none of your assets or code...

I thought the goal of your game was to spread the word to everyone, am i
wrong ?
That's why i licensed my clone under a free software license too but you
don't care about this crap and all you want to do is to go around ,
sue people and deny their freedoms.
But you know, you do this because you want to protect your
intellectual property'. Ugh !

Btw Open Tampon Run was not my only game, don't worry about that.

That's all i have to say.

A week after, men's rights activists (unaware of the whole mess obviously) accused me in the comments of spreading fear of men over the fact that the enemies were male.
So both the Feminists and Masculists had an issue with me and the game...

Several months after this mess, an iOS port was finally released by Andy & Sophiie.
They did not make the game, a company called Pivotal Labs did the game, with Andy & Sophie merely assisting them.

Check out the two versions side by side :



I'm not kidding, they made little to no improvements to the game !
I spent like a week on the game and even my version is better than theirs...
Btw, they never released an Android port.

So much for spreading so much bulls-hit
  • Calculators owned: None (used to own an Nspire and TI-89)


If one of the goals was really to "combat the menstrual taboo", then why trying to kill clones which would be helpful for this worldwide fight ?

Probably because the actual motivations are something less noble : fame / money.


Exactly critor. It really made me cringe a little when they were talking about "Intellectual property".
And it's not everyone who can issue DMCA claims... talk about 2 little girls who wanted to learn programming...
I left the game online (i took it down for a while before) but i wanted to forget about the whole thing.
  • Calculators owned: None (used to own an Nspire and TI-89)

DJ Omnimaga

  • Calculators owned: TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition, TI-84 Plus CE, Casio fx-CG10, HP Prime, fx 1.0 Plus, fx-7400G Plus, fx-9750G Plus, fx-9860G, HP 39gII
  • Consoles, mobile devices and vintage computers owned: Huawei P30 Lite, Nintendo Wii U


it's an amazing story!  ;D

I've installed your android version, it looks cool. I'm sure it should be easy to port it to Pico-8.

The original concept is indeed rather strange: the main character fight men with tampons, yet they want people to have a better understanding about tampons.  :banghead:
And for a game about tampons, I find it lacks blood!

I find it cool anyway to find girls who are programming stuff.

and I don't know how are other men about this, but I don't have anything against women's period, I just find this natural, so women don't need to be shy about this.
  • Calculators owned: TI-83+ fr, TI-82

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