ALARMED by numerous social-media posts singing the praises of teenagers getting pregnant prematurely, five schoolgirls spent two years developing a board game called Fortune Condom.
“We wanted to deter teen pregnancies by clarifying the difficulties that arise when you get pregnant before you’re really ready,” said Pakawadee Panil, one of the game inventors.
She and her friends won the HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Cup in the Thammasat-Banpu Innovative Learning Programme, in which secondary students compete at conceiving board games aimed at helping society.
Pakawadee’s team won the Empathic Communication Award, which comes with a Bt20,000 cash prize.
A student at St Mary’s School in Udon Thani province, Pakawadee said getting pregnant before you’re prepared is unwise.
“It will have an impact on the young mother, her family and the community,” she said.
Designed for players ages 12 to 18, Fortune Condom presents situations that young people may encounter if the girl gets pregnant. Playing cards might offer contraception or counselling. Choosing the “right card” boosts life-experience points, but the “wrong card” leaves the player pregnant and facing various challenges.
“Talking about sex can be difficult, but this game makes it easier to discuss,” Pakawadee said. Many of her fellow students had found the game useful.
Jutti Jantana, a teacher at St Mary’s School and adviser to Pakawadee’s team, said the students started developing the game in August 2017.
“I must admit it was quite difficult to discuss sex openly with the girls,” he said.
“In fact there were some words I didn’t want to use at all at first, but I had to because the team needed information to create a game that would be useful.”
Jutti said he now uses Fortune Condom in his sex-ed classes and has noticed that other students are feeling inspired to develop their own games. “I really hope this game reaches a wider audience so that more people get educated about the risks and impacts of teen pregnancy,” he said.