I’m kind of obsessed with this new game called Hair Nah. Scratch that, I’m completely obsessed. The game was designed by Momo Pixel, an art director at Wieden + Kennedy with the goal of tackling an issue black women face all the time.
Unwanted hair touching.
In an interview, Pixel said, “I’ll be walking, and a woman will reach her hands into my head. I’m talking to a teammate, and a co-worker I just met is holding my hair in his hand. The moment someone mentions my hair, I grab it to claim ownership.”
The objective of the game is to help your character reach her destination while protecting her hair from reaching hands. In each round, you have sixty seconds to fill the “Nah Meter” by swatting hands away from your hair. If you miss or swat way too much (like I did), the meter will decrease.
I’m always interested in how other designers work to communicate messages in different ways. And at the same time, my own experiences and the experiences of people who look like me are always on my mind. That’s why I think that this game resonated with me so much. It’s scary relatable. Not only have I experienced complete strangers invading my personal space to touch my hair, but I’ve also wondered what I could do about it. Seeing what Momo Pixel did here is refreshing, and it makes me excited to explore other ways design can be used to address the daily issues and frustrations that occupy the discussion of a particular group, but rarely make their way to those outside of it.
If you have some time, play it! At the very least, it’s a beautifully designed game. But if the message sticks with you, well, that’s pretty much the point.