— Momo Pixel (@MomoUhOh) November 15, 2017
Unwanted hair touching is an unfortunate experience many Black women can relate to. It turns out one Black woman became so sick of it she decided to use her skills to make a computer game out of it. “Hair Nah” launched Wednesday, Nov. 15 and after Momo Pixel tweeted out the link to play it, it swiftly went viral.
Gamers can pick a skin tone and hairstyle as they travel as women through Havana; Osaka, Japan, and California’s Santa Monica Pier. Throughout, they’ll have to swat away grabby hands eager to touch their tresses.
“I’ll be walking, and a woman will reach her hands into my head,” Pixel, an art director at marketing agency Wieden + Kennedy, told “On She Goes” Wednesday. “I’m talking to a teammate, and a co-worker I just met is holding my hair in his hand. I’m in the checkout line, and the cashier will reach across to caress my braids. I shudder thinking about it. It’s so creepy. And it sucks because I know a lot of women have had this issue their whole life. But for me, it all came at once! And I’m like, ‘WTF is this? I didn’t sign up for this. Who told you that you can do that? Where are your manners? Guard!'”
Pixel, who moved to Portland, Ore. last year, said she experienced increased hair touching after graduating from college in 2015, but it’s been even more rampant since she arrived in Oregon’s largest city.
The Struggles of Black Hair
“It’s very off-putting and it pisses me off because it’s hard to be yourself when everyone is claiming a piece of it,” she said. “I find myself at least in Portland being very guarded, and the moment someone mentions my hair, I grab it to claim ownership.”
She can also firmly claim ownership of “Hair Nah,” which she co-published with her agency. Although Pixel does a little coding, in a tweet she said it was a team of six other people who helped make the game a reality.
only a lil. My friend and coworker Trent coded the game. I came up with the idea and designed the whole thing. I had like a group of 6 help me. I taught a girl how to do pixel art and she did the destinations. Another did animation. I over saw the whole thing. it was dope!
— Momo (@MomoUhOh) November 15, 2017
The game has filled Pixel’s mentions like crazy, with many applauding her for shedding a light on the struggle in a fun and creative way.
Life of a black person. The game.
bless you for making this.
Do you mind if I play this on my stream on twitch?
— Nigz Blackman (@NigzBlackman) November 15, 2017
Thank you!!!!! pic.twitter.com/mVSpwVFNpT
— Union Black (@Union_Black) November 15, 2017
Let no other Black child have to utter the words…. "No Susan….. Do you Sandy, do you really??!!".🤨🤨https://t.co/QBcfih6Pjw
— Academic Anntiee "ain't going any Blackwhere"! ©IA (@onewizewomun) November 16, 2017
Others are just soaking up the retro graphics.
Girl, you bout to have me failing out of grad school because of this game. 😂
— WhyAmIAbleToMakeMyDisplayNameThisUnnecessarilyLong (@aawbaby0129) November 16, 2017
The game is pretty darn awesome. Also pretty high anxiety lol. I love the cute tiny mascot! This is so good!
— 🐐 (@ImwithBanana) November 16, 2017
really well done! 😍 👏👏👏 pic.twitter.com/BdXAgS6YT1
— ❄️snow wang ☃ (@tigerwang) November 16, 2017
This is so awesome. It looks like one of the Amiga games they used to show on Nickelodeon during Clarissa Explains it All, haha. I absolutely love the art style.
— Gabriel Morales (@GabeMoralesVR) November 16, 2017
As for where “Hair Nah” will go in the future, Pixel told “On She Goes” she’s working on some merchandise. But anything else will depend on public demand.
“I’m open to all the blessings,” Pixel said. “But ‘Hair Nah’ could go anywhere! We’ll just have to see.”