Cops & Rubbers

Cops & Rubbers is an social impact game for health and human rights advocates, health practitioners, academics, and policymakers to perspective-take as sex workers and that advocates against the criminalization of condoms. The game demonstrates the real consequences related policing tactics have on sex workers – including violence, extortion, and increased vulnerability to HIV infection.


Open Society Foundations’ Sexual Health and Rights Project (SHARP) commissioned Cops and Rubbers as an advocacy game to accompany their 2012 report Criminalizing Condoms. Players take on the role of sex workers and experience the negative consequence of the condoms as evidence policy including harassment and abuse by law enforcement.

The game is based on research conducted by SHARP partners in Kenya, Namibia, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Russia, and USA and includes quotes from actual sex workers in this country who have suffered violations to their public health rights and human rights because of this policy. 


Cops and Rubbers received the 2014 Meaningful Play award for Best Overall Non-Digital Game.

You can order your copy of the analog game online at The Game Crafter today!

Cops & Rubbers: A game promoting advocacy and empathy in support of public health and human rights of sex workers on Vimeo.


Cops & Rubbers launched at the 19th biannual International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C., in Summer 2012, and is now available on the Open Society Foundations’ website at:

[quote]In countries around the world police carry out legal and illegal searches of sex workers and confiscate or destroy condoms found in their possession. In many cases, possession of condoms has been used by prosecutors as evidence of prostitution. Treating condoms as contraband forces sex workers to choose between safeguarding their health and avoiding police harassment or arrest. Cops and Rubbers is an interactive demonstration of these policing practices and highlights the consequences on sex workers’ lives, including their vulnerability to HIV infection.[/quote]



In Spring 2016, Cops and Rubbers was translated to a single-player online game and is available now at:

Please visit the C&R website for complete set of resources for and research on the game at




All visual designs created by Lien Tran with help on the following vector icons found on the Noun Project :

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  1. Pingback: Lien B. Tran » Gaming the System at UM

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