Scouts introduce Video Games badge

Videogame awards encourage family play, price comparisons and edutainment

The Boy Scouts of America have introduced a new Videogames award to promote understanding of the ESRB rating system and more educational titles.

The basic belt loop award is for Tiger Cubs, Cub Scouts and Webelos Scouts and has three requirements, the first being to "explain why it is important to have a rating system for videogames" and to check that the Scout's own games are suitable.

The second requirement is that the Scout prepare a schedule of activities that includes household chores, homework and videogames. The third is to "learn to play a new videogame that is approved by your parent, guardian, or teacher."

An advanced Academics Pin (aka badge) has a total of nine requirements. These include buying a game with a suitable age rating; comparing two different videogame systems; organising a family tournament; and teaching an adult or friend how to play a game.

Other requirements task Scouts with suggesting tips to help another with their favourite game; playing a game with a friend for an hour; playing a game that helps maths, spelling or other academic skills; comparing prices of games in different retailers; and installing a gaming system.

The awards are not listed on the British Cub Scouts website but further details can be found at the Boy Scouts of America site.

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Latest comments (5)

Antony Cain Lecturer, Teesside University12 years ago
Beats the hell out of tying knots
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John Bye Lead Designer, Freejam12 years ago
When I was a kid you had to learn first aid, build a shelter in the woods with your bare hands or make fire by rubbing bits of stick together to earn a badge. What's the world coming to? :)
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Terence Gage Freelance writer 12 years ago
Are there badge-specific requirements, such as getting 1000 headshots or shouting and swearing at 100 people?
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Stephen Woollard Online Infrastructure Specialist, Electronic Arts12 years ago
If they advertised the fact they get achievements then their numbers would explode as all the hardcore gamers joined up to grind badges.

Of course, they'd need some kind of online leaderboards, maybe a ladder tournament or two... :-)

Things have certainly changed since I was a Scout, but that was 25 years ago.
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Being a Freelancer writer here in the UK and a UK Scout Leader, this is actually quite an interesting development over in the States. UK Scouting is currently in the press for the huge surge in membership numbers (largely due to the celebrity status of our current and past Chief Scout), and I have been trying to get local groups to embrace gaming instead of running from it.
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