Boy Scouts create a "video games" badge

The Boy Scouts of America pride themselves on badges and what they represent. There are badges for outdoor activities, disability awareness, good manners, and now, as Gizmodo points out, video games. The video games badge falls under the academic and sports category. In order to attain such a standard of "excellence," a Scout must, successfully, complete a number of tasks.

Video Games Badges

According to the official Boy Scouts of America web site, the process for attaining a Video Games badge requires multiple steps. To get a belt loop, a Scout must:

  1. Explain why a rating system for video games is important and check that his video games are age appropriate
  2. With an adult, make and follow a schedule for yourself that makes time for chores, homework, and video games
  3. Learn to play a video game that is approved by a parent, guardian, or teacher

To qualify for an academics pin, a Scout is required to:

  1. With parents, make a plan to buy a video game that is age appropriate
  2. Compare two video game systems, explain the differences, and list reasons to purchase or use them
  3. Play a video game tournament with family members
  4. Teach an adult or friend to play a game
  5. List 5 or more tips to help someone play you favorite game
  6. For one hour, play an age appropriate game with a friend
  7. Play a game that will help your math, spelling, or other school related skill
  8. Pick a game that you want to purchase and compare the price, return policy, and warranty at different stores
  9. Install a gaming system with adult supervision
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43 Comments

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These aren't Boy Scout Merit Badges, they are Cub Scout Belt Loops and Pins. Cub Scouts are 7 to 10 years old, Boy Scouts are 11 to 18 years old. Cub Scouts generally earn the belt loops by doing things with their family.

In this day and age a video game badge will be more useful and practical than the "knots" badge. I can tell you how many times I've used the knots I learned from Scouting. Hint: It's less than one.

C_Guy said,
In this day and age a video game badge will be more useful and practical than the "knots" badge. I can tell you how many times I've used the knots I learned from Scouting. Hint: It's less than one.

Do you do much with your life? Ever step outside? Go camping? Scrape your knee? Come across a car accident with people bleeding profusely on the ground? Scouting helps.

I have loved playing video games since I was little, and still do at age 30. I was never a scout and I think that as a whole, the leadership of the organization is a homophobic, proselytizing bunch of LDS bigots. However, I value the idea of performing services for your community, getting off the couch, getting outside, having good manners, and learning diverse skills. Video games, though enjoyable, are not worthy of a badge. Kids will gravitate toward sendentary activites like that anyway.
Offering a video game merit badge is just plain tacky.

collegeHumorMan said,
This is so lame. Video Games? Some of the guys in my troop were so lazy because all they do all day is play video games.

Did you even read the article?

I found #9 to be a very good point, it helps not only children but any consumer on any store

c3ntury said,
Wow.. this must anger most of the traditional scout masters around the world.

I don't know about cub scouts but I know that actual boy scouts have some pretty worthless badges.

shinji257 said,

I don't know about cub scouts but I know that actual boy scouts have some pretty worthless badges.

Like what? The ones that we had when I was in were worthwhile badges.

Bemani Dog said,

Cinematography, for one.

<<Also a former scout.

ehhh., it wasn't that bad. I earned it during summer camp while filming an Adults vs. Scouts softball game. I did learn a lot on the processing video and editing from it, so I wouldn't call it worthless. Besides, badges are only as worthwhile as the people that sign off on them. You can get some people that teach you that stuff that really have no cluse what they are talking about.

briangw said,

ehhh., it wasn't that bad. I earned it during summer camp while filming an Adults vs. Scouts softball game. I did learn a lot on the processing video and editing from it, so I wouldn't call it worthless. Besides, badges are only as worthwhile as the people that sign off on them. You can get some people that teach you that stuff that really have no cluse what they are talking about.

Yeah, but you do have to admit that few 13-year-olds will get much out of the Paper-making Merit Badge.

On the same topic, I took the Computers Merit Badge, and although we finished it in three days of the week at camp, it taught me what binary was. The worth of a badge is what you get out of it.

It says nothing about sitton your but playing games, but instead incorporate gametime with research and responsibility

ivdubvr6i said,
It says nothing about sitton your but playing games, but instead incorporate gametime with research and responsibility

Indeed, a lot of people seem to be missing the point. The point of this badge is to manage gaming time responsibly, not just to game. Gaming can absolutely be part of a healthy active lifestyle, its those that play for 8 hours a night that give it a bad rep.

ivdubvr6i said,
It says nothing about sitton your but playing games, but instead incorporate gametime with research and responsibility

+1

Majesticmerc said,

Indeed, a lot of people seem to be missing the point. The point of this badge is to manage gaming time responsibly, not just to game. Gaming can absolutely be part of a healthy active lifestyle, its those that play for 8 hours a night that give it a bad rep.


I guess hard core South Korean gamers wouldn't be a good example then?

jubber2002 said,

I guess hard core South Korean gamers wouldn't be a good example then?

Spending your whole life playing MMO's just getting up to go get mountain dew, doritos and using the bathroom (or going in the Dew bottle for the extra ambitious). Yeah, that's a bad example of a gamer.

Depends on the game. Games have been proven to help with hand/eye coordination and with learning...especially the games that require you to figure out a puzzle and actually put thought in to it.

cswadner said,
Sad day! Scouting has always upheld the "higher standard" but something like this?

7. Play a game that will help you math, spelling, or other school related skill


Even grammar in the rules is being phased out.

Edited by Minimoose, Apr 28 2010, 4:10pm :

Minimoose said,

7. Play a game that will help you math, spelling, or other school related skill


Even grammar in the rules is being phased out.

I see nothing wrong other than a missing word. The last comma has always been a debate and some say it is correct to include it while others say to omit it. Anyways it is hard to tell if those are the actual words, the posters version, or a simple typo.

shinji257 said,

I see nothing wrong other than a missing word. The last comma has always been a debate and some say it is correct to include it while others say to omit it. Anyways it is hard to tell if those are the actual words, the posters version, or a simple typo.

I'm just going to add this for my grammer justification.
Purdue OWL - Extended Rules for Using Commas
http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/607/02/
Note section 5.

Edited by shinji257, Apr 28 2010, 4:50pm :

shinji257 said,

I'm just going to add this for my grammer justification.
Purdue OWL - Extended Rules for Using Commas
http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/607/02/
Note section 5.

You're right.

Professor Benson, grinning from ear to ear, announced that the exam would be tomorrow.

would become

Professor Benson grinning from ear to ear announced that the exam would be tomorrow.

The commas, to me, seem required to indicate a reader pause and to split up the sentence.
^ yes, that is intended.

Edited by Dessimat0r, Apr 28 2010, 4:11pm :

cswadner said,
Sad day! Scouting has always upheld the "higher standard" but something like this?

This has been constructed to try and make something productive out of gaming. And as a current scout, I need to point out a flaw here. It says badge in the title, but then belt loop and activity pin below. Assuming the title is a bit ignorant, this is aimed at Cub Scouting (which, yes, is part of the Boy Scouts of America), meaning that if you can catch kids early with responsibility on what they buy and how they play (while they're still interested in running around outside and rolling in the dirt) then it may effect them in not becoming an obsessive adict that I can admit I have personally become. But hey, at least I recognize it.

kosmo said,
This is why our children are obese

What, did you even read the article?

I think its a great way to teach responsibility. And proper time management. Good for them incorporating modern world issues into something educational.

kosmo said,
This is why our children are obese

Kids are fat because parents are lazy/busy and dont take the time to properly care for them.

ivdubvr6i said,
What, did you even read the article?

I think its a great way to teach responsibility. And proper time management. Good for them incorporating modern world issues into something educational.

+1

ivdubvr6i said,

What, did you even read the article?

I think its a great way to teach responsibility. And proper time management. Good for them incorporating modern world issues into something educational.

Yeah, I bet that #6 is a real b*tch to accomplish. Does that one teach the responsibility or time management part? I'm confused.

kosmo said,

Its comments like this that remind me why i never make posts.

Indeed. People skim the title and go, "I understand everything now!"

Rohdekill said,
Yeah, I bet that #6 is a real b*tch to accomplish. Does that one teach the responsibility or time management part? I'm confused.

It says for an hour, not "Go and play until your eyes drop out of your head". I personally think that video games are a good past-time if taken in moderation, say... an hour/day? Still, if you want to nit-pick over it, consider it as something that teaches social skills as it's usually much easier to just go ahead and play solo or over the Internet where you don't have any human interaction, while playing with someone else who is physically in the room can achieve a much different result. All in all, nicely done, boy scouts.