Boy Scouts of America Offer Badge for Video Games

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Along with wilderness survival and stamp collecting, the Cub, Tiger, and Webelos Scouts now have a badge for video gaming.  While this is certainly likely to raise some eyebrows, the video game badge is actually an acedemic badge, wherein the Scout must explain things like why a video game rating system exists.  The badge's requirements also specify that the Scout needs to teach another person how to play a game, as well as organize a family tournament.  Likewise, the Scouts are trying to encourage young players to find the right sort of games; another badge requirement is to find a game that will help with school skills like spelling or math.  "Play God of War for prizes" this is not.

All told, the video game badge's requirements seem to match up well with other "hobby" badges available, like the one available for stamp or coin collecting.  While the video game badge doesn't encourage physical activity like some of the other badges available in the Scouts, there are similar badges available, and this seems to fit in well.  Many of the badges which encourage outdoors activities, like Wilderness Survival, are actually Boy Scout merit badges, rather than Cub Scout Acedemic Pins.  Where many of the rougher activities are targeted toward older boys, the Cub Scouts participate in less demanding activities, appropriate to their age.  For example, the Pinewood Derby is a Cub Scout, Tiger Scout, and Webelo Scout activity.

Here's what a young man needs to do to earn this Acedemics Pin or Belt Loop:

Tiger Cubs, Cub Scouts, and Webelos Scouts may complete requirements in a family, den, pack, school, or community environment. Tiger Cubs must work with their parents or adult partners. Parents and partners do not earn loops or pins.
Belt Loop

Complete these three requirements:

   1. Explain why it is important to have a rating system for video games. Check your video games to be sure they are right for your age.
   2. With an adult, create a schedule for you to do things that includes your chores, homework, and video gaming. Do your best to follow this schedule.
   3. Learn to play a new video game that is approved by your parent, guardian, or teacher.

Academics Pin

Earn the Video Games belt loop and complete five of the following requirements:

   1. With your parents, create a plan to buy a video game that is right for your age group.
   2. Compare two game systems (for example, Microsoft Xbox, Sony PlayStation, Nintendo Wii, and so on). Explain some of the differences between the two. List good reasons to purchase or use a game system.
   3. Play a video game with family members in a family tournament.
   4. Teach an adult or a friend how to play a video game.
   5. List at least five tips that would help someone who was learning how to play your favorite video game.
   6. Play an appropriate video game with a friend for one hour.
   7. Play a video game that will help you practice your math, spelling, or another skill that helps you in your schoolwork.
   8. Choose a game you might like to purchase. Compare the price for this game at three different stores. Decide which store has the best deal. In your decision, be sure to consider things like the store return policy and manufacturer’s warranty.
   9. With an adult’s supervision, install a gaming system.


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