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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Boy Scouts of America Introduce Video Game Merit Badge

The times, they are a'changin'.

The Boy Scouts have introduced a Belt Loop and an Academic Pin award for, of all things, video games. I'm sure this will come in handy when you're trapped in the woods with no food, water or shelter...

Talk about an "easy 'A'"! What young boy, teenager (or man-boy, such as myself), couldn't get this badge in their sleep! As a former Cub Scout (I STILL remember the pledge!), I can say that this is a long way away from the Balsawood Derbies we used to have.

To get your Belt Loop, you have to complete the following:

  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.

And for the big prize, the Academic Pin, you have to do five of the following:

  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.

Again, I don't know any young man that doesn't already know how to do ANY of these things.  At the very least, they try to incorporate school work, some consumer purchasing skills, and some social interaction. I guess this is okay...until Nintendo releases a Boy Scouts video game for the Wii...

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