Woodworking, fishing and camping are generally the first things that come to mind when talking Boy Scouts and the badges they earn. However, Boy Scouts of America announced Thursday that it is introducing a new game design badge at the SXSW Gaming Expo this weekend in Austin, Texas that Scout can earn by creating their own board game or video game.
Boy Scouts of America spent two years with the help of volunteers from the game industry and game enthusiasts to develop the Game Design merit badge requirements and accompanying pamphlet. The intent was to create something that held the Scont's interest, was challenging and fun, and required minimal out-of-pocket expense to complete.
"Whether it's soccer, a family night board game, or a handheld electronic device—playing challenges us to overcome long odds, tell compelling stories, and work with or against one another," the Boy Scout press release reads. "Games motivate both young and old to find creative solutions, practice new skills, and keep their brains active. Scouts who work on the Game Design merit badge will likely look at the games they play differently and with a new level of appreciation. To earn this merit badge, a Scout is required to analyze different types of games; describe play value, content, and theme; and understand the significance of intellectual property as it relates to the game industry.
"To earn the badge, scouts first must analyze games, their play value, content, and theme, and learn about intellectual property as it relates to the game industry. Once they are ready to design their own game, scouts will be required to keep a notebook detailing their concept and changes based on blind testing and feedback. Once approved, a prototype will be built that can be used at scouting functions and outings."
The Boy Scouts released a Video Game belt loop reward and a pin that required young Scouts to show their knowledge of the video game rating system, demonstrate that they can balance games with homework and chores, and learn to play new games approved by parents. The pin added additional requirements such as setting up a game system and creating a strategy guide to help friends.
These badges are meant to fit within the Boy Scout ethos while addressing the interests of modern day children.
Via: Press Release