Boy Scouts Adds 'Games Design' To Its Merit Badge Program

Two years ago, the Cub Scouts offered its version of a merit badge for video gaming. This week, the Boy Scouts of America added the 131st merit badge to its active list: Games Design.

The BSA's program doesn't mean just video games design either, although that is a part of it. (And, this post by Scouting magazine's blog for adult leaders says "this is not a merit badge Scouts earn by playing video games".)

The work will involve creating a game in one of four areas: electronic, outdoors, tabletop and pen-and-paper role-playing games.

Interestingly, instruction No. 3 for getting this badge requires scouts to "define the term intellectual property" and "describe how intellectual property is protected and why protection is necessary". So, remember, a Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and respects copyrights.

Play to win: Game Design merit badge released [Bryan on Scouting]


    I was a cub and a scout, and although I had merit badges all over the place I remember thinking at the time that none of it was relevant.
    As fun as the camping and so on was, being forced to get merit badges was a major drag.

    I remember feeling sorry for the kids that got dragged into Scouts when i was younger. None of them seemed to enjoy it, and the adults associated with it seemed WAY too cheery. Not sure what their numbers are like these days, but even 20 years ago they seemed to be struggling to get kids interested.

      I was a cub-scout, scout and venturer and I really loved the camping and bush hike side of scouting, as well as just hanging out at the hall. But there were definitely kids that were there because their parents were scouts when they were younger and they 'learnt more than they ever did in school'. I always felt awful for those kids, you need to want to be a scout to be a scout.

    When I was in scouts a friend of mine managed to find a loophole in the system where he could get a merit badge for playing WoW. Normally it was for playing a 'game' usually sport with a team and reaching self set goals. But there was no stipulation that it was indeed a ball or other sport, so he joined a WoW clan, played his ass off, eventually became vice leader of the clan and got his badge for it. Much to the vehement reluctance of our scout leader. Sometime after that the handbook was refined, wouldn't be surprised if other kids were doing similar things as well.

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