Badges? We don’t need no stinkin’ video game badges? Or do we, now that the Boy Scouts of America have introduced a pair of video game related belt loop and academic pins. Forget forging in the wilderness for berries or learning how to tie a knot, instead young adventurous scouts will learn the fine skills of managing video games and their regular day-to-day priorities.
In order to gain recognition in the skill of video games, a scout must first explain why “it is important to have a rating system for video games,” “create a schedule for you to do things that includes your chores, homework, and video gaming,” and “learn to play a new video game that is approved by your parent, guardian, or teacher.”
Elaborate as they sound , it’s not really a set of tasks that sound hardly challenging, but then video games are hardly something that you need much skill to comprehend. You turn on your TV, turn on your game machine of choice, put a video game disk in-game machine, and then push start. Fairly simple.
Of course that’s just for the belt loop, if you want the matching academic pin – and who wouldn’t – then there is a longer list of hoops to jump though just to achieve that. Loops such as: “play an appropriate video game with a friend for one hour,” “with an adult’s supervision, install a gaming system,” or “play a video game that will help you practice your math, spelling, or another skill that helps you in your schoolwork.”
And lastly one of my favorites: “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.” So great, now not only are we breeding gamers but fanboys too!
As much as pair of video game badges sound laughable at first – and believe me I nearly giggled out of seat – I can sort of get the reasoning behind this. Sure the BSA is getting on the “video games are trendy” bandwagon for the most part.
But aside from that, having kids learn how to manage their time wisely by setting known when it’s a good time to play and a good time to do what is important (homework etc.) is a pretty good lesson to learn. Something some adults themselves have trouble understanding themselves.