Cub Scouts add new gaming badge

The outdoorsy Cub Scouts, Tiger Cubs and Webelos Scouts have added a new Video Game badge to their selection of merit badges.

The Video Games badge joins Art, Astronomy, Chess and Citizenship among a host of badges to encourage the young scouts to “build character, develop citizenship, and encourage mental and physical fitness.” The Video Games belt loop has three requirements, but in order to achieve the Video Games pin, scouts must satisfy five of these nine 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.

Scouts PR manager Renee Fairrer spoke toPC Magazine about the new merit badge and its place among traditional scouting pursuits like camping and outdoor activities:

“I don’t know of any household of anyone less than 30 that doesn’t have some kind of gaming system,” Fairrer said. “It’s at the home, it’s at the library, and nine times out of ten, in some form or fashion, it’s at their school.”

According to a 2009 study, 68% of US households play video games.