Video Game Scouts

Every Friday we’re dedicating this blog to something that’s not necessarily industry related. It could be anything from news of the weird, to awesome gadgets to, mmmmmm, a sausage gravy and buscuit dispensing machine.

This week, The Boy Scouts of America announced its plans to encourage its scouts to sit on their duffs and play video games for a chance to earn a Video Games Merit badge.  video_games_bl

Instead of earning a merit badge for helping the old lady cross the street, a boy scout can insert their Grand Theft Auto video game, hop behind the wheel of an El Camino and run over little old ladies. Actually, in order to recieve the merit badge, Scouts, among other things, have to explain the video game ratings system and check their video games to see if they’re age apropriate.

An academic video game pin is also available for those scouts who practice their math, spelling, or another skill that helps them with their schoolwork. Does practicing their melee skills while playing World of Warcraft count if it helps them defeat the school bully during recess? We’re talking major problem-solving skills here.

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Check out the Boy Scouts of America requirements for earning the Video Games merit badge and pin:


Tiger Cubs, Cub Scouts, and Webelos Scouts may complete requirements in a family, den, pack, school, or community environment. Tiger Cubs must work with their parents or adult partners. Parents and partners do not earn loops or pins.

Belt Loop

Complete these three requirements:

  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.

Academics Pin

Earn the Video Games belt loop and complete five of the following requirements:

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  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.
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