Boy Scouts of America introduce video game belt loop and academics pins

We were hoping that earning a merit badge in "video games" would involve something a bit more video gamey than explaining "why it is important to have a rating system for video games," or working to create "a schedule for you to do things that includes your chores, homework, and video gaming." But that's exactly what the Boy Scouts of America requires of its young padawans to get a belt loop in the subject. Well, in fairness, you also have to "play a new video game that is approved by your parent, guardian, or teacher." Finally, some actual game playing!

For the Tiger, Cub, and Webelos Scouts looking for something a bit more daring, the more prestigious academics pin can be earned by jumping through several more elaborate hoops (as well as requiring the aforementioned belt loop). Five out of nine potential requirements must be completed, with one that involves a bit of practice in critical writing. "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." Presumably, writing "I like PS3 the best cuz Wee and 360 R teh suxxorz" isn't an acceptable comparative essay. Aspiring Scouts can peep the whole list of requirements for each real life Cheevo just after the break.

[Via Engadget]


To earn a belt loop:
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Learn to play a new video game that is approved by your parent, guardian, or teacher.
To earn an academic pin, scouts must complete five of the following nine options (in addition to completing the three previous belt loop challenges):
  • With your parents, create a plan to buy a video game that is right for your age group.
  • 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.
  • Play a video game with family members in a family tournament.
  • Teach an adult or a friend how to play a video game.
  • List at least five tips that would help someone who was learning how to play your favorite video game.
  • Play an appropriate video game with a friend for one hour.
  • Play a video game that will help you practice your math, spelling, or another skill that helps you in your schoolwork.
  • 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.
  • With an adult's supervision, install a gaming system.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.