It looks like the Boys Scouts of America are finally recognizing that video games and technology are important in society. The Boy Scouts of America is now offering a merit badge in game design, according to GamesBeat. The organization has apparently spent the last two years building a program that will enable scouts to do the work necessary to earn the badge.
To avoid the controversy of violence in video games, the organization limits the kinds of games scouts can make to safe categories such as card, board, and dice games. They will also be able to create smartphone apps. The badge can be earned without the need to actually code a game; instead scouts can flesh out an idea for a game in a design notebook. To earn the badge, scouts will also have to analyze games and describe what’s good or unique about them. Scouts will also learn about intellectual property and be encouraged to build original ideas instead of borrowing from existing IP.
The Boy Scouts of America will share more about this new badge at SXSW in Austin, Texas.
"Whether it’s soccer, a family night board game, or a handheld electronic device—playing challenges us to overcome long odds, tell compelling stories, and work with or against one another," the organization said in a press release. "Games motivate both young and old to find creative solutions, practice new skills, and keep their brains active. Scouts who work on the Game Design merit badge will likely look at the games they play differently and with a new level of appreciation."