Video Game Awards for … Cub Scouts?

Apparently, along with the various pins and belt loops Cub Scouts can earn, there are now awards for “Video Games.” Some of the badge requirements predictably hover around societal anxieties about the appropriateness of video games for certain ages, such as the requirement to “explain why it is important to have a rating system for video games” and “check your video games to be sure they are right for your age.”

However, there are also requirements that seem to acknowledge both the social nature of video gaming and the connection between video games and learning:

  • 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.
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2 comments on “Video Game Awards for … Cub Scouts?

  1. I really commend them for making the pin an “Academics Pin,” which promotes a reasonable intellectualisation of a topic that’s usually seen as not much more than entertainment. Especially effective, I think, is the #4 requirement: “Teach an adult or a friend how to play a video game,” because it empowers the youngins with intellectual authority and breaks down any institutionalised hierarchy drilled at school. What a fantastic idea. I can almost forgive them for their discriminatory antiy-gay, anti-atheist/agnostic practices ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boy_Scouts_of_America_membership_controversies ).

  2. This is somewhat off-topic, but if you only knew how much ethical/political soul-searching I do over scouting. On the one hand, I had very positive experiences as a cub/boy scout and want my own sons to have the same opportunities. On the other, my stomach turns at the regressive politics of the national organization. Fortunately, many of the packs and troops where I live seem pretty uninterested in enforcing policies set by the national leadership.

    It might be easy to boycott scouting (or, more specifically, the Boy Scouts of America), but I sort of think it belongs to me just as much as it does the religious conservatives who set those policies. If people like me walk away from it, then it only becomes more that way.

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