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Boy Scouts of America introduces video games badge

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videogames-kid-elder-iStock-460.jpgTeaching an adult how to play a video game is part of the new Cub Scouts award for games. (iStockphoto)

Boy Scouts of America has introduced a new video games award for its Cub Scouts, boys 7 to 10 years of age - but it will take more than simply playing a game to earn it.

The award -- in the form of a loop worn on the belt -- requires a scout to explain the importance of a video games ratings system, create a daily schedule that includes chores and homework alongside playing video games, and learning to play a new videogame that is approved by a parent, guardian or teacher.

 The symbol for the new video games pin. (Boy Scouts of America) The higher level "academics pin" adds several other requirements, such as teaching an adult how to play a new video game or playing a game that helps practice math, spelling, or other skills that should be transferable to helping them in their homework.

The video games belt loop and pin are included in the Scouts' academics and sports program, alongside other categories such as art, geography, hockey and soccer.

"Belt loops and pins are a great way to help fulfill the aims of Scouting -- build character, develop citizenship, and encourage mental and physical fitness," according to the Boy Scouts' website.

In North America, most retail games are rated by the ESRB, or Entertainment Software Rating Board. Ratings range from EC (early childhood) for young children to AO (adults only) for ages 18 and over.

Video games are currently not listed on Scouts Canada's list of Cub Scout badges or Scout badges, but a "computer" award is available for both levels.

What do you think of the new video games award for Boy Scouts of America? What can children learn about education and design while working towards this award?


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