Cub Scouts Add Video Game Awards

By Chris Faylor, Apr 28, 2010 9:30am PDT Encouraging children to play video games responsibly and make sure they're aware of age-based content ratings, the Boy Scouts of America has added two video game awards to its youth-centric Cub Scouts program.

Aimed at young boys in the fifth grade or below, the two awards--a belt loop and an academics pin--each have their own specific criteria, as outlined by the youth organization:

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:

  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.

"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," explains the organization. "You can stretch your mind and abilities by exploring the wonders of science, learning about the world, and expanding skills in new areas."

As for the actual Boy Scouts program--aimed at those that have either completed fifth grade or are eleven years old--it does not have a correlating video game merit badge.

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