Scouts to get merit badge in Game Design

The Scouts (now open to boys and girls) is a cultural institution, steeped in tradition and history – but it’s also open to new things. Want proof? Next year, the organisation debuts a merit badge in Game Design.

Boy Scouts of America

...later, he's going to go create the next Angry Birds

The new badge rewards Scouts for “creativity, fun and strategy”, according to Eagle Scout Bryan Wendell. He explains the badge is currently in “mid-development”, but offers a sneaky peek at what’s in store when it launches a little later in 2012.

Janice Downey, senior innovation manager with the BSA (Boy Scouts of America) explains that the Game Design Merit badge will give Scouts the opportunity to focus on a number of different types of gaming:

  • Outdoor/Athletic (sports or games like capture the flag)
  • Tabletop (dice-based games, board games, card games)
  • Pen and Paper or Role-Playing Games
    …and, of course:
  • Electronic (games for computers, game systems, or mobile devices)

This has been designed for at least a couple of valid reasons: Different types of games mean different types of scouts will be interested, always a good thing. In addition to that, however, it’s quite unrestricted, meaning that Scouts who don’t have easy access to a computer will not be prevented from achieving this badge.

The new Merit Badge will also encourage Scouts to learn:

  • How to think critically about certain games
  • What makes games fun
  • Important game terms
  • How to design and implement rules
  • Problem solving
  • And more!

The Game Design merit badge nestles right up against a whole pile of new and upcoming badges, from the traditional (Cooking, Kayaking, Welding, Chess, Scouting Heritage) to the much more modern (Animation, Robotics, Geocaching (with smartphones!) and Programming).

At this stage, there’s no launch date set for the new Game Design merit badge, but we hear that attendees at next year’s 2013 International Scout Jamboree held in West Virginia will get the first look.

(Thanks Drew for the headsup!)

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