Boy Scouts of America Adds Game Design Merit Badge

Boy Scouts of America Adds Game Design Merit Badge

They can swim, hike, perform first aid, set up a camp, and even help an old lady cross the street, but today’s Boy Scouts can now get a new merit badge by getting in touch with their inner geek.  Today the BSA added a new Game Design merit badge to the long list of coveted badges that scouts can earn; however, the road to achieving it can be as rough as making it through a match of Borderlands 2 without getting killed.

The first step is creating a notebook design for the project, followed by demonstrating the concept, making multiple iterations, and getting feedback from blind testing.  Once the scout’s Scoutmaster signs off on the project then the real fun begins–building the prototype.  Style of game play is totally up to each individual Scout as they can make anything from an old school paper, pencil, and dice tabletop RPG on down to an app.

Most of the inspiration behind creation of the badge came after two years of consulting with game industry volunteers and really enthused players  who looked at the requirements and made sure that development of the games would not force the Scout to pay a lot of money to get their game created.

Like any other Scout merit badge there is a purpose behind the creation of the badge and the process involved to earn it.  The BSA said,

“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.”

In the end the main purpose the BSA has for the new merit badge is to help children hone their logic, strategy, and even mathematics skills in a fun and challenging way.

What do you think of the new merit badge? Leave a comment here at Leviathyn.

Source: [Yah00!Games]

Tom Stovall is a self professed Sega turncoat and now holds gold member status in the Super Mario Plumber's Union.  He has been gaming ever since the TI/99 computer was introduced to him and even before that playing Mario Bros. at a friend's house on his Atari 2600.  He loves everything about old school gaming; especially the NES era and the MegaMan, Castlevania, and Super Mario series of games.  He currently resides in the beautiful and lush green state of Washington with his talented music teacher wife and ten year old son who can pretty much school him in any game on the face of the planet--even Minecraft!! (That shouldn't take any schooling at all).  He aspires to one day meet Shigeru Miyamoto face to face for an interview and the Regginator himself as well.  Mr. Stovall will gladly rant on and on about all things Nintendo but welcomes conversation about those <cough cough> other two <cough> console <cough> giants.  Feel free to challenge his views or share with him some new found information.