Where was this when I was a kid?
The Cub Scouts now award activity badges for video games.
Rather than simply recognizing video game proficiency, however, the awards focus on learning the tradeoff of fun and responsibility.
With the U.S. Supreme Court about to take up the question of whether children should be able to purchase or sell violent games — along with strict labeling requirements for manufacturers — once again raising the issue of parental responsibility, it’s refreshing to see an organization like the Scouts taking a more creative, proactive approach to encouraging responsible gaming.
What do you think? Sound off in the comments! And hit the jump for information on what it takes to get a badge in “Video Games.”
Earning a belt loop in Video Games requires kids to learn about the ESRB ratings system, teach others how to play a game appropriate for them and create a schedule that allows for video game play in moderation along with homework and household chores.
The belt loop is a prerequisite for the Video Games pin, which has a longer list of requirements that are really just geared toward prodding parents to stay informed about what their children are playing:
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.