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Cub Scouts To Offer Merit Pin For Video Gaming 366

Posted by samzenpus
from the be-prepared-to-play dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "Fox News reports that the Boy Scouts of America — a group founded on the principles of building character and improving physical fitness — have introduced merit pins for academic achievement in video gaming, a move that has child health experts atwitter. 'It could be quite visionary and exciting or it could be a complete sellout,' says Dr. Vic Strasburger. 'I don't see anything wrong with that as long as they're not playing first-person shooter games, violent games, games with a lot of sexual or drug content. The question is, who's going to supervise the scouts?' Tiger Cubs, Cub Scouts, and Webelos Scouts can earn their pins by spending an hour a day playing games, teaching others how to play better, and researching the best price for games they'd like to buy."

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Cub Scouts To Offer Merit Pin For Video Gaming

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  • by Alex Belits (437) * on Thursday April 29, 2010 @03:46AM (#32027262) Homepage

    n/t

  • by Thanshin (1188877) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @03:54AM (#32027282)

    I don't see anything wrong with that as long as they're not playing first-person shooter games, violent games, games with a lot of sexual or drug content.

    Stop the censure! I grew up with duke nukem and it had no bad consequences.

    And I'm all out of gum!

    • by Pvt_Ryan (1102363)
      Each scout troop must select 12 players to play Battlefield 2.

      We are not training child soldiers... honest..
      • Oh yeah (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Moraelin (679338) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @04:44AM (#32027448) Journal

        Oh yeah, because sitting on a chair and moving a mouse around so teaches one how to handle a real assault rifle, and for that matter so prepares one to sprint with 60 pounds of equipment.

        Not to mention other valuable lessons. While those dumb Russkies and Chinese go like sheep and run at the enemy with a gun, as ordered, our brave NATO troops will be where it matters: camping an airstrip so they can fly an airplane into a hill ;)

        I guess next thing you know they'll progress to other games, and the USA will have the first army who knows how to bunny-hop, grenade jump and spawn-camp. And woe to Osama once they learn where on the map are the BFG and quad damage ;)

        • Oh yeah, because sitting on a chair and moving a mouse around so teaches one how to handle a real assault rifle

          Seriously, assault rifles have point-and-click interfaces. Guns are ridiculously easy to operate.

          and for that matter so prepares one to sprint with 60 pounds of equipment.

          That's taught by, you know, the non-video game part of being a cub scout.

          • Seriously, assault rifles have point-and-click interfaces. Guns are ridiculously easy to operate.

            Yet I'm sure shoulder mounted launchers from the US have a "this end to enemy" warning sticker.

            • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

              by Anonymous Coward

              Yet I'm sure shoulder mounted launchers from the US have a "this end to enemy" warning sticker.

              yeah, the M72 LAW even has some funny stick figure drawings detailing how to operate it.
              also, the claymore anti-personnel mine really has "FRONT TOWARD ENEMY" written all over the "business end".. see wikipedia [wikipedia.org]

            • by Thanshin (1188877)

              Yet I'm sure shoulder mounted launchers from the US have a "this end to enemy" warning sticker.

              They do. With pictograms and text.

              • Pic or isn't true.

                Please say it ain't so. I don't really expect much from the US military by now, but at least I'd expect them to NOT child-proof the guns. What happened to basic training?

                I remember my time in (our) military. Every single piece of equipment we got into our hands was explained THROUGHLY. To the point where you feel like pointing out that you're not an idiot. Usually then someone will prove that the n-th repetition of the same movements is really necessary.

                I can hardly believe the US troops d

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Moraelin (679338)

            Easy to operate, technically yes. Easy to operate _effectively_, no. Otherwise we could just forget about training the troops that much. There's more to using that gun than knowing where to "click" so it shoots stuff. Someone whose only training was using a mouse in a FPS, sorry, I don't think they'll be particularly good at it. Or not before getting just about as much training as someone who hasn't played FPS.

          • Re:Oh yeah (Score:4, Informative)

            by Mr. Freeman (933986) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @06:16AM (#32027786)
            "Seriously, assault rifles have point-and-click interfaces. Guns are ridiculously easy to operate." Spoken exactly like someone who has never handled a weapon in their life.

            Why don't you go down to the range one day and say that to someone who actually owns a gun. See how many shots you can land with any respectable accuracy.

            "Seriously, assault rifles have point-and-click interfaces. Guns are ridiculously easy to operate."
            Any dipshit can point and fire a rifle WITHOUT ANY VIDEOGAMES. A crazed man with a gun and videogames is no different from a crazed man with a gun.
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            Seriously, assault rifles have point-and-click interfaces. Guns are ridiculously easy to operate.

            That's actually quite funny. Watching someone load and fire an AR-15 for the first time is usually amusing. Will they figure out how to cock it? Will they open the ejection port? And then there's the whole thing about actually aiming and hitting a target. Back in my day, the BSA had a merit badge for rifle and shotgun marksmanship that was a wee bit more applicable.

            That's taught by, you know, the non-video game part of being a cub scout.

            I actually quit the boy scouts as a kid because we didn't do any scouting. Showing up to every meeting and going to clean parks and talk about t

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by Bakkster (1529253)

              Back in my day, the BSA had a merit badge for rifle and shotgun marksmanship that was a wee bit more applicable.

              Still [meritbadge.org] do [meritbadge.org]. Archery, too.

              I actually quit the boy scouts as a kid because we didn't do any scouting. Showing up to every meeting and going to clean parks and talk about the evils of drugs wasn't my thing. I actually liked to spend my time out in the woods, hunting, fishing, hiking, camping, etc. Our troop did very little of such things, however, and I quickly lost interest.

              Sounds like you had a lousy troop. It's unfortunate you weren't able to find a better one. That said, I think the public service aspect is equally important, but it shouldn't overshadow camping and outdoorsmanship.

              There are definitely too many troops set up as 'Eagle factories', where they just rush to get the minimum requirements for Eagle done as quickly as possible. Quite a shame.

        • by bronney (638318)

          Not everyone can do jumping jacks you insensitive clod!

        • Re:Oh yeah (Score:5, Funny)

          by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968&gmail,com> on Thursday April 29, 2010 @07:12AM (#32028014) Journal

          Yeah, as someone who has fired quite a few weapons while I can't say how bad the M16 would be, I pity the poor bastard that tries to fire a combat shotgun if the only experience is FPSs. Those bitches got some kick buddy!

          Not to mention if you let gamers with NO training loose on a battlefield I'm sure it would be like an article I read a few years back when a gamer mag took a couple of stoners from the mail room and put them on a tactical shooter (Sorry I can't find a link because I would LOVE to read it again) which went like this...

          OBJECTIVE..Rescue hostages from terrorists behind locked door...STRATEGY...Stoner A will blow door open with combat shotgun, Stoner B will throw in flash bang and follow Stoner A in an neutralize terrorists...WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED..Stoner A says "Are you ready" which causes Stoner B to drop a LIVE GRENADE instead of a flash bang, which of course drops at their feet. Stoner A panics and shoots Stoner B in the face, followed by both being blown to fuck. Terrorists stand behind the door and wonder what that noise was.

          Yeah, I don't really think the military would be well advised to let "XBox warriors" loose on the battlefield with nothing but their FPS "training" to back them up, not unless the goal is to try to make the enemy die laughing.

        • Re:Oh yeah (Score:4, Interesting)

          by blennidae (650683) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @07:56AM (#32028204)
          As a civilian, I had the opportunity several years ago to use some weapons that were modified to use compressed air (simulate recoil, etc.) to shoot at targets on a movie screen. Re-enacting things like hostage situations in an office, traffic stops gone wrong, etc. Let me just say that using an M-16, SAW or Mossberg for any length of time (over 5 minutes) is *definitely* different than pointing and clicking with a mouse and that video games in NO WAY prepare anyone for the reality of using actual weapons. I don't remember the actual name of this one rifle a Marine pulled out of the storage closet and was handling it like a toothpick. He handed it off to me and I just about fell face first just from the weight of it. Nothing like having combat veterans laugh at a "dumb-ass civilian" to start your day out.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by jafac (1449)

          Well, Baden-Powell's (not that he's some kind of deity or anything, he wasn't) original reason for starting scouting in the first place was really more of a means of getting boys off the streets, giving them a structured environment for learning skills for self-reliance, etc. (Well, quite honestly, the real reason was probably, he was a veteran, war-hero, retired, rich, and bored, and maybe had guilt-issues to resolve and wanted to give-back? - who knows?)

          Granted, it's evolved into something much more than

    • by ShakaUVM (157947)

      Playing MAG will prepare them for a disappointing life as a platoon leader later in life.

      At least they won't be surprised when half their men randomly decide to start running in circles or getting themselves blown up by mortar fire.

    • by mjwalshe (1680392) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @07:05AM (#32027988)
      Highly ironic as the Scouts where set up to teach "scouting" a set of skills used in the military as a result of Baden Powel’s experiences in the Boer war. And presumably American scouts have badges related to shooting real guns :-)
    • by ByOhTek (1181381)

      Personally, I say to that constraint, what about doom? It teaches nice, christian values (stop satan and demons!), better than that "Left Behind" game... Truely ironic. Of course, it doesn't teach hypochristian values, and that might be the problem.

  • Now that you've learned how to tie a knot. You have to learn how to virtualize your real life actions probably with the Sailing job on Puzzle Pirates
  • Guess it is time I made my own version to compete, and show them what crap they've become.

  • Best price (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Bert64 (520050) <bert AT slashdot DOT firenzee DOT com> on Thursday April 29, 2010 @04:02AM (#32027312) Homepage

    Do you get extra credit for working out that piracy provides the best price?

    • How about double credit for playing Oblivion all the way to the end only using a bow?

      Can I apply that to my Archery badge?

      Or maybe Left 4 Dead will apply to my Rifle Shooting badge or maybe even my Shotgun Shooting badge if I stick to those weapons?

      Oh, right. No first person shooters...(sigh)

  • 1. Shakedown boys scouts for their video game pin. Mention something about getting the self defense belt loop so this doesn't happen again

    2. Put pin up on eBay

    3. Profit

  • by madwheel (1617723) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @04:33AM (#32027418)
    So much for Boy Scouts sticking to what its roots were in the 1900's. What's next? Oh yeah... Sleeping badge. You eat 12 cookies, drink a glass of milk, then sleep for 14 hours a day for a full week! It's the ultimate badge that takes a lot of hard work.
    • How much lower can it go? They already discriminate (and still get funds from various governments).

    • by jonwil (467024)

      This isn't the Boy Scouts, its the Cub Scouts which is a totally different thing.

      • by Bakkster (1529253) <Bakkster@man.gmail@com> on Thursday April 29, 2010 @08:17AM (#32028356)

        More importantly, the cub scout belt loops and pins have always been about leisure activities. There's one for chess, why not one for video games? Besides, these kids are going to spend far more time playing video games than nearly any other subject, why not teach them to do it responsibly? As a secondary effect, their parents will learn about the ESRB ratings system, since one requirement is for the boys to teach their parents about it.

        It's not even like the cubs will gain ranks or advancement from video games. It's just recognition that they've learned something about it. Even if it were a BSA merit badge (which is used for advancement as a boy scout), would a video game merit badge be less useful that indian lore? What about coin collecting? How many scouts do you think earn basket weaving or pottery and go on to use their skills after summer camp is over? As long as they're learning age-appropriate (we're talking 10-year olds) and useful knowledge, I see nothing wrong with it.

        For reference, here are the requirements:

        Requirements for the Video Games Belt Loop
        Complete these three requirements:
        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.
        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.
        Learn to play a new video game that is approved by your parent, guardian, or teacher.

        Requirements for the Video Games Pin
        Earn the Video Games belt loop, and complete five of the following requirements:
        With your parents, create a plan to buy a video game that is right for your age group.
        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.
        Play a video game with family members in a family tournament.
        Teach an adult or a friend how to play a video game.
        List at least five tips that would help someone who was learning how to play your favorite video game.
        Play an appropriate video game with a friend for one hour.
        Play a video game that will help you practice your math, spelling, or another skill that helps you in your schoolwork.
        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.
        With an adult’s supervision, install a gaming system.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Hognoxious (631665)

      Hey, it could be worse [pbfcomics.com].

    • by drooling-dog (189103) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @07:51AM (#32028176)

      And still no badge for masturbation. We'd all have made Eagle around here...

    • by Crudely_Indecent (739699) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @08:57AM (#32028728) Journal

      If they're going to do this, they really need to make the badge more realistic.

      Instead of a game controller on the badge, they somehow need to convey how playing video games is a complete waste of time. The badges aren't nearly big enough to show a 40 year old fat virgin on a recliner in his moms basement surrounded by twinkie wrappers and empty pizza boxes.

      Be Prepared - for what.....Aliens? Zombies?

      I fail to see how this will help them in later life. Unlike outdoor survival skills which can save your life, playing video games only increases your proficiency in playing video games.

      As a Boy Scout, I learned knots that I thought were stupid at the time - but I still use them to this day.

    • by mc1138 (718275) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @09:05AM (#32028830) Homepage
      This is Cub Scouts, not Boy Scouts, the distinction may be small, but Cub Scouts works with kids in 1st through 5th grade or so. A big big part of Cub Scouts is working with kids on being grounded and responsible. With video games becoming such a large part of our society, having something that helps kids approach them responsibly, which if you read the requirements it has more to do with understanding game ratings (also good for parents) and making sure that you don't play too much than anything else. I say good job to Scouting for keeping up with the times. Also, this isn't the first time badge to deal with this, Boy Scouts already have merit badges dealing with computer's and other more technical activities as well.
  • In other words (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JimboFBX (1097277) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @04:36AM (#32027428)

    I don't see anything wrong with that as long as they're not playing first-person shooter games, violent games, games with a lot of sexual or drug content.

    So in other words, as long as they aren't fun games

    • It's the scouts. Duh. I mean, they give you a knife, but only after they told you about all the cool things you could do with it and then tell you that you can't do them. How cruel can an organisation be?

  • Back in my day, we played D&D and Magic and didn't care about getting a badge for it!

    Sounds fun, though. I hope it'll include some game design requirements, to get the scouts thinking a little more about how their games are put together.

  • Or the "I pooped everyday badge"?

    In all honesty, kids don't need more encouragement to game. Yes I'm a parent, but I'm young enough to still be a gamer and trust me, I didn't/don't need more encouragement.
    • by Bakkster (1529253) <Bakkster@man.gmail@com> on Thursday April 29, 2010 @08:29AM (#32028448)

      In all honesty, kids don't need more encouragement to game. Yes I'm a parent, but I'm young enough to still be a gamer and trust me, I didn't/don't need more encouragement.

      Have you read the requirements? [boyscouttrail.com] It's using video games as a cover to teach useful skills. For example, how to research a purchase, about the ESRB and content ratings, how to schedule leisure time so it doesn't interfere with responsibilities, and how to connect a console to a television. It's teaching them to play responsibly, which is probably more than they had done before, while teaching them a few more life skills.

  • Really? This? Are you going to have a merit badge for going to the movies?

    How about you work on some of those long standing issues like your discrimination against gays, and non-Christians?

    • Really? This? Are you going to have a merit badge for going to the movies?

      Sort of, except they call it a college degree [collegeboard.com].

    • by The Hatchet (1766306) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @06:49AM (#32027922)

      Scouts does have problems, but to be fair I am an atheist, and my Eagle board of review new it, and awarded me the rank anyways. When asked about 'Reverence' I simply answered that I possess reverence, for the mighty forces of nature, that when I am 10 miles into the woods on the top of a snow covered hill, I understand that nature can kill you on a whim. They responded positively.

      Also, a lot of people call scouts 'gay' even though it tends to discriminate against homosexuals. I just find that amusing. I think we should merge boy and girl scouts to just have 'scouts'. Canada does that and it works fine, but in the US? Hell no, they might see each others parts in the group shower, and that would just be the end of the world. The ground would turn to lava and hell would swallow up all the sinners. At least thats what I am told.

      Cub scouts really is a crock, as is Girl scouts. My ex was a girl scout, and their merit badges were like sandwich making, how to keep a kitchen clean, knitting, needlepoint, parenting. Not even kidding.

    • by Bakkster (1529253)

      Really? This? Are you going to have a merit badge for going to the movies?

      Yes [meritbadge.org].

      But this isn't a merit badge, it's a cub scout award. That's like saying an elementary school graduate has their diploma...

  • Way to go (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Opportunist (166417) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @05:22AM (#32027568)

    It was appearantly not enough to put off every halfway liberal person by their quite questionable membership policies, now they're working hard to alienate their conservative supporters.

    Just like I always say, give someone enough rope and he'll somehow manage to hang himself.

    • by AK Marc (707885)
      If only I knew how to tie that knot. But I spent all my time in the Scouts playing video games.
      • Curse those wireless controllers! Before them, you could easily learn enough to earn that badge trying to untangle those controller cables!

  • Scouts can earn their pins by spending an hour a day playing games, teaching others how to play better, and researching the best price for games they'd like to buy.

    One hour per day seems perfectly normal for any teenager, teaching others will train their social & verbal skills and the gaming market research will teach them how to get the most out of their buck.

    From my point of view these are all useful skills.

  • by stupidflanders (1230894) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @06:16AM (#32027780)
    They're embracing something that kids are doing anyway. The Scouts have been modifying their program in recent years. They now have a leadership position for Troop Webmaster [bsahandbook.org], a Jamboree on the Internet [joti.org] and have wholeheartedly embraced Geocaching [geoscouting.com]. I would have thought this would be marked as one giant leap for nerd-kind. They're saying it's OK to play video games. Where's the "HUZZAH"?

    The requirements talk about comparing prices of games & consoles (and store return policies), teaching others how to play games, balancing homework/videogames, and picking games that will help improve school skills. You know, the kinds of things we [slashdot.org] discuss [slashdot.org] here [slashdot.org] all [slashdot.org] the [slashdot.org] time [slashdot.org]?
  • Some people would say that First Person Shooters fit in *exactly* with the Scouts militaristic origins/undertones.

    (If it was the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woodcraft_Folk/ [wikipedia.org] then it would be a different matter.)

  • by Mr. Freeman (933986) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @06:23AM (#32027818)
    No first person shooters? Are the scouts aware that they actually offer a merit badge in SHOOTING.

    People are up in arms because these violent video games "train young people how to operate weapons". No, they don't. You know what does train young people to use guns? Learning to shoot in the boy scouts.

    JESUS FUCKING CHRIST. No one is bitching about REAL guns with REAL bullets shooting REAL targets, but the second it becomes virtual everyone throws a fucking hissy fit.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Vultan (468899)

      No first person shooters? Are the scouts aware that they actually offer a merit badge in SHOOTING.

      I'm the last person to depend Scouting (they've really gone off the deep end in recent years), but I should at least point out that the Rifle Shooting merit badge [scouting.org] significantly emphasizes gun safety and appropriate use. I remember my own experiences from scout camp as a kid where they were hyper-vigilant about safety, only using guns for target practice, and so on. Again, I'm not defending Scouting in general or guns in particular, but there is a big difference between learning how to shoot targets with a r

    • by psnyder (1326089)
      I'm not advocating anything, but learning to properly operate weapons can be both a difficult endeavor and possibly useful out in the wilderness. It requires patience, an amount of full body control, and (if presented correctly) a respect for the dangerous force of machines.

      Learning the basics of an FPS does none of this.


      Also, we're talking about cub scouts here (approx. age 7-10). Cub scouts are limited to Archery and BB gun shooting [scouting.org] with trained supervisors present. Only boy scouts (teenagers) a
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by iiioxx (610652)

      JESUS FUCKING CHRIST. No one is bitching about REAL guns with REAL bullets shooting REAL targets, but the second it becomes virtual everyone throws a fucking hissy fit.

      There's a pretty significant difference between an adult teaching a child marksmanship on paper targets, and violent video games where 99% of the time the *targets* are other human beings, and there is little to no moral context for the violence. There is nothing inherently evil about "REAL guns with REAL bullets." A firearm can be used to provide food and security, or it can be used to harm others maliciously, depending upon the intent of the operator. I learned to shoot as a child at a Boy Scout camp, and

    • No first person shooters? Are the scouts aware that they actually offer a merit badge in SHOOTING.

      People are up in arms because these violent video games "train young people how to operate weapons". No, they don't. You know what does train young people to use guns? Learning to shoot in the boy scouts.

      JESUS FUCKING CHRIST. No one is bitching about REAL guns with REAL bullets shooting REAL targets, but the second it becomes virtual everyone throws a fucking hissy fit.

      Just for the record, this is CUB SCOUTS. From http://www.boyscouttrail.com/cub-scouts/cub-scouts.asp [boyscouttrail.com], this is limited to boys from 1st to 3rd grade. We are talking about ages 6-9. They do not have a merit badge for shooting, but they do have one for shooting BBs and archery. And no, I do not consider BB guns REAL guns with REAL bullets.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by dogmatixpsych (786818)
      Yes, but the scout shooting merit badges teach proper gun safety (which no video game really does) and you are not shooting at living things (real or virtual). Maybe I've just missed the complaints but I've never read a complaint against violent video games because they "train young people how to operate weapons." The complaints I've read are more like "the kids are exposed to violence and gore" for hours on end" which exposure can desensitize kids (and adults) to violence or "children might imitate the vio
  • by MasterPatricko (1414887) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @06:46AM (#32027906) Homepage

    Ignoring Fox's propaganda, the list of tasks a scout has to do to earn this is pretty decent. Considering these kids are gonna be playing anyway, why not teach them to play right ...I see nothing to complain about in the following list.

    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.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by pieisgood (841871)

      5. Tip one: Don't suck
            Tip two: stop dieing
            Tip three: Get the shiny things
            Tip four: press harder
            Tip five: If all of the above fail, rage quit

  • How about a merit badge for creating Web pages or setting up a Web site.

    Maybe one for completing a simple self-taught course in a simple language like Java?

    -Todd

    p.s. The discrimination thing is an unfortunate issue, but, hey, just "Don't tell."
    • How about a merit badge for creating Web pages or setting up a Web site. Maybe one for completing a simple self-taught course in a simple language like Java?

      The pin is for cubs not scouts, most cubs are still learning to read and write.

      • by bezenek (958723)

        How about a merit badge for creating Web pages or setting up a Web site. Maybe one for completing a simple self-taught course in a simple language like Java?

        The pin is for cubs not scouts, most cubs are still learning to read and write.

        When I was a Cub scout, I was programming my TI-57 calculator.

        I think we often set the bar too low for our children. New math might have been the worst thing to happen to me academically. I did not find out how devastating it was until I took my first graduate-level mathematics course at the University of Wisconsin.

        -Todd

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by TapeCutter (624760) *
          "When I was a Cub scout, I was programming my TI-57 calculator."

          Yeah, and I built a crystal radio when I was seven (we didn't have calculators in the 60's). I'm not saying kids under 10 are stupid but if you set the bar too high the majority will lose interest. A kid needs to be keenly interested before they do remarkable stuff and even then there may not be a great deal of understanding about what they are doing.

          For example: when my daughter was 4 I was amazed to see her one day start up my XT from a
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Bakkster (1529253)

      How about a merit badge for creating Web pages or setting up a Web site. Maybe one for completing a simple self-taught course in a simple language like Java?

      Already been done. Computers Merit Badge [meritbadge.org], for Boy Scouts.

      That said, Cub Scout awards are more about participation and providing learning opportunities, rather than judging proficiency. Merit badges, on the other hand, do require a demonstration of proficiency.

  • by mattr (78516) <mattr.telebody@com> on Thursday April 29, 2010 @06:47AM (#32027916) Homepage Journal

    Disclaimer: Cub Scouts was awesome and I remember most the warm feeling when the scouts gathered at a parents house. Video games would fit that atmosphere. The requirements are actually not so bad I think for this badge. Whereas I dropped out of Boy Scouts after some years when the bullying overwhelmed the exciting but life threatening campouts (8 miles into the wilderness in freezing winter, other scouts trying to burn down your tent, etc.) loved the hiking though.

    Okay in this video merit badge for cub scouts I am worried about these lines:

    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.
    With an adult’s supervision, install a gaming system.

    It seems to require you to buy games in a store and the purchasing experience is emphasized. Being aware of the return policy is good but there seems to be a requirement to buy something. What if you want to use Free (or free) Software? Likewise "install a gaming system" could mean install a linux system on an old PC, and download some free games for it. So I think it would be better for cubs to emphasize the noncommercial aspect.
    Also there is the cost of hardware, whether a console or not. If you can use an existing computer then the "install" could really mean just doing a software install.

    I think it would be great if linux distro's sites had a page for Cub Scouts to learn about Free Software and guide them to fulfilling all the requirements for these badges and belt loops using Linux.

    • by snowgirl (978879)

      What if you want to use Free (or free) Software?

      You're joking right? The Cub Scouts, as a division of the now jingoistic Boy Scouts of America, would never support such a COMMUNIST idea.

    • You do not have to complete that requirement; you must complete five of nine and that is merely one of the nine.
    • by Bragador (1036480)
      Teaching kids about responsible shopping sounds good to me.
  • Supervision?!? (Score:3, Informative)

    by ATestR (1060586) on Thursday April 29, 2010 @06:53AM (#32027942) Homepage

    The question is, who's going to supervise the scouts?

    These are young boys. The parents are still supposed to be involved at this age. Once they get to boy scouts, then its OK to give them a little bit more freedom.

  • I really almost see this as an attempt by Boy Scouts as a selling point to get more of the younger "Nintendo-and-Mt-Dew baby" generation interested in Boy Scouts itself in their parents already can't. Unless your child has a really identifiable personality and has no problem being an individual than a follower, of course it's going to be a struggle on a parent or club organization level to have any child be motivated to earn badges without feeling embarrassed, stupid, or get razzed at school because they h

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by topsocket (593673)
      THIS IS NOT THE BOY SCOUTS. This is an activity belt loop and pin for the Cub Scouts, aged 7 to 12. And if anyone bothered to read the requirements, you would see that the award is a thinly-veiled attempt to teach the boys about thriftiness, enjoying family time, communication, and responsibility. The 3 main requirements have the boy create a schedule to complete homework and chores BEFORE games, explain the video game rating system and why it needed, and play a game that must be approved by a parent. A
  • People seem to forget that scouting was originally seen as a way to train BETTER SOLDIERS. (Could be because Scouting worked so hard to camoflage it in the 70s)

    This is clearly still on that path, as far as the US military in the 21st century is concerned.

    • Then they should focus the gaming badge on playing flight sims, to train up the new drone operators which will be needed in huge numbers soon.
  • Why not a badge for system building, or tech troubleshooting?

    I love video games, but scouting isn't about sitting in your home playing video games.

  • When I tried being a cub scout for a couple years, all we did was sit around in the suburbs and glue popsicle sticks together. Do the cub scouts even go outside anymore?

  • My 8 yr old son told me that he saw they have video game belt loops in Boys Life this month!

    http://www.boyscouttrail.com/content/content/cub_scouts_video_games_academics_pin_and_belt_loop-2035.asp [boyscouttrail.com]

    Tiger Cubs, Cub Scouts, and Webelos Scouts may complete requirements in a family, den, pack, school, or community environment. Tiger Cubs must work with their parents or adult partners. Parents and partners do not earn loops or pins.

    Requirements for the Video Games Belt Loop
    Complete these three requirements:
    Explain

  • If they had this back in my day I would've gone from Bear to Weeblo in about 12 minutes. I had to spend three weeks just carving a fucking molar out of Ivory soap. And then there was the creepy den mother's boyfriend.

PLUG IT IN!!!

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