Today, in an attempt to educate children about playing videogames responsibly and using the ESRB rating system, the Boy Scouts America added two videogame awards to its Cub Scouts program.
Geared towards boys in the fifth grade and below, the two awards are a belt loop and an academics pin. In order to earn each of these awards, a Cub Scout must meet various criteria listed below.
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.
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.”
According to the Boy Scouts, “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. You can stretch your mind and abilities by exploring the wonders of science, learning about the world, and expanding skills in new areas.”
Personally I think this is a great idea. A large majority of the flak the gaming community gets stems from the fact that young gamers don’t receive proper education on what type of content is appropriate and how to schedule specific time for gaming. I also like how these awards involve the parent in the process of selecting which games are appropriate. This way the parent is educated on the ESRB rating system.
What do you guys think? Is this a smart move by the Boy Scouts, or is it just an attempt to increase their membership numbers? Let us know by dropping a comment below.