Boy Scouts of Video Gaming

I admit I don’t know much about the Boy Scouts of America. I never had a desire to be in it and hence wasn’t. Besides pushing religious agendas I understand the Boy Scouts spend most of their time teaching children practical skills including survival. Well apparently they’ve now developed a belt loop and academics pin for video games. Here are the requirements for the belt loop:

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.

So you have to explain why the rating system is important (which it isn’t). And then check your games to ensure they’re appropriate for your age? I’m sorry but from where I’m sitting that’s a parents job. I was playing games that would be rated 17+ when I was in the seventh grade. My parents allowed me to do this because the felt I was mentally mature enough to handle games like Doom. The game rating board is a guideline much like the MPAA movie rating system. I don’t see why the Boy Scouts would want to push this kind of thing.

And then there is the academics pin which has 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.

So this pin has nothing to do with video games really and more to do with learning how to shop smart. Why not just call it the shop smart pin? Seriously if this is what the Boy Scouts are becoming what’s the point of entering your children into it beyond social interaction?