Boy Scouts Unveil Game-Design Merit Badge

Board games, card games, and even smartphone apps are possible

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 7, 2013 2:18 PM CST

(Newser) – When you think of the Boy Scouts, you probably imagine kids doing rugged, outdoor activities. But Scouts can earn merit badges in all manner of esoteric fields, and today the organization unveiled the latest, and one of the quirkiest: game design. The badge, developed over the past two years with the help of volunteers from the game industry, encourages kids to dream up, test, and iterate on a game concept.

All genres are fair game (no pun intended); board games, card games, and even, the Verge points out, potentially video games or smartphone apps. The Scouts say the badge recognizes that games are "an important element in every culture around the globe," and that the program encourages analytical and creative thinking.

Boy Scouts stand on a giant chess board in this photo originally released to promote the Scouts' chess merit badge.   (PRNewsFoto/World Chess Hall of Fame and Museum, Tom Gannam)
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