Wednesday, May 12, 2010

EXP Podcast #77: Earning The Badge

The cub scouts, the younger sect of Boy Scouts of America, have recently added a new honorable achievement for children to attain: the videogame merit badge. Technically, they award a belt loop or academic pin. Regardless, to claim the glory of such a trophy, kids have to accomplish a few tasks. Join us this week as Scott and I discuss the ESRB, consumer education, math with Marcus Fenix, and what it takes to become a young videogame guru. You can find a link to the scouts official requirements in the show notes. Comments, as usually, are highly appreciated.

Some discussion starters:

- What do you think about the cub scout requirements? Are they detailed enough? Do they serve an important purpose?
- Does this award fulfill a perceived need to acclimate children to the world of games and technology?
- What requirements might you add to the list?

To listen to the podcast:

- Subscribe to the EXP Podcast via iTunes here. Additionally, here is the stand-alone feed.
- Listen to the podcast in your browser by left-clicking the title. Or, right-click and select "save as link" to download the show in MP3 format.
- Subscribe to this podcast and EXP's written content with the RSS link on the right.

Show notes:

- Run time: 25 min 22 sec
- The cub scout video game award and requirements
- Music provided by Brad Sucks


  1. Games that help you in School? One word. Scribblenauts. Just saying.

  2. I love how at least two of those entries could be made much better with really simple tweaks.
    *With your parents, create a plan to buy a video game that is right for your age group.
    Why not a game that is right for /you/ not just your age group. That way it would reinforce the fact that the ESRB is a tool of guidance, not a set of rules.
    *Play a video game that will help you practice your math, spelling, or another skill that helps you in your schoolwork.
    Why not any game that will help you in your schoolwork as opposed to skills in particular. I'm sure something like Romance of The Three Kingdoms would be a great way for a kid to learn about China, or skewing for a much higher age, if it ever comes out I can't help but imagine Six Days in Fallujah would be near indispensable for anyone studying that event(s).

  3. @ Krystian

    You keep your Scribblenauts love to ourself Mister.

    @ Samineru

    Perfect. But that is one of the major problems I have with the boy scouts in general. It seems they uncritically re-enact the status quo.

  4. I grew up in scouts and really enjoyed it. I can also see how some of these would help kids. Still, as an adult, a lot of these just seem silly.

    Earlier this year, though, the Boy Scouts also added a Game Design badge. It's not limited strictly to video games, but since it's for teenagers, it requires a lot more critical thinking. If you want to see the full requirements, you can find them here: