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Cub Scouts To Offer Merit Pin For Video Gaming

samzenpus posted more than 4 years ago | from the be-prepared-to-play dept.

Games 366

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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Next: pins for first post. (5, Funny)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 4 years ago | (#32027262)

n/t

Re:Next: pins for first post. (0, Offtopic)

troubbble (1314525) | more than 4 years ago | (#32027336)

This seems fairly ONtopic for a first post...

3digits of f4il (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32028018)

there's nothing hard about getting FP when you are a subscribefag... just ask ASS POS.

BTW, what woke you up? Haven't seen your UID before.

What day is it? (-1, Troll)

pedestrian crossing (802349) | more than 4 years ago | (#32027264)

April 1st was almost a month ago!

Pins for sodomy (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32027280)

Remember, it's not just the Catholic church.

Why the censure? (5, Funny)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 4 years ago | (#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!

Re:Why the censure? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32027360)

Why does Slashdot even bother to give space to these purse-lipped, snap-sphinctered pissheads. If it were up to them, we'd still be playing Pong.

Can you imagine being thje child of one of these killjoys?

Re:Why the censure? (0, Flamebait)

fuzzix (700457) | more than 4 years ago | (#32027370)

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!

I want the badge to be a silhouette of Nico Bellic (or one of his counterparts from another GTA game) whacking someone by the river bank... or maybe a montage of three Nicos:

- Battering a hooker
- Doing a line
- Riverside execution

All in a day's work^Wplay.

Re:Why the censure? (1)

Jurily (900488) | more than 4 years ago | (#32027784)

Of course, you only get the badge if you batter the hooker academically.

Re:Why the censure? (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#32027998)

Well just as we had an "approved reading list" in school there ought to be an approved gaming list to earn this merit pin. I couldn't do a book report on "The Collected Anthology of Snoopy Comics" and neither should someone get a pin because they played Dead or Alive Bikini Volleyball nonstop. I'd limit the list to games that require reading skills, like RPGs.

IMHO

Re:Why the censure? (1)

Pvt_Ryan (1102363) | more than 4 years ago | (#32027406)

Each scout troop must select 12 players to play Battlefield 2.

We are not training child soldiers... honest..

Oh yeah (3, Interesting)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 4 years ago | (#32027448)

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 ;)

Re:Oh yeah (1)

Razalhague (1497249) | more than 4 years ago | (#32027518)

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.

Re:Oh yeah (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#32027548)

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:Oh yeah (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32027600)

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]

Re:Oh yeah (1)

warGod3 (198094) | more than 4 years ago | (#32028034)

The M72 Law was meant to be able to be used by anyone and then thrown away.

Some of the wonderful things that were written on the LAW:
"DANGER
WHEN OPERATING THE LAW, KEEP IT POINTED DOWNRANGE. ENSURE YOUR WHOLE BODY IS CLEAR OF THE MUZZLE AND REAR OF THE LAUNCHER, AND ENSURE THE BACKBLAST AREA IS CLEAR."

"WARNING
KEEP YOUR WEAPON POINTED TOWARD THE TARGET."

I think the warnings on the Claymore were meant to be easily read and help out especially during some kind of conflict...

Re:Oh yeah (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 4 years ago | (#32027608)

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

They do. With pictograms and text.

Re:Oh yeah (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#32027850)

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 don't go through the same amount of mind-boggling training.

Re:Oh yeah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32027972)

things are more complimecated than sticks and clubs theze days, gramps. now get orf of OUR lawn.

Re:Oh yeah (2, Informative)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 4 years ago | (#32027580)

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 (1)

Haymaker (1664103) | more than 4 years ago | (#32027668)

Someone whose only training was using a mouse in a FPS, sorry, I don't think they'll be particularly good at it.

At least they'll be better than the ones using console controllers.

Re:Oh yeah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32027854)

Harris & Klebold say you are wrong.

Re:Oh yeah (3, Informative)

Mr. Freeman (933986) | more than 4 years ago | (#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:Oh yeah (1)

bronney (638318) | more than 4 years ago | (#32027690)

Not everyone can do jumping jacks you insensitive clod!

Re:Oh yeah (4, Funny)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 4 years ago | (#32028014)

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.

MAG (1)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 4 years ago | (#32027472)

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.

Re:Why the censure? (4, Insightful)

mjwalshe (1680392) | more than 4 years ago | (#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 :-)

A merit pin for hand eye coordination (2, Funny)

klashn (1323433) | more than 4 years ago | (#32027292)

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

What a shame (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 4 years ago | (#32027298)

Guess it is time I made my own version to compete, and show them what crap they've become.

Achievement Unlocked (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32027306)

Achievement Unlocked: Dib Dib Dib

Let them have it (1)

Boot10it (1249394) | more than 4 years ago | (#32027308)

Exactly I played games all through my child hood, and Doom was my game of choice. I mean were else are kids these days going to learn how to destroy that armed invading alien force, or if they need a car in a hurry how to jack one by simply pulling some one out of it. Now if some people believe that kids grow up into what video games taught them then why am i not out there killing ever one in the street, No I have sense and I also had a lot of fun........ But I must say that I can see both sides of the argument, one being that it is the Scouts and they are based on out door actives or things that help others, but again it is one badge there not changing ever thing else so let them have it.

Best price (3, Insightful)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 4 years ago | (#32027312)

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

Re:Best price (1)

Anachragnome (1008495) | more than 4 years ago | (#32027618)

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)

Re:Best price (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32027714)

Am I allowed to use poisons and enchantments?
Because sneak + enchanted bow + enchanted arrows + poison = one of the most deadly combos in Oblivion. Sneak bonus multiplies -combined- damage...

(11 bow + 4 bow enchantment + 10 arrow + 4 arrow enchantment + (4 fire 4 cold 3 fire) poison) x 3 = 120 damage on first hit plus 33 damage every second for next 12 seconds...
Very few enemies can survive it.
Add silence poison against spellcasters, Paralyze to pack several arrows in sneak mode and you own the game.

Re:Best price (1)

Darth Sdlavrot (1614139) | more than 4 years ago | (#32027748)

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?

Archery, Rifle, and Shotgun are Boy Scout merit badges.

The Video Gaming awards are for Cub Scouts

Re:Best price (1)

Anachragnome (1008495) | more than 4 years ago | (#32027802)

"Archery, Rifle, and Shotgun are Boy Scout merit badges.

The Video Gaming awards are for Cub Scouts"

The point I was trying to make was one of mixed messages. I think it still stands.

Re:Best price (1)

f3rret (1776822) | more than 4 years ago | (#32027914)

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?

I did this, it's surprisingly easy.

This is like printing money (1)

ImNotAtWork (1375933) | more than 4 years ago | (#32027324)

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

Re:This is like printing money (4, Funny)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 4 years ago | (#32027330)

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

1. Get boy scout.
2. Put boy scout on craiglist.

Re:This is like printing money (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32027430)

++ would buy again

New version of the Grand Howl (1)

Dexter Herbivore (1322345) | more than 4 years ago | (#32027340)

DYB DYB DYB W-e-e-e-l CAMP CAMP CAMP

Somewhat off-topic :) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32027342)

Have you heard the one about the boy who got kicked out of cub scouts?

He got caught eating a Brownie.

What game ? (1)

tris203 (1768578) | more than 4 years ago | (#32027410)

# Play a video game that will help you practice your math, spelling, or another skill that helps you in your schoolwork.

Grand Theft Auto ?

Way to lower the credibility of Boy Scouts... (4, Insightful)

madwheel (1617723) | more than 4 years ago | (#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.

Re:Way to lower the credibility of Boy Scouts... (4, Insightful)

ndogg (158021) | more than 4 years ago | (#32027512)

How much lower can it go? They already discriminate (and still get funds from various governments).

Re:Way to lower the credibility of Boy Scouts... (1)

jonwil (467024) | more than 4 years ago | (#32027820)

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

Re:Way to lower the credibility of Boy Scouts... (2, Funny)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 4 years ago | (#32027872)

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

In other words (5, Insightful)

JimboFBX (1097277) | more than 4 years ago | (#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

Re:In other words (1)

thoughtspace (1444717) | more than 4 years ago | (#32027494)

Unless the last 'or' is exclusive-or; in which case they are allowed: games with a lot of sexual AND drug content. Party on!

Re:In other words (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#32027554)

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?

Re:In other words (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32027722)

If it would meant to be fun, why would the reward you for spending an hour playing?

Isnt the whole point of Scouts to 'scout'? (1)

qwerty8ytrewq (1726472) | more than 4 years ago | (#32027726)

They should be playing 1st person shooters, out alone behind enemy lines, evade capture, gather intel, use the right knots on captives, start fires in enemy assets, they are training to be scouts, not nancies!

Re:In other words (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32027814)

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

You need to learn the difference between Fox's "commentary" and the Real World. Out in the Real World, nothing in the requirements for the award says they can't play FPSs.

http://www.scouting.org/sitecore/content/Home/CubScouts/Awards/Boys/sanda/video_games.aspx [scouting.org]

Pins for IT achievements instead (1)

worldsayshi (1660435) | more than 4 years ago | (#32027434)

Playing games can hardly be seen as an achievement. It would be interesting to see pins for achievements in information tech though. Maybe for helping out setting up webservices for the local group or learning a programming language. But perhaps that would be to much to ask from a cub scout?

Re:Pins for IT achievements instead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32027466)

How about a Computers academic belt loop and pin? http://www.scouting.org/sitecore/content/Home/CubScouts/Awards/Boys/sanda/computers.aspx

I think expecting someone who is at most 11 years old to help set up webservices or learn a programming language is a little much.

Re: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32027664)

I was a programmer when I was a cub scout sixer. I subsequently won the IOCCC and had my software distributed with four operating systems. If I was a cub scout with a mobile telephone running Java then I would have done much more.

Re:Pins for IT achievements instead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32027776)

I think expecting someone who is at most 11 years old to help set up webservices or learn a programming language is a little much.

Cub Scouts are for six to ten year old boys. They switch to Boy Scouts by eleven, or usually a bit before.

I was a Scout Master -- there are eleven year old boys that could do it -- they're pretty rare, but they're out there.

Re:Pins for IT achievements instead (1)

Ambiguous Puzuma (1134017) | more than 4 years ago | (#32027874)

About 20 years ago I remember there was a computer related merit badge. There were three steps to earn this badge; one of them was to turn a computer on and then off. The other two steps were only marginally more complex.

We didn't need a badge! (1)

MortimerV (896247) | more than 4 years ago | (#32027462)

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.

How about the popped cherry badge? (1)

George_Ou (849225) | more than 4 years ago | (#32027492)

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.

Don't you have more important things to do? (4, Insightful)

ndogg (158021) | more than 4 years ago | (#32027508)

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?

Don't you have more important things to do? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32027662)

Don't you have something more important to do than criticize an organization for striving to provide an environment free of sexual problems?

Re:Don't you have more important things to do? (5, Insightful)

Thiez (1281866) | more than 4 years ago | (#32027706)

Heterosexual people don't have sexual problems?

Re:Don't you have more important things to do? (1)

warGod3 (198094) | more than 4 years ago | (#32028044)

Not in the scouts... learn to tie knots to fix any sexual problems ;)

Couple the knot tying and leatherwork and you should be able to work out many sexual "problems."

Re:Don't you have more important things to do? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32027768)

Christians don't have sexual problems?

Re:Don't you have more important things to do? (1)

cbreak (1575875) | more than 4 years ago | (#32028086)

They do [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Don't you have more important things to do? (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 4 years ago | (#32027900)

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] .

Re:Don't you have more important things to do? (5, Insightful)

The Hatchet (1766306) | more than 4 years ago | (#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.

Re:Don't you have more important things to do? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32028064)

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.

Maybe they should call it "How not to poison yourself with food" and "planning and budgeting" and "warm feet are in one piece"? Maybe your ex just had a crap den mother (or whomever) who really didn't understand scouting

Re:Don't you have more important things to do? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32027984)

Cub Scouts != Boy Scouts

The Boy Scouts are the ones that hate atheists and gays. Not sure about the Cub Scouts but a quick perusal of the Wikipedia article suggests that they have no such offensive policies.

Way to go (3, Interesting)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#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.

Re:Way to go (1)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 4 years ago | (#32027654)

If only I knew how to tie that knot. But I spent all my time in the Scouts playing video games.

Re:Way to go (1)

qwerty8ytrewq (1726472) | more than 4 years ago | (#32027734)

You need to work on your 'Tie impossible knots with controller cord' badge!

Re:Way to go (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#32027750)

Curse those wireless controllers! Before them, you could easily learn enough to earn that badge trying to untangle those controller cables!

Why he expects video games be (1)

devent (1627873) | more than 4 years ago | (#32027626)

Why he expects that they are going to play ".., violent games, games with a lot of sexual or drug content."? It's like a school proposing to go on a day trip with the class and a parent is worried that they are gonna be somewhere violent and have a lot of sex and drugs, because that is so usual on day trips.

I played a lot of games and I never got a game with violent, sex and drugs in the store. In what world does he live?

At last, why is he putting FPS games and ".. violent games, games with a lot of sexual or drug content" in one pot?

Re:Why he expects video games be (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32027756)

I played a lot of games and I never got a game with violent, sex and drugs in the store. In what world does he live?

He's a pediatrician. He appears to live in Academia, a highly elevated plane, entry to which is forbidden to mere, unenlightened mortals.

At last, why is he putting FPS games and ".. violent games, games with a lot of sexual or drug content" in one pot?

Video games are largely unknown in Academia as they are considered "pedestrian". Residents of Academia, while they may know many things, know very little of video games. What they do know of video games can be summarized in two words, those words being "jack" and "shit".

Awesome, great job (1)

qwerty8ytrewq (1726472) | more than 4 years ago | (#32027718)

The scouts obviously can teach the declining churches a thing or two about moving with the times (how about PS3s in the confessional?' how long has it been since your last session?). Mind you, they are just following behind the US military (instead of out in front scouting) who are down with gaming as an effective recruitment tool. US military gets "Immoral but effective" badge, the scouts get a "Easy Money" badge.

I thinks it's a smart move (1)

crazybit (918023) | more than 4 years ago | (#32027758)

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.

Embraces what kids are doing anyway (5, Insightful)

stupidflanders (1230894) | more than 4 years ago | (#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 would say that FPSs fit in (1)

Zoxed (676559) | more than 4 years ago | (#32027796)

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.)

US scouting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32027806)

I don't understand this pansy version of scouting with "pins"...
In Belgium, kids who join scouts usually just go out in Kakhi (girls are in skirts, some boys are in shorts) and do it "Baden Powell" style, learn to read maps and survive but usually just roughen it up or play groupgames in the weekends or get creative.

Nothing like pansy indoor playing games, I always thought scouting was like "fun things to do outside as a exploring kid too young based on a cool army training manual" which evolved to community oriented organisation ("once scouts, always scouts") bringing decent values and often organizing things for the community. But not the pansy kindof stuff.. I remember alot of wounded kids playing, and they loved it, they also learned to deal with social situations and interacting with and positioning onself large groups. Many eventually end up doing management because they've learned those skills..

No first person shooters? (4, Insightful)

Mr. Freeman (933986) | more than 4 years ago | (#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:No first person shooters? (2, Insightful)

Vultan (468899) | more than 4 years ago | (#32028020)

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 rifle (with a high emphasis placed on safety and understanding of the dangers) and shooting up aliens in a first-person shooter.

Re:No first person shooters? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32028024)

In real life you are shooting targets. In the virtual world, you are killing another living being. It desensitizes a young child's mind to some degree.

Re:No first person shooters? (1)

psnyder (1326089) | more than 4 years ago | (#32028032)

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) are allowed to operate firearms.

Re:No first person shooters? (2, Insightful)

iiioxx (610652) | more than 4 years ago | (#32028040)

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 it taught me respect for firearms safety, the patience to achieve accurate marksmanship, and pride in my growth and achievement in a real-world skill. What exactly do these hypothetical Cub Scouts learn from playing Halo?

Re:No first person shooters? (1)

SunTzuWarmaster (930093) | more than 4 years ago | (#32028100)

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.

growing up with videogames (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32027824)

I grew up playing videogames and, except for a compulsive obsession with stomping turtles, I turned out just fine.

Better than TV (1)

The Hatchet (1766306) | more than 4 years ago | (#32027880)

Haven't we seen that video games at least engage the mind and don't induce the same fattening as television. Perhaps the 1 hour of video games instead of 1 hour of television is a good difference.

Cub scouts really wasn't that fulfilling, I didn't learn that much in it, Boy scouts is where you learn the real leadership skills, and life skills. You have to move with the times, and try to keep the same values at the same time.

The REAL requirements (5, Informative)

MasterPatricko (1414887) | more than 4 years ago | (#32027906)

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:The REAL requirements (2, Funny)

pieisgood (841871) | more than 4 years ago | (#32028046)

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 something more useful? (1)

bezenek (958723) | more than 4 years ago | (#32027912)

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."

Re:How about something more useful? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32027964)

It kinda exists:
http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/BoyScouts/AdvancementandAwards/MeritBadges/mb-COMP.aspx

Commercial vs. Academic focus in the badge (3, Interesting)

mattr (78516) | more than 4 years ago | (#32027916)

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.

Re:Commercial vs. Academic focus in the badge (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32028088)

I'm pretty certain that install a gaming system pretty much means match the HDMI cable to the HDMI hole in the back of your TV. Maybe for some scouts it might mean matching red to red, white to white, and yellow to yellow.

If you are imagining a scenario where they need to obtain an old computer, changing the operating system, and then enjoying 1000s of free games. They don't offer a badge for that.

Supervision?!? (2, Informative)

ATestR (1060586) | more than 4 years ago | (#32027942)

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.

(De)Evolving with the times (1)

adosch (1397357) | more than 4 years ago | (#32028002)

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 helped some old lady across the street wearing their navy blue shorts, brown button-up and their sash.

I just think it's a real stretch for Boy Scouts to add this as something you 'earn'. Most parents get their children involved in an organization like this to get their children out of the house and away from TV and video games. There's already a Computer merit badge [wikipedia.org] that you can earn, so it's tough to accept this idea as any more than lure bait or to re-gain interest in the club.

This is not the end of Scouting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32028060)

OK this is Slashdot. I know that people don't read the underlying articles referred to in the original post.

Lots of things you have to understand.

First, these are belt loops and pins for Cub Scouts - i.e. first through fifth grade kids. These are not merit badges for Boy Scouts (11-18 year olds).

Second, look at the actual requirements. Things like- play a video game with a parent. Make a schedule that includes doing your chores, doing your homework, playing video games. Research prices. Talk about game ratings. Play a videogame with a friend or family member.

Third, Scouting has to respond to the times. Need I explain to folks who read Slashdot, that lots of kids play videogames. Some, kids play excessively. Videogaming is a feature of childhood. Should scouting stick their head in the sand and ignore it?

Fourth, Dr. Strasburger (referred to in the Foxnews article) doesn't seem to have either read or understood the requirements and plainly has no idea about the way that Cub Scouts works. Cub Scouting is a family activity, the whole design and focus of the program is that Cub Scouting is something parents do with their kid. So the answer to Dr. Strasburger;s question - who is going to choose the game and who is going to supervise is obvious - parents. The requirements are set up that way, and parents will be the ones to sign off that the boy has completed the requirements.

And, there is no requirement to play an hour a day. The requirement is only to play a videogame with a family member for one hour in total.

This is one of a new group of belt loop & pins introduced about six months ago. The complete list of new belt loops / pins:

Disabilities Awareness
Family Travel
Good Manners
Nutrition
Pet Care
Photography
Reading and Writing
Video Games

Hiking
Hockey
Horseback Riding
Kickball
Skateboarding

its what the scouts are FOR (1)

argStyopa (232550) | more than 4 years ago | (#32028082)

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.

Stupid. (1)

moxley (895517) | more than 4 years ago | (#32028096)

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.

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