Cub Scouts Can Now Earn "Video Games" Merit Award: Finally, Justification!

Generations from now, our grandchildren will look back at 2010 and pinpoint this moment as one of the "ah ha!" moments of the 21st century. It'll be live the day the first television was shipped, or the first e-mail was sent. Maybe it will even be compared to the day that Bill Gates founded Microsoft or Apple shipped the Apple IIe. It's probably right up there with the invention of the mouse, the fax machine or even the cellular telephone.

Yes, a new "Video Game" merit pin is up there with all of those milestones in our opinion, and it's exactly the ammunition that parents have needed for years to coerce their lazy children into sticking with something that's greater than them in an effort to learn loads of life lessons at a young age. The Boy Scouts of America is a solid foundation, but it requires a lot of work and determination from youngsters who generally do anything they can to avoid just that. For those unfamiliar with the organization, young males work their way up through Tiger Cubs, Cub Scouts, Webelos and eventually Boy Scouts, earning pins, belt loops and badges along the way to prove their hard work.

This new "Video Games" pin is specifically designed for the first three of those (so for the younger ones, before they hit the "Boy Scout" stage), and if they complete the tasks, they really will get to sport a pin that looks like the one pictured here. There's no doubt this will already be the envy of the troop, and we're guessing that it will be the most earned pin of all time in just a decade or so.

Contrary to popular belief, the badge doesn't require you to actually be an outstanding gamer. No Gamertags are looked at, no trophy case is inspected. It really doesn't matter how many hours you log in Xbox LIVE; you just have to be a good teacher. We'll admit to being somewhat disappointed by the requirements here, but really it's hard to complain with a Video Games pin, even if it's not as fun to earn as we had hoped. At the very least, this proves that even Boy Scout leaders understand that video gaming isn't just a complete waste of life, and that's likely to be good enough for some kids who are fighting to prove that very point to their strict parents. Below are the requirements to earn the Video Games belt loop and academics pin:

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.

So, what kid will be first to earn it? We know the competitive nature will lead to an all-out war to achieve it first.