I was a Boy Scout for four years and we never had anything this cool. The hundred-plus year old organization for boys and young men has been receiving a lot of heat for its now-controversial stance on letting gays into troops across the country, but there’s nothing controversial about a merit badge about game design. One has to wonder though: what took so long?
I guess it’s not a surprise. The BSA has always focused on fundamental skills and values such as building fires and helping people without reward, so the advent of say, the future, seems almost irrelevant to them. Now, most Scouts I knew wouldn’t be able to program a videogame to save their lives (myself included), but that skirts the point: you’re here to learn about how they’re put together. To that end, you’ll be able to assemble board games, sports, and other participatory outdoor games. While I’m sure this will be an elective badge, learning how games are put together seems like fundamental to any kind of leadership. Game Theory, while still a new concept when it comes to economics, has been used throughout history to dictate strategies by the most powerful rulers, kings, and presidents to ever live. Of course, when your merit badge book looks like the masthead above, some might be hard pressed to take such fundamental skills seriously.