First look: Game Design merit badge (and how you can help!)

A new merit badge rewarding you for creativity, fun, and strategy? I’m game.

Your Scouts will be too when the Game Design merit badge debuts next year.

Approved and listed on my Guide to New Merit Badges for a month now, the new badge is in mid-development. But lucky for you, I got a sneak peek from Janice Downey, senior innovation manager with the BSA.

And there’s more good news: If you’re attending the 2013 National Scout Jamboree, you can help get the Game Design merit badge off the ground.

Here’s the scoop:

How to help

Are you among the creative folks who get paid to design games? Or is game design one of your hobbies?

If so, you’re exactly who the BSA needs to help get this merit badge off the ground.

Janice and her team of professionals and volunteers need staff members to help introduce Scouts to Game Design MB at the next summer’s national Scout jamboree at the Summit Bechtel Reserve in West Virginia.

If you’re planning to serve on staff — either full- or half-time — contact Janice to find out how you can help be among the first to deliver this exciting merit badge.

What kinds of games?

Janice says Game Design MB will allow Scouts to focus on one (or more) of these kinds of games:

  • Electronic (games for computers, game systems, or mobile devices)
  • Outdoor/Athletic (sports or games like capture the flag)
  • Tabletop (dice-based games, board games, card games)
  • Pen and Paper or Role-Playing Games

Awesome! Including different types of games means the BSA will reach Scouts with different interests. It also keeps the merit badge accessible for Scouts who don’t  have reliable access to a computer — while not limiting a tech-savvy Scout from creating the next Angry Birds-type hit.

What will Scouts learn?

Janice says that in addition to creating and testing an actual, playable game, Scouts will learn:

  • How to think critically about certain games
  • What makes games fun
  • Important game terms
  • How to design and implement rules
  • Problem solving
  • And more!

When will it debut?

No exact launch date has been set, but it will make a big splash at the 2013 National Scout Jamboree.

What do you think?

Give me your thoughts on the Game Design MB and how it will help your Scouts develop knowledge and skills that will help them become Prepared. For Life.  Tell me in the comments below.

About Bryan Wendell 3281 Articles
Bryan Wendell, an Eagle Scout, is the founder of Bryan on Scouting and a contributing writer.