BSA’s Game Design Merit Badge Announced
Today the Boy Scouts of America formally announced its 131st merit badge, Game Design, for which I co-authored the requirements and pamphlet. The announcement was made at the South by Southwest conference in Austin, a three-day event that provides gamers and game designers alike an opportunity to interact and learn from one another.
A Scout pursuing his merit badge puts their newfound knowledge to use by designing a game and creating a design notebook for this project. In his notebook, the Scout must demonstrate an initial concept, multiple design iterations based on initial testing, and feedback from blind testing. Once his concept is approved, the Scout can begin to build a prototype of his game. Testing of a Scout’s game can be done at Scouting functions such as camp outings.
For his game design, he can choose from a wide range of media:
- 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
It’s a one-size-fits-all badge—appropriate for super-athletic Scouts as well as those who are less so, for the right-brainer’s and the left-brainer’s. Here are the requirments and the supplemental information site, on which I am one of three “experts” who can answer Scout’s questions about game design.
The pamphlet will not be available until April.