Girl Scouts Are Gamers Too With New Videogame Patch
Last week the DMW Games LA Conference was held at the historic Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, and I received an invitation to the event’s official party in the penthouse suite. When I drove into the Hollywood area that evening, I found that the streets were congested with traffic, Hollywood Boulevard (where the hotel was located) was closed off, and there were police everywhere. I assumed that there was a red carpet event at the Dolby Theater or a movie was being filmed in front of the Chinese Theater.
It took me an hour to find someplace to park my car, and when I arrived at the party on the twelfth floor of the hotel, I found out what the problem was: a suspected bomb was in a trash bag placed in front of a nearby restaurant. The police dispatched a robot to retrieve the bag, and fortunately, it was disposed of without incident.
However, that was not the most exciting moment of the evening.
For me, it was meeting Amy Allison, Vice President of Women In Games International (WIGI) and a whirling dervish of enthusiasm. Earlier that day the Girl Scouts of America announced that it has been working with Women in Games International for more than a year on a new video game patch for its Los Angeles chapter. If the patch proves to be effective, they will work to get a nationally recognized badge in place for all Girl Scouts. Amy had even more reason to be proud today, because the patch was her brainchild.
When I told Amy that I could truly appreciate what an accomplishment this was for her because I happened to one of the people responsible for the new Boy Scout Game Design Merit Badge, she eagerly whipped out her iPad and showed me a presentation showing me the plans for the patch and the badge.
|The symbol for a locally approved program this is not done on the national level. It allows local areas (councils) to design curriculum and activities that meets the needs of their region.||Approved by the main organization, Girl Scouts of the USA, and is both nationally recognized and standardized for all girls at their perspective levels. (Daisy, Brownie, Junior,etc.)|
|Generally 4-hour programs completed in a day and often run by councils or in conjunction with partner companies/organizations.||Require a longer commitment, must include multiple options to complete the badge, and cannot rely on access to the internet.|
|Does not impact a scout’s progress in levels, badge completion, or awards.||Required to progress through the Girl Scout process|
|Worn on the back of the vest or sash, as the front is designated for nationally-recognized badges and awards.||Displayed on the front of the vest or sash.|
As Amy described the requirements to me, I learned that while the Boy Scout version covers game design in general (including tabletop games, sports games, card games, and videogames), the Girl Scout version focuses on videogames but also emphasizes the learning of STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) skills. Girls interested in earning the patch will have to design, develop and program a playable video game. In addition, girls will have the opportunity to learn more about possible professional opportunities in the industry.
All I can say is, “you go, Girl Scouts!” Most of the public tends to think of the Girl Scouts only in terms of those delicious thin mint cookies, but it really is a wonderful program that gives girls many opportunities to learn many skills.
Amy has already received a lot of press and enthusiasm for their new Video Game Patch, but I have no doubt that those of us in the game industry will be eager to support her and the Girl Scouts’ efforts to give girls an opportunity to learn about videogame development at a national level.