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Boy Scouts of America offers pins, loops for video game prowess

Forget basketry. In 2010, you can earn an award from the Boy Scouts of America for video games.

By Matthew Shaer / April 28, 2010

The Boy Scouts of America have begun offering awards for video game savvy. Would you pass the test?

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You can earn a Scout merit badge in carpentry, citizenship, and basketry. And now, you can earn Scout belt loops or pins for jamming the buttons on your Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 controller wicked hard. That's right folks: Beginning this month, the Boy Scouts of America will offer awards in video game prowess to Tiger Cubs, Cub Scouts, and Webelos Scouts.

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According to the Boy Scouts of America site, Scouts can complete three relatively minor tasks, and earn a gaming belt loop, or complete five more strenuous tasks, and earn an "academic pin." For those interested in the academic pin, options include playing a video game with family members in a family tournament or teaching an "adult or a friend how to play a video game."

But don't worry. The Scouts haven't forgotten about thrift. Here's one of the more intensive tasks on the list: "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."

Needless to say, news of the Boy Scouts gaming badge has been met with much amusement across the Web.

"Back in my day, we had to walk nine miles to get to school every morning, and nine miles to get back home – uphill both ways," writes Mark Sharkey of GameSpy. "And we didn't have these fancy Videogame Belt Loops or Pins in the Cub Scouts. If we were lucky, we'd get sent into bear country alone for a week with no food or water. And if we made it out in one piece, the troop leader would ask us why we weren't man enough to earn the Eaten Alive badge."

For our part, we're happy for the Scouts. Many of them were probably gamers anyway; now they get official recognition for their ability to blast their way through the level of the latest Capcom game in 30 seconds, flat.

Hat tip to Gizmodo for the Scouts news.

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