By Ryan Matsunaga ( | First Posted: Mar 08, 2013 05:49 PM EST

(Photo : Boy Scouts of America)

The Boy Scouts of America are doing their part to encourage the next generation of game developers. The organization will be introducing a new "Game Design" Merit Badge later this year.

The Boy Scouts reportedly spent two years designing the new badge's requirements with input from individuals working in the games industry.

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"Simple games give structure to children's playtime and help enforce basic social skills like courtesy, sharing, and taking turns, and more intricate games can help children hone their logic, strategy, and even mathematics skills," the Boy Scouts said in a statement. "Through Game Design, its newest merit badge, the Boy Scouts of America is opening the door for Scouts to put their creativity to the test."

To earn the badge, a Scout will take a look at different types of games, analyze them for their content and themes, and demonstrate an understanding of intellectual property. He will then keep a notebook charting the design of his own theoretical game project, from concept, to design, to testing at official Scout functions, and incorporating that feedback into the game.

Once that has been approved, the Scout will design an actual prototype of his game, and just about any medium is acceptable. Everything from card games, to board games, and even smart phone apps are allowed.

The Boy Scouts of America will be at the SXSW Gaming Expo in Austin, Texas this weekend to formally introduce the new merit badge to the public.

The organization already allows Scouts to earn a "Video Game" merit badge, which was introduced in 2010. The badge is awarded for demonstrating knowledge of the video game rating system, creating a schedule balancing gaming with schoolwork and chores, and learning to play any new video game that is approved by a parent, guardian or teacher."


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