I just had to weigh in on the controversy surrounding the Cub Scouts decision to offer a merit pin for video gaming. I chuckled out loud when I saw it was a CNN headline and even louder when I saw the responses from readers--most of which were horrified. I just noted the parallels to debates in the world of 21st Century Skills and the 21st Century classroom and the polarizing affect technology has between those for whom its use is as much a part of their existence as getting dressed in the morning, and those with much less techno savvy and far more opinions about the lost youth of the upcoming generation.
I for one have no problem with the video gaming pin. I don’t think it is a sellout attempt by the Cub Scouts to stay relevant in an era of obese kids addicted to video games while lacking in social skills and Vitamin D due to their failure to play outside. I do think it is a good example of adapting the message to the audience. My recollection of the Scouts is that they typically promote physical activities like camping and sports as well as endeavors that encourage good citizenship. It reminds me of times gone by when skaters were dismissed as delinquents on wheels. There is a merit badge for skateboarding now —it’s been around for a long time. And last I checked, skateboarding is under consideration as a potential Olympic Sport. Engendering responsible gaming habits in the young through a reward system will be more beneficial than disparaging a culture, pastime, and generation.