"Be Prepared" is the Girl Scouts' motto. I wasn't using "ironic" or "scare" quotes in the headline.
Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles (GSGLA) and Women in Games International (WIGI) are combining forces to create a merit badge in video game design.
They're placing the Video Game Design badge in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) category of badges. Amy Allison, vice president at WIGI, said in an official statement that she hopes the badge will "get young girls excited in technology and science and let them know that they, too, can have a career in the video game industry."
Lise Luttgens, chief executive officer at GSGLA, followed WIGI's statement with "Girl Scouts has a long history of developing pioneers in the fields of science and technology, so we are excited about collaborating with Women in Games International to ignite girls' interests in STEM-related subjects."
A brilliantly selected 16-bit heart will be the badge's graphic, a tribute to Nintendo's timeless indicator of health and extra lives. I'd rock that badge and I'm a man!
Note that they're not interested in just getting girls to play games. The emphasis is on the "design" part of Video Game Design. There doesn't appear to be a guide for attaining this badge yet, but it wouldn't be unreasonable for them to mimick the Boy Scouts' requirement for their Game Design badge
(though the Boy Scouts' version is not video game-specific.) I checked out that Boy Scout badge: it wouldn't be a bad idea to put video game reviewers and critics through that manual's requirements.
The goal is to get the GSGLA badge recognized and adopted by the overarching Girl Scouts of America, so as to not limit this opportunity to the 40,000 (!) girls in the GSGLA alone.
Perhaps by the time my three-year-old joins the Girl Scouts--should she express such an interest--they could be selling annual copies of Madden
and Assassin's Creed
next to Samoas and Thin Mints. Though who am I kidding? Unless EA and Ubisoft start coating game boxes with caramel and toasted coconut, I'm going with the cookies.
WOMEN IN GAMES INTERNATIONAL AND GIRL SCOUTS OF GREATER LOS ANGELES PRESS ‘START’ ON CREATION OF VIDEO GAME PATCH
Initiative Aims to Spur Young Girls’ Interest in STEM Subjects; Lead to Girl Scouts of the United States of America Badge
LOS ANGELES (April 17, 2013) – Women in Games International (WIGI) and the Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles (GSGLA) announced today they are working together to create the first video game patch for Girl Scouts. WIGI, hopes the patch will serve as the first step toward creating a nationally recognized Girl Scouts of the United States of America (GSUSA) badge. Both GSGLA and WIGI hope the initiative will give Girl Scouts an incentive to pursue an interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) subjects, and show them possible career options in the video game industry.
WIGI’s patch will use Gamestar Mechanic, E-line’s development tool used for the National STEM Video Game Challenge. Their platform and curriculum for game design has already helped more than 350,000 youth. E-line will help WIGI provide a tailored STEM-aligned program to meet all of the Girl Scout patch requirements.
WIGI and GSGLA are working together to accommodate patch workshop requests and to train interactive entertainment industry professionals in the Los Angeles area to guide girls through the patch program.
“Our ultimate goal is to create a STEM-aligned video game badge for the Girl Scouts of the United States of America,” said Amy Allison, vice president at WIGI. “Creating this badge will get young girls excited in technology and science and let them know that they, too, can have a career in the video game industry.”
“Girl Scouts has a long history of developing pioneers in the fields of science and technology, so we are excited about collaborating with Women in Games International to ignite girls’ interests in STEM-related subjects,” said Lise Luttgens, Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles chief executive officer.