Registration Begins
5/30/2020 10:00 AM
Last Day To Register
6/20/2020 12:00 PM
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Virtual Game Design Merit Badge


What: Scouts begin by learning gaming terminology and analyzing various types of games they’ve played. They then pick one game, tweak its rules or objectives, and track how the changes affect players’ actions and emotional experiences. After that, they design a new game, a process that includes writing rules, creating a prototype, and play-testing. Finally, as with other career-oriented badges, they learn about jobs in the game-development industry.

 Meet your Counselor - Don Mack is a merit badge counselor, Nova Award counselor/mentor, Unit Commissioner and ADC in the Cape & Islands Council. He grew up on Long Island and was a scout as a youth. He’s been an avid gamer since his teenage years, playing a variety of card, board, role-playing, table-top miniature, and group games in all sorts of genres. He’s attended and managed games at many game conventions across the country and even got to meet Gary Gygax at an Origins Convention. He’s been a counselor for the Game Design merit badge for several years and during that time has made connections with several folks in the industry.

WHO: Open to all Scouts BSA members.

Scouts should know the knots and first aid up to tenderfoot.

HOW:  This Merit Badge will be taught in a virtual classroom. The class has a capacity of 12 Scouts. Small classroom size provides all students with the opportunity to share and interact with the counselors and other Scouts. Scouts should be prepared to be challenged and to join the conversation! Participants who do not engage with the class may not receive credit for the badge. Scouts must be prompt for all badge sessions. Late participants may not receive credit for all requirements. Scouts must use a device with video to access this class.

Before beginning work on any merit badge, scouts are to have a discussion with their unit leader regarding the specific badge and counselor.

WHEN: This class will be held virtually over two sessions:

June 20, 2020 10:00AM-12:00PM 

June 27, 2020 10:00AM-12:00PM 

Scouts must attend both sessions to complete the offered requirements.

After registering, Scouts will receive a link and login information via email the day of scheduled class. Scouts will also receive instructor details that can be used to connect to the counselor on Scoutbook. This assures that completed requirements are easily recorded. 


Scouts must complete requirement 4 before the 1st session. Refer to the merit badge pamphlet or online sources for details. Scouts with questions can email me at Make sure you cc another adult as per BSA rules.

Scouts will also need to have the concept for their game (requirements 5, 6, and 7) approved before they begin work on the game. Though not a pre-requisite, it is suggested that scouts do this as soon as possible so that they can maximize the time they have to work on their game. They can send me their concept via email as well.

Requirements 5, 6, and 7 will then be homework and will need to be done, and ready for review at the 2nd session.

Suggested supplies/prep-work for students:

A game design notebook. This can be a physical notebook or a document on a computer. I will need to see this for the 2nd meeting so scouts should send it to me before then. If it’s a physical/handwritten notebook, they can scan or take pictures of the relevant pages and send those. If it’s a document, they can send that.

Scouts will need supplies to create their game. Pieces from old games, sports equipment, playing (or other) cards, etc.

Other Details:

During the first session we’ll cover the classroom material (reqs, 1, 2, 3, and 8). Scouts will then use the week between the sessions (or prior to if they want to get started right away) to work on their games. Remember, the game concept must be approved before work begins. This is to make sure that it’s achievable and “scout appropriate”. Scouts should consider that they’ll need a group of people to play the game during proto-typing (req 6) and another group to play-test it (req 7). Consider a 1 to 2 player game.

In the second session scouts will be assigned a 15-minute time slot to enter the meeting to present their game for review but the counselor and moderator. Because the time is limited, scouts will be expected to join the meeting at their assigned time. Other scouts are welcome to join the meeting early, or stay beyond their time slot if they want to see the games that other scouts have designed.


$20.00 per Participant



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