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Archery, camping... video game design? Girl Scouts gamify their patches

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Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles, Women in Games International and Sony's Santa Monica Studio teamed up for a Girl Scouts patch for video game design.

Part of the fun of being a Girl Scout is sporting the patches. 

Senior Girl Scout Yasmine Corel shows off her Girl Scout patches.
Lori Galarreta/KPCC
Senior Girl Scout Yasmine Corel shows off her Girl Scout patches.

These colorful symbols boldly display to the world what a girl is interested in. Patches can be earned for things like camping, astronomy and even for learning more about Pasadena's annual Tournament of Roses.

Now there's a new patch in town - one for video game design. 

For more Take Two's Alex Cohen spoke with Christine Colvin, STEM  and Leadership Program Specialist for Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles. Joining her and sporting her very own patch, was Senior Girl Scout Yasmine Corel.

Interview Highlights

Badge, patch. What's the difference?

Christine: "A badge is something out of the GSUSA (Girl Scouts USA) national curriculum...these are badges, experiences girls across the nation all earn in a similar manner. There are five requirements, three options for each requirement and badges cover the whole gambit of experiences. There are badges for art, there's first aid, there's camping. We have some more for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) and the outdoors is the newest...

But what a patch's an experience that does not necessarily align or is not included in a badge curriculum. It can be something specific to each council. Other patches can be earned for things like camps girls go to, we have a walking patch program where girls get a better handle on their fitness and learn about athletics...."

This new video gaming patch is the result of a partnership with a group called Women in Games International and a local subsidiary of Sony Interactive Entertainment called Santa Monica Studios. How did all this come to be?

Christine: "I'll go back even further...our national Girl Scout research studies tell us that girls are interested in STEM and  STEAM (the 'A' is for arts) and may not know how to get involved in it. So, they're really interested in these careers but they need more opportunities, so we were able to develop a relationship with WIGI (the Women in Games International) and in 2014 that was the first launch of the video game designer patch program.

Actually, Yasmine, she was a part of the original group, to get girls to meet with these professionals to understand different facets of video game design and how it's built from the ground up. It's not even the technology part of it, it goes to the space, the rules, understanding different components of just the basics of a game. They start with Rock, Paper, Scissors dissecting the rock, the paper, the scissors down into different components and then tying that into the actual digital design of a video game..."

Yasmine, how did this make you feel? Did it make you feel like video game coding and designing is something you could do?

Yasmine: "Yeah, I really like computers...I really want to go into the coding aspect. And so when I saw this, I was like 'Well, at least now I have a better idea of kind of getting close to that stage.' The hardest part for me, was trying to decide what I wanted to do. I had all these different ideas but then when it came down to actually doing it, I was like 'I don't know what I'm going to do!'"

What kind of games would you like to create?

Yasmine: "I kind of want to go towards trying to draw awareness to things so like I've seen that there are games that kind of draw awareness to bullying and stuff like that. So, I kind of want to go towards that end."

To hear the full interview, click the blue play button above.

(Answers have been edited for clarity.)

For more information on the patch program, click here

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