Good news, parents! Netflix will have to rely on its content to hook kids on their programming after it scrapped a plan to gamify binge-watching. The streaming service tested an idea to give kids “badges” after they completed a show or a certain number of hours of Netflix content, thus rewarding children for rotting their brains on Mama Llama, Fuller House, or the new Trolls series, etc.
Netflix pulled the plug after backlash from parents, who didn’t think it wise to further incentivize their children into watching TV. From Variety:
“We’ve concluded the test for patches and have decided not to move forward with the feature for kids. We test lots of things at Netflix in order to learn what works well—and what doesn’t work well—for our members.”
I’m no helicopter parent, and I encourage them to watch Netflix because it gets them out of my hair while I’m trying to make dinner, but even I think this is a terrible idea. The content itself should be its own reward, and I wouldn’t want my kids binging on something they didn’t particularly like because it comes with a “badge.” I have an app that keeps track of the TV I watch, and I get a small high every time I check off a show that I watch, and I don’t particularly want my kids going down that path this early in life, although I have explored similar apps that award them badges for finishing chores.
Use the power of the App badge wisely, folks.