Super Nanny and the Gamification of a Generation

Whilst I continue my quest to write a bit more about the less obvious dynamics and mechanics of Gamification, a little thought occurred.

In 2004 a lovely lady by the name of Jo Frost appeared on our televisions in a program called Super Nanny. For those who didn’t see it (it is still showing in the US I think), basically Miss Frost would go into a family who had “problem” children and work out how best to bring them back under control. Of course this being the Naughties, smacking is a big no no, so she introduced the world to two concepts. The Reward Chart and the Naughty Step. Whilst these were not new ideas, it was the first time many people had seen them.

The naughty step is a simple technique. Bad behaviour resulted in a time out on the naughty step. It is the reward chart that got me thinking.

Good behaviour is rewarded with a sticker on a chart. Stickers can be earned for achieving certain things; tidying your room, being polite, doing your homework etc. Sound familiar?

Jo Frost had introduced the world a large to the Gamification of discipline. However, how does this relate to businesses or anything else for that matter? Glad you asked.

I myself am a parent and the picture attached is my daughters reward chart. I am essentialy teaching her that good behaviour earns rewards. Fill a row, get a small treat. Fill the chart get a big treat. She can have one black cross per line. A simple mechanic, but effective. The thing is, she will grow up expecting a similar system in everything. And why not?

This is why Gamification is going to become more and more important. As children learn that behaviour is directly related to reward, they will come to expect that success is linked to reward. With Gamification you can use this to your advantage to get smaller, less interesting tasks achieved. You can use to guide and influence the behaviour of users and clients. As simple as it sounds it is important. As I keep saying, gamification is not all about rewards and leader boards and I really am working on an article that covers more. however this is all just one more reason to look into gamification now rather than later.

Thanks to Super Nanny we are breeding a generation of gamified workers.


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