Netflix Cancels ‘Patches’ Reward System for Young Binge-Watchers
Just like that – binge-watching Netflix is once again its own reward. The streaming service has pulled the plug on an incentivized “patches” feature that parents complained was encouraging kids to binge shows at unhealthy rates.
It was only last week that Netflix subscribers began to notice the feature, which enabled viewers to collect “patches” for watching specific youth-oriented shows like A Series of Unfortunate Events, Fuller House and Trollhunters. Netflix acknowledged the program as experimental and claimed the feature “introduces collectible items for a more interactive experience and to expand the storytelling world for the show,” but has already canceled the reward system over negative feedback. Their statement, per 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.
The general sense over social media held that subscribers were either confused by the arbitrary collectibles, or concerned about the prospect of rewarding binge-watches. Gizmodo even spoke to safety group Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, who added “It’s designed to turn kids into lobbyists and undermine parents’ limits … [Netflix] is using techniques that children certainly can’t understand and they’re developmentally vulnerable to, to get them to engage in activity which is not good for them.”
It’s plausible Netflix may attempt some variant on the program for older subscribers (video gamers do love their unlockable achievements), but consider the patches officially patched.
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