The Mouse earned a trip to Chuck-E-Cheese by sleeping all night in her bed, unloading the silverware from the dishwasher, and other behavior requiring a bribe. When we went online to find coupons and found that this is a common reward. Who says behaviorism is dead? We took their chart and got some extra tokens. Our own chart took into account what I learned about motivation through my program:
She got a treat from the store after 7 stickers and after 7 sets of those she got a trip to the Chuck. That may seem rough – whaddayado, we’re penny-pinching hardnoses. It worked, though – short enough rewards that she got something, but one big one at the end that would keep her motivated after the candy from the store started getting passé.
The trip was a win, though. We went early afternoon so it wasn’t very crowded. Mary and I focused on getting tickets so she could buy something at the end with them, and the Mouse played whatever she walked into. She pumped the most tokens into this thing, where you dial and listen to Chuck talk to you about how policemen direct parades or other Important Information.
I had to pry her away from it, “Hey look, a Star Wars game!” Her other favorite was the Chair That Goes Around In a Circle. Both of these had people lining up behind us when we took too long.
The food was better than expected, and the gambly-type games were more attractive to Mary and I than we expected. Basically, the place is a casino for kids (this is not a unique opinion- a quick search yielded this, and this). And of course I had the big dissapointment at the end when the ticket-prices at the end were so high – 20 tickets for a laffy taffy, which I think goes for a dime. Do you know how many freaking tokens it took me to get that many tickets? About 2$ worth. So, that’s a sustainable business model.
Mary here: Yes, the Chuck E. pizza is better than expected — and the teens working there were nice and responsive to problem games that needed tickets, reloading, etc. And I think Eddie was even dancing in his high chair to the infectious music they pipe out at extremely high volumes. The gambly games are addictive, I kept putting tokens into this one game where you fish and the more points you get, the more tickets you get — could have played for hours. They also had skeeball — oh how I love skeeball! Basically, I may have had just as much fun as Minnie, or I just need to buy a couple of those money trap gambly games, like the one where you drop the token and hope it pushes off several tokens off the platform, to help me unwind at the end of the day.