Chuck E. Cheese’s is one of those places that parents love to hate or absolutely adore. For kids, the big attractions are the birthday parties with Chuck E Cheese himself, in addition to the video/games that litter the place. On a recent birthday visit, I found myself observing my fellow parents and categorizing them based on their behaviour and their interactions with the little ones on their watch.
1) The-Super-Competitive-Type. This type is exemplified by the parent who is there with his 4-year-old son Jimmy. He is happy to help little Jimmy play most of the games, but after a while he takes over, and forces his little one cheer him on, as he goes about conquering the world, leaving Jimmy frustrated and a mere spectator.
2) The-Go-Do-Your-Thing-Kind Parent. This parent gives his little ones all the money they can handle with requests to periodically check in to make sure, they are still around and haven’t left with a stranger. They are quite happy to spend a ton of money on the games, as long as the kids are happy playing and are willing to leave them alone, to enjoy their drink/pizza
3) The-Nervous-Buzz-Around Parent. This one can barely keep up with his two kids, since he insists on accompanying his children (doesn’t matter how old his kids are) to every game. It’s gets complicated when each of his children wants to play a different game with their friends, as he is so afraid of letting them be.
As I identified the different kind of parents, as well as a whole slew of the in-between-kind-of-categories, I had to give it to the Atari founder Nolan Bushnell who started the company in 1977 based on his knowledge of the entertainment industry and his love of the Disney company.
The wild success of Chuck E. Cheese’s is a great lesson for kids and those young at heart, actually for anybody. You can succeed in just about anything, if you study the field, are passionate enough, and you are willing to give it your best.
Question: Do any of the above categories apply to you now or in the future?
- Q&A: Atari co-founder Nolan Bushnell on creativity, Steve Jobs and Chuck-E-Cheese (business.financialpost.com)