KidZania: A mania of the minds

by Laura Vilaça

We all played make-believe when we were kids. Either playing ‘doctor’ or ‘house’, we spent our time enjoying a little role-play. Nowadays, this common childish activity has taken a turn and is now made into a business.

KidZania is a theme park built to scale for children, where kids are trained to be small entrepreneurs, little business people, ‘mommy’s capitalist’. In this play city, kids from four to twelve can choose whatever trade they prefer,  having to perform that role during the time they’re playing make believe. There is a city flag, its own currency, a registry for nationality and a passport is given, celebrating “the day kids became independent as adults”. They celebrate bank holidays and hold a congress, where kids gather to make decisions concerning the city. The management describes their activities as based on the concept of ‘edutainment’, seeking to teach children values and rules of citizenship and helping them live a healthier societal life.

Hey, kids? He already looks pretty dead.

Hey, kids? He already looks pretty dead.

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