This is an extraordinarily depressing story. It makes me yearn for the days of Disney Princess dressups.
But at the heart of the concept and the business of KidZania is corporate consumerism, re-staged for children whose parents pay for them to act the role of the mature consumer and employee. The rights to brand and help create activities at each franchise are sold off to real corporations, while KidZania's own marketing emphasizes the arguable educational benefits of the park.State of Play [themorningnews.org]
To put it another way entirely, the candy cigarette has found a rightful heir. And it's coming to the U.S. within the next two years.
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For the children whose parents bring them to KidZania, the core of each activity is the same: listening to the adult supervisors explain what's going to happen, getting dressed up in suitable outfits or costumes, and then following instructions.