Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

KidZania: The Magical World of a Child's Indoctrination Into Drudgery

If you think that Sims and FarmVille are evil tools to acclimate people into capitalist tedium and corporate consumption and a life of low expectations, then you'll love KidZania—"a multinational chain of family entertainment centers, where kids try out professions that have been downsized, simplified, and made fun." And it is dark! It's a nation-state of "trying on adult jobs" while consuming McNuggets and Chevrolets. "Children do not create their own stories at KidZania. The story that some children are tasked with writing for the journalism activity at many franchises is a report on the how great the police are. Meanwhile, in the painting activity at KidZania Dubai, they do not paint their own picture but color in a picture of one of the KidZania mascots." You truly want to read this.

19 Comments / Post A Comment

cherrispryte (#444)

This is fascinating.

I don't find the commercialism and corporate scholarship to be problematic – kids see brands everywhere. And Disneyworld has had corporate sponsors for specific rides/attractions for years now – I've been there a surpringly large number of times, and I'd be hard-pressed to name a specific sponsor. The fact that they're pretending to be flight attendants on Emirates rather than Oceanic isn't, to me, the problem.
It's how structured and pro-conformity everything is – the journalism article is about how helpful police are?! I mean, the fact that for the majority of adults, there's basically no room for creativity in their professional lives is supposed to be a hard lesson to learn, not one you've been conditioned for after years of going to an amusement park.

@cherrispryte Structure and conformity aren't always seen as bad things in other places. That, with the high entrance fee, really makes it hard for me to see this as The Way We _Raise_Kids_ Now.

cherrispryte (#444)

@Butterscotch Stalin Yeah, I know, but I still think they're bad no matter where you are!

keisertroll (#1,117)

This is not my beautiful playhouse! This is not my beautiful playwife!

Lockheed Ventura (#5,536)

At the Dubai Kidzania, after the kid chooses a job, a 8 year old Pakistani kid, whose passport has been stolen, comes out and actually does the work.

MParcells (#375)

"in the mining activity at KidZania West Virginia, they do not mine their own coal but do suffer from blacklung in one of the KidZania mines."

Art Yucko (#1,321)

I bet the "La Migra" part of KidZania where they get to swim across the fake RioGrande and evade Border Agents and armed militias is a -blast-

keisertroll (#1,117)

I wouldn't want to take my kids to the KidZania owned by Mola Ram.

garge (#736)

In the paraprofessional-cubicle-drone station, sponsored by Pfizer, the children wear costumes fabricated by a Forever21-H&M collaboration and gchat all day with each other.

Art Yucko (#1,321)

break for lunch at 11:30, pile in the Lil'Tykes Hummer and drive to the combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell.

@garge No one should let their child grow up to do that.

deepomega (#1,720)

See, I read this and am amazed by how soviet it sounds. Writing fake news articles about how great the police are? Paid in scrip? No room for creativity or advancement? An attempt to recreate the surface appearance of capitalism using only a command economy? Yeah.

@deepomega Much like Animatronics recreate the surface appearance of entertainment.

keisertroll (#1,117)

In KidZania a good time HAS YOU!!!

Art Yucko (#1,321)

The application line for the Twitter Consultant position must be very long.

MollyculeTheory (#4,519)

20 years later: "Bu- but last time I got a PhD I just had to answer a couple extra questions about ants on the touch screen."

I disagree most with this: "free-flowing chaos resembles the real world far better than a toddler-sized Starbucks franchise does." If yer a hippie!

GailPink (#9,712)

They should have these for adults…

turd_sandwich (#5,660)

I think the important question is, is the "Zania" pronounced like in "Tanzania" or "mania"?

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