The Morning News visits KidZania, a surreal amusement-park-of-the-future with locations in Dubai, Portugal, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, and soon, the United States. Its a Sims-like miniature world in which children play-act at being adult worker-drones and consumers:
The children are learning factory work, it’s in a job bottling Coca-Cola, and when they’re working at a restaurant, that “restaurant” has golden arches. The dentist office is sponsored by Crest.
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.