Nintendo's Former Mommy Helps Create Kiddy Cities

Last week Cammie Dunaway left the gaming industry after three years as Nintendo's executive vice president of sales and marketing. Where is Cammie going? She's taken on a role that will generate countless jobs for children 13 and under.

Now that she's left Nintendo, Cammie Dunaway tells GamesBeat's Dean Takahashi that she has become the U.S. president and global chief marketing officer of KidZania.

What is KidZania?

It's a Mexico-based company that builds child-sized cities in shopping malls. Children between the ages of one and 13 can explore these miniature cities, walking the streets, entering the buildings, and taking on the same sort of jobs adults would be getting if the economy were better. KidZania visitors can get a taste of what it's like to run a radio station, operate a veterinarian's office, or manage a fire department. It's a way of giving kids a taste of what it's like to be an adult, before they grow up and get a job at Wal-Mart.

"This is a new kind of hybrid entertainment and education," Dunaway said in an interview. "Kids can learn about what it really takes to do so many different jobs. It's all about empowering them."

The first KidZania opened in Mexico City in 1999. Since then 8 million visitors have passed through its doors, and new locations have opened in Tokyo, Seoul, Dubai, and several other locations around the world.

One country it hasn't hit yet is the United States. That's where Cammie comes in.

Cammie is in charge of bringing KidZania to the U.S., and she expects the first location to open in 2013. The company will aim for locations in shopping malls formerly occupied by large department stores.

It seems like Cammie is really in her element now. Some Nintendo fans may mourn her passing, but she's going to a better place.

Ex-Nintendo sales chief to lead KidZania's creation of "kid-sized cities" [GamesBeat - thanks Brian!]