As President Trump moves ahead with a plan to build a wall along the United States-Mexico border, Mexico City continues to find ways to teach children separated by socioeconomic status about equality. As a way to bring people together, FCB Mexico created a game that’s all about breaking down walls, real and imagined.
While the discussion of a wall is obviously a hot-button issue, Humberto Polar, chief creative officer for FCB Mexico, explained that in Mexico there is a lot of division among its own people. “We have problems with crime and the economy as well. One of the things in the city is a huge difference of income, of socioeconomic levels, that historically breaks kids apart,” Polar said.
The agency has been working on this project since last year, taking the game to different schools in Mexico for kids to test out. It originally created the tech-savvy tug-of-war style game for Papalote Children’s Museum in Mexico City, “The Wall Breaker Rope,” but the agency has installed it at local schools and shopping malls as well. Polar said he’s hoping to make it a permanent fixture in the museum in the coming months.
“Divisions make us think we are different. In Mexico City, one of the most populated in the world, distances are like walls: They separate us. They divide us,” the copy reads.
So what makes it more than just a game of tug-of-war?
FCB Mexico set up two machines with rope coming out of each one. One machine was set up in a wealthy neighborhood at a private school. The other was stationed at a public school in a poorer area of the country. The two machines are synched up, despite the nearly 27 mile distance between them.
Kids who played the game at the two schools had a chance to get to know each other, even if they weren’t in the same place and wouldn’t normally meet each other because of their different socioeconomic statuses. In the end, “they learned that we are essentially equal,” the video said.
“We found that [the game] was an interesting way to explain this division and differences that can come to the minds of kids when they hear the news, hear about what’s happening in the world and hear about Mexico being a lesser kind of country in the speech of the new American government,” Polar said.