Thanks to a short film, a 9-year-old boy, who built an elaborate cardboard arcade inside his dad’s used auto parts store, was treated to the best day of his life when dozens of people surprised him with a flashmob to play his games. The imaginative boy entrepreneur, Caine Monroy, became an internet sensation when the video, called Caine’s Arcade, went viral (with 2.1 million views to date).
By the time the filmmaker, Nirvan Mullick, stumbled upon the boy’s homemade arcade, Caine had spent countless weekends building the many games from cardboard boxes piled in the back of the shop.
As Nirvan tells it: Caine dreamed of the day he would have lots of customers visit his arcade, and he spent months preparing everything, perfecting the game design, making displays for the prizes, designing elaborate security systems, and hand labeling paper-lunch-gift-bags. However, his dad’s autoparts store (located in an industrial part of East LA) gets almost zero foot traffic, so Caine’s chances of getting a customer were very small, and the few walk in customers that came through were always in too much of a hurry to get their auto part to play Caine’s Arcade. But Caine never gave up.
Nirvan decided to get all his friends to come and visit Caine’s Arcade all at one time — a flashmob to thrill the boy who had invested so much enthusiasm and hope.
Below is the short film that documents the collaboration between all his friends who chipped in, and the online community at Reddit who got behind the idea of helping to make Caine’s day.
The online support didn’t stop there, however. Someone suggested Caine’s fans might want to donate to a college fund for the creative boy. They have already raised $168,000 through a Paypal account. Now, the donations are being matched by the Goldhirsh Foundation dollar-for-dollar (up to $250K) to help create a Caines Arcade Foundation – which will help find, foster, and fund creativity and entrepreneurship in young kids. (Donate on CainesArcade.com.)
Another update to the story, since I added this video to the Good News Network: TMZ reported that the youngster had been given a real pinball machine by the owners of Pins and Needles, a pinball club in Los Angeles that was going out of business. They invited him and his dad to come play games at the club, and watched to see which one he was attracted to.
Even though Caine had never played pinball before, he was a natural. He liked the cowboys and indians fame called Big Brave, an electro-mechanical machine from the mid 1970s that she had purchased for $100.
If you are in the L.A. area you can go visit Caine’s Arcade. See the hours/directions on Nirvan’s website.