A cardboard box, for an adult, is just a cardboard box. Period. But for a 9 year old like Caine it’s the foundation stone to build his very own arcade. He has boundless imagination, and his father lets him have a portion of his car parts shop in Los Angeles. He sets up a real arcade with lots of pinball machines, table football and baskets. All strictly made out of cardboard. Then he sits at the door step and waits for a customer.
But Caine’s arcade is in a part of town where hardly anyone walks by. So he ends up playing on his own. Until Nirvan Mullick comes to the garage. He is looking for a handle for his ’96 Corolla, but before he finds it, he notices the child’s arcade and asks to play a game.
The rules are as follows: $ 1 for two rounds, $ 2 for a fun pass of 500 rounds. Nirvan gets two dollars out without much thought and realises that the child knows his stuff. He also asks the father if he could make a short film on Caine’s arcade. The video is really nice and the ending makes you smile. Before going further, make sure you have seen it to the end. We don’t want to spoil the surprise.
Well, now you should know that Caine’s Arcade went viral on YouTube in 2012. The story of this 9 year old boy who creates a games room with his own hands and shares it with others is something magic. Around the world, other children began to build new games using cardboard. Everyone knows who Caine is and when they can, they pop to Los Angeles to buy his fun pass.
When a 9 year old boy builds something like this, spreads it at an affordable price and is not afraid to share the idea freely comparing him with the makers seems quite natural. A cardboard box may not be as versatile as an Arduino or a MakerBot, but in the hands of Caine it becomes a tool that releases creativity. And this is only the first step.
The second step, just to announce it, is to make sure that other children can have the same opportunities that Caine had. Next week we’ll tell you how it all went. In the meantime, if you do go to LA, head to 538 N Mission Road . You will find Caine’s Arcade.