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Caine’s arcade

Caine’s arcade

When I was told to watch a short film about a 9 year old boy’s cardboard arcade, located in his dad’s used auto parts store in East LA, I took it lightly, alongside the heavy bundle of various information I have to filter daily. But then as I watched it, my heart grew bigger and I was deep into the story, sharing one of those moments, when hope for the future of humanity conquers fears of its demise.

Here’s the backstory

Caine Monroy is a 9-year old boy who spent his summer vacation building an elaborate DIY cardboard arcade in his dad’s used auto parts store.

He 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.

Caine's optimism

Caine’s optimism

One day, by chance, filmmaker Nirvan Mullick walked into Smart Parts Auto looking for a used door handle for his ’96 Corolla. What he found was an elaborate handmade cardboard arcade manned by a young boy who asked if he would like to play. Being offered two turns for $1, or a Fun Pass with 500 turns for $2, he got the Fun Pass.

After the successful flashmob, the movement didn’t fade out, but intensified online in an attempt to raise money for a scholarship fund for the talented young boy. With the straightforward claim “Imagine what this kid could build with an Engineering degree!“, the target of 100.000,- $ was surpassed within 3 days! That’s what I call chipping in.

I will conclude by asking you (and myself) how we may be able to make a difference just by sometimes stopping and having a better look at the everyday scenery we usually pass by in a robotic manner?

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