If there's one thing I'll always wax nostalgic about when it comes to gaming as a hobby, it's how arcades have all but disappeared from the face of the Earth in the US. The arcade was more than just a battleground for fans of fighting games--it was a place to meet new people, a place to play games of all kinds and have fun with people of all kinds. Arcades were a great place to take a date, or a group of friends celebrating somebody's birthday--you may not have spent the whole time there, but it was a great pit stop on the way to whatever you were actually doing. And now, save for a few select places, they're pretty much gone.
And then there's Caine's Arcade. Caine is a nine-year-old kid from East L.A. who runs an arcade of small games he's built himself out of cardboard boxes--the arcade is set up in front of his dad's used auto parts shop. Using his old toys, his imagination, and some surprising ingenuity, Caine has a variety of games in his arcade, from soccer and basketball mini-games to an actual claw game that uses an s-hook and yarn to let you snag stuffed animals. Filmmaker Nirvan Mullick was so impressed with Caine's dedication to his arcade that he organized a flashmob in L.A. to surprise Caine and play all his games.
Y'know what's great? Seeing someone feel satisfied and rewarded for their creativity, passion, and hard work. I literally watched this entire video with a huge smile on my face the entire time, and the ending got me a little misty-eyed.
This kid deserves some actual cabinets for his arcade--but I'd love to stop by and play some of his games. What do you think? Would you give Caine's Arcade a shot?