VIDEO: The Magic of Nine-Year-Old Caine's Cardboard Arcade

East L.A. auto shop owner hosts his son's arcade in front of the store

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?




via Shoryuken

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