Friday, April 13, 2012

Caine's Arcade and the Power of Social Media

If you are currently unaware of the story of Caine's Arcade, it's really very interesting.

Caine is a 9-year-old boy living in Los Angeles. His father owns a used auto parts store that doesn't get many walk-ins. Mostly his business is online. While Caine was there one summer he noticed that his father's business had a lot of cardboard boxes. So, with a dose of gumption and a double dose of imagination he built a basketball game. Then he built a soccer game and then a claw machine... all out of cardboard and other things he found around his father's shop.

However, he had trouble getting people to play his games. That's when filmmaker Nirvan Mullick stopped by for a new door handle for his '96 Corolla and decided to give the games a try. Caine told him "It's four games for a dollar and two dollars for a fun pass." A fun pass gets you 500 games! That's a pretty good deal if you ask me.

When Mullick discovered he was Caine's only customer, he decided to change all that. To do so, he went to the denizens of the internet.

If you didn't know this, the internet usually a pretty weird place. In some of the darker corners people speak in a strange hieroglyph of memes and funny pictures. You will be trolled and flamed repeatedly and you will need to watch your step because one false move and... BLOOIE!

And yet...

The internet has its moments.

Mullick started a flashmob event on Facebook and got as many people as he could to come and use Caine's Arcade. The event made it to the front page of Reddit (basically like the New York Times of what's happening online, populated by users, for users) and the story went viral.

Thanks to Mullick and the others who fell in love with Caine's Arcade, he now has a scholarship to go to college when he gets old enough.

It's not everyday the internet can say it sent a kid to college sometime in the future or made a 9-year-old Maker of Cool Things' day. Well done, internet. Well done.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Creative Commons License
Help, The Stash is Attacking! When Yarn, Knitting and Growing Up Go Terribly Awry by Kimberly Lewis is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at