In yesterday’s post, the selection that I copied from Mr. Brown Thumb mentioned Caine’s Arcade. If you did not follow the provided Caine’s Arcade link, you may wish to do so. Evidently, the story went “viral” this past spring.
A little boy named Caine Monroy decides to build his own video arcade at the front of his father’s automobile parts store in Los Angeles. He uses boxes and random supplies from his father’s business along with old toys to construct his own games. Unfortunately, the father does most of his business online; so he gets very little in store customer traffic. Nonetheless, the boy waits patiently for patrons while he improves his arcade. Then, a man named Nirvan Mullick who happens to be a documentary filmmaker finds the joint while buying a car part, plays in the arcade, and decides to make a short film. He uses social media to invite all the S.W.P.L. adventurers in L.A. to Caine’s arcade. Voilà—a great story, a fun afternoon for Etsy-shopping, community oriented do-gooders, and a claim to fame for a savvy philosophy grad. director. Either the director or Caine’s father (or both) have had the good business sense for Caine to profit from the episode. Caine now has an impressive educational fund that will pay for his schooling in a decade as well as program offers from prestigious schools. A foundation is matching all funds donated for Caine’s future education to establish a scholarship fund for other youth. The film has also inspired creative programs around the world to get children to construct their own arcades—Caine and Mullick are proselytizers for engineering. The New Yorker offers more about the story in “The Perfect Moment Goes Perfectly Viral.” Human beings can be pretty cool.