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Posted at 03:51 PM ET, 04/11/2012

‘Caine’s Arcade’: Nine-year-old boy’s cardboard game center is a viral hit

When a nine-year-old boy built a cardboard arcade in his dad’s auto shop, he could hardly believe it when he got a single customer. That customer led to a short film, a flash mob, and now, thanks to his Internet fame, a college fund. The Internet can’t get enough of Caine Monroy, the spirited kid who stars in a new short documentary about childhood entrepreneurship.


(Screengrab, “Caine’s Arcade” by Nirvan Mullick)

Caine’s Arcade” is a short film by Nirvan Mullick, who stopped by Caine’s dad’s east L.A. auto parts shop for a new door handle for his Corolla. Inside, he found an elaborate arcade with games and a “mechanical” claw made out of taped-together cardboard boxes, manned by Caine. The boy offered him a regular ticket for $1, which would give him four turns, or a Fun Pass for $2, with 500 turns.

Mullick took the Fun Pass and came back later with his camera to talk to Caine about how he engineered his games and security system. He then orchestrated an elaborate flash mob through Facebook and Reddit that brought a huge crowd to Caine’s arcade to play his games. Watch it below — the smile on his face is sure to make your day.

Mullick’s film, which was posted to Vimeo on Monday, has gone viral, racking up more than 1 million views. He’s been featured on ABC News. A band wrote a song about his arcade. Best of all, a college fund that has been set up in his name is closing in on $84,000.

Caine is an inspiration for entrepreneurs, and his work has been featured on small business blogs. Zurb called him a “young Steve Jobs” writing, “For Caine, it was never about the fame, fortune or glory. It was about the sheer pleasure of doing it, for solving problems and building something that people would be able to use. But isn't that what true entrepreneurialism is all about, no matter what the age?”

Caine's Arcade from Nirvan Mullick on Vimeo.

By  |  03:51 PM ET, 04/11/2012

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