'Caine's Arcade' rewards 9-year-old cardboard arcade owner's imagination

Mullick began shooting a short documentary about Caine's Arcade while simultaneously putting together an event to reward Caine's ingenuity. On October 2nd, 2011, a flash mob of visitors (rallied on Facebook and Reddit, where Caine's story gained a ton of traction) piled into the cramped store, providing Caine with the customers he'd always dreamed of hosting.

Nine-year-old Caine Monroy is about as industrious and imaginative as gamers come.

During his summer break last year, Caine built a makeshift arcade out of cardboard boxes from his dad's auto parts store, and began devising an elaborate system to monetize and expand on his gallery. The complexity is dizzying: visitors can play games of soccer, basketball, and claw machines four times for a dollar, or purchase a 500-game "Fun Pass" for two dollars. To prevent a surge of pirated Fun Passes, Caine printed a numerical code on each card which corresponds to the square root of that Pass' number, which is then confirmed by a calculator attached to each arcade game.

Despite his hard work, Caine's Arcade — located in the aforementioned auto parts store in East LA — only had one visitor, Nirvan Mullick.

Fortunately for Caine, Mullick is a filmmaker.

Mullick began shooting a short documentary about Caine's Arcade while simultaneously putting together an event to reward Caine's ingenuity. On October 2nd, 2011, a flash mob of visitors (rallied on Facebook and Reddit, where Caine's story gained a ton of traction) piled into the cramped store, providing Caine with the customers he'd always dreamed of hosting.

You can watch Mullick's film, "Caine's Arcade," below. It's catching a lot of attention from the internet-at-large, as evidenced by a donation button on the documentary's site, which has raised $25,000 to send Caine to college today. If you'd like to see the North American arcade industry saved from its slow downslide into ruin, this might just be your best bet. We've reached out to the film's creator for more info.

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