I first heard about Caine’s Arcade on Tuesday morning when I saw a friend post on Facebook and another on Twitter. I watched the 10-minute film during lunch and enjoyed the well-made short documentary about a 9-year-old boy in East LA who made an entire arcade out of used auto parts boxes and other materials from his dad’s shop. Turns out, this has become another great example of the power of social media.
Filmmaker Nirvan Mullic and his crew at Interconnected made the film, apparently last fall. The movie describes how Nirvan stumbled across Caine’s Arcade one day and asked if he could make a film about it. Nirvan, one of Caine’s only customers, enjoyed playing the homemade games so much that he organized a flash mob using a Facebook event invitation. Word spread quickly as the event invitation was picked up by Reddit and eventually the local news affiliates.
It wasn’t clear exactly how many people showed up at the flash mob meeting at Caine’s Arcade, but it was certainly enough to make his day (as evidenced by his huge smile and comments during the film’s “outtakes”).
When I first saw the story on Tuesday around lunch time, Caine’s Arcade had about 5,000 likes on Facebook and he was just shy of his scholarship goal of $25,000. By the time I went to bed, there was still plenty of buzz around the story, so I checked in and noticed that he had more than 15,000 likes.
As of this writing, his college scholarship fund has raised nearly $75,000, his story on Vimeo is quickly approaching a million views, and his Facebook count is near 25,000.
What’s more telling are the overwhelmingly positive comments surrounding Caine’s story:
Hundreds more can be found on the Vimeo page, including people wanting a Caine’s Arcade t-shirt, well wishers, and overall positive vibes. It’s definitely contagious: I kinda want my own fun pass.
Happy Wednesday – do something nice for someone today!
Photo and video credit: cainesarcade.com