I’m a little late arriving at Caine’s Arcade. By the time I was made aware of this little gem, it had already been the subject of a mini-documentary and been invaded by a Flash Mob.
For the uninitiated, Caine’s Arcade is the brainchild of 9-year-old Caine Monroy. His apparent obsession with arcades led Caine to spend a summer creating his very own…out of cardboard.
I was incredibly moved when I watched the documentary. In fact, I saw a lot of myself in Caine. I can remember being Caine’s age and attempting to construct a full-size haunted house ride in my back yard. I started by taking a bunch of my parent’s garden tools and squirting packets of McDonald’s ketchup all over them. Sadly, when my father came across the giant pile of sticks I was collecting to make the walls of the haunted house with, he used them all for a backyard bonfire. Hence, my haunted house dreams literally went up in smoke. I can remember crying myself to sleep that night, all over a pile of sticks and some dried-up ketchup.
Looking back now, I still smile when I think of how absurd an idea it was to think I could build a haunted house in my back yard. I mean, come on, where were all my customers going to park their cars? And yet, the idea was so innocent and so naïve that it was almost magical. Children’s ideas know no boundaries and don’t have to worry about being crushed under the weight of the world. I often wonder what bizarre and creative things I would have gone on to create had reality not smacked me in the face and forced me to abandon my dream of building a haunted house. Which brings me back to Caine Monroy and his cardboard arcade.
A special fund has been set up to help pay for Caine’s college tuition. In addition, the Goldhirsh Foundation has agreed to match every dollar donated and use it to create the Caine’s Arcade Foundation to help foster creativity and entrepreneurship in younger children. I’m asking everyone to watch the Caine’s Arcade documentary. When it’s over, if you’ve been moved the way that I was, donate a single dollar (and no, I’m not making anything off of this). That’s it, just a buck. Doesn’t seem like a lot, but it is. That’s because whenever a child’s dream survives, the world becomes a much better place.
Watch the documentary, Caine’s Arcade, on Vimeo by clicking here
Visit the Caine’s Arcade web site by clicking here