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'Caine’s Arcade' Video Brings Fame to Creative Boy

Caine high fives flashmob customers
Caine high fives flashmob customers

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This is the VOA Special English Technology Report.

An Internet video called “Caine’s Arcade” is one of the latest videos to go viral, or grow wildly popular. The video has been viewed more than five million times on Vimeo and YouTube since April ninth.

The video tells the story of nine-year old Caine McCoy in Los Angeles, California. The little boy used cardboard boxes, scissors, tape and other things to build a game center, or arcade, in his father’s used-car-parts store.

Filmmaker Nirvan Mullick was the first to pay to play Caine’s games. He is also responsible for the “Caine’s Arcade” video.


NIRVAN MULLICK: “I met Cain randomly. I had to get a door handle for my ninety-six Corolla, so I pulled into this used auto parts store and I just came across this elaborate cardboard arcade. I asked him how much it was to play. He’s like, 'For one dollar you get four turns, but for two dollars you get a fun pass.’ Cool. How many turns you get with a fun pass? He goes, ‘Five hundred turns for a fun pass.’ I got a fun pass.”

Caine’s Arcade has basketball and soccer, game tokens and tickets, and colorful bags of cotton candy. It even has one of those machines where you try to seize a prize with a mechanical claw. Like most arcades, that game is hard to win. But, at two dollars for a fun pass worth five hundred plays, it’s well worth the effort.

Mr. Mullick says his visit to Caine’s cardboard arcade gave him much more than he expected.

NIRVAN MULLICK: “I just felt like a little kid again and it was like he’d given me this tremendous unexpected gift.”

In return, Mr. Mullick gave Caine an unexpected gift too.

He created an event on Facebook, called a “flash mob.” He set up a date and time and invited people to come out to help him fill Caine’s Arcade with customers. The event was also published on the websites Hidden LA and Reddit. The news spread quickly.

NIRVAN MULLICK: “Caine had five hundred Facebook fans by the time we did the flash mob.”


NIRVAN MULLICK: “Alright everybody, this is Caine. Caine this is everybody. All these people came here to play your arcade. Did you know they were coming?”


NIRVAN MULLICK: “Are you ready to run your arcade?”


NIRVAN MULLICK: “Alright, what did you guys come here to do?”

CROWD: “We came to play.”

NIRVAN MULLICK: “Good. Welcome to Caine’s Arcade, man.”

More than one hundred men, women and children visited Caine’s Arcade that day. Caine called it the best day of his life. Since then, he and his arcade have become famous. And so has Mr. Mullick.

NIRVAN MULLICK: “Since this film’s hit every door has been opened. You know there’s a reason I was driving a ninety-six Corolla and it’s looking like I might be able to get to make movies that I’ve been trying to make for a long time.”

Mr. Mullick created a scholarship fund for Caine and others like him. By late April, it had grown to more than one hundred eighty thousand dollars. A group called the Goldhirsh Foundation has agreed to match every donation up to two hundred fifty thousand.

And that's the VOA Special English Technology Report, written by June Simms. I'm Steve Ember.