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The Best Cardboard Arcade Ever Made
There is something so important about having someone who takes you seriously, especially when you're a kid and most of the people in your life respond to your Big Ideas with a "Mm-hm, that's nice, dear." I think this is what I love most about this video which has been all over the Internet the past few days: Caine's Arcade.
The short film features one of the most creative kids you've ever seen, a 9-year-old boy named Caine, who spent a summer hanging out in his father's auto-parts shop in East L.A., building an elaborate cardboard arcade. Watch it for Caine's boundless creativity and the intricate arcade games he creates out of boxes, old toys, hooks, and tape. But also, look out for Nirvan, Caine's first (and for a while, only) customer, who ended up making this film:
There are many wonderful moments in this -- when Caine first sees the flash mob Nirvan invited to the arcade is a heart-buster -- but I think my favorite is when Nirvan pronounces Caine's "arcade fun pass," "a really good deal." He's not being facetious in the least. He means it. He thinks Caine's games are awesome, and he thinks 500 plays for $2 is a really good deal, and he's right. And because he takes Caine's awesomeness seriously, others do too, and they come to play at the arcade not to be nice or to indulge a kid or do anyone any favors -- it's because the games are fun to play, thanks to Caine's careful planning and attention to details (the tickets!).
Sometimes that's the greatest gift you can give someone -- a child, an adult, anyone: yout full attention and support. After all, when someone takes your creation seriously it starts to become, well, a real arcade.
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