Nine-year-old Caine Monroy became an online sensation this week for building an elaborate cardboard arcade inside his dad's used auto parts store. At first, business was slow -- that is, until his first customer, filmmaker Nirvan Mullick, was inspired to organize a flashmob through Facebook and Reddit, sending a slew of worthy gamers upon Caine's Arcade and capturing the magic day in a short film.
Now that the video has gone viral, the Caine's Arcade Facebook page boasts over 45,000 Likes, with fans and supporters having raised over $100,000 for his scholarship fund in just three days.
I decided to head to East L.A. to catch up with the young entrepreneur, his father George, and Producer/Director Nirvan Mullick to get their takes on the whirlwind week and, of course, play in the arcade!
So, how does it work?
You have to buy a fun pass for $2 and you get 500 turns.
When asked about the online frenzy surrounding his video, Nirvan said:
It was as if the entire Internet's heart was warmed collectively by this. It was beyond anything I've ever seen in any kid. When you play his arcade, you just want to throw him a tip. $2 for 500 turns is almost too good of a deal.
What does Caine think of everyone sharing the video right now?
How did his father react?
I cried. It was just feel-good.
Why was it important for Nirvan to use this to raise money as well?
The idea was to see if we could raise Caine $25,000 to help him go to school. But the day we put it on the Internet, it raised $60,000. And it's up to $90,000 now.
What does his dad think is next?
I don't know what he's up to. Every week he has a new project going on, so you can never tell.
What does Caine want to share with the world?
Come to Caine's Arcade!
Follow Shira Lazar on Twitter: www.twitter.com/shiralazar