Caine’s Arcade: Create What You Love

I probably post about two videos per month. There’s a reason for that.

Many aren’t worth the time.

This one is.

Caine’s Arcade from Nirvan Mullick on Vimeo.

After I watched this film, I felt:

  • joyful
  • inspired
  • motivated
  • curious
  • challenged

How does Caine’s story challenge your own story?


Author: Andrew Zahn

I'm a son, husband, dad, business owner, actor and good sleeper/eater. On this blog, I pave a highway for creative growth by providing food, water, and shelter for those wishing to live, work, and play with creative zest.

  • As a Dad, what I took away was how great it was that Caine’s Dad didn’t crush his dream. It may seem silly to some, but his Dad allowed him the space and gave him the encouragement to do this. That sends such a great message to your kids when you believe in what they believe in, even if you don’t get it.

    • Andrew Zahn

      It’s truly beautiful.

      Agreed–thanks for the input Dave.

  • Heard about this on NPR, really glad to be able to watch it! You’re right, definitely worth it. I love how creative Caine is, and what this shows us about people’s natural attraction to creativity. Actually, I think there are probably a ton of lessons in this video, but I’m going to leave it at that. 🙂
    Thanks for sharing, Andrew.

    • Andrew Zahn

      1. You listen to NPR… that’s fantastic.
      2. People’s passions are infections aren’t they. Do something you love and other people will love it too!
      3. Thanks for dropping in Stephen.

  • Ken Stewart

    Thank you thank you thank you! My cheeks hurt from smiling for 10 straight minutes…

    • Andrew Zahn


  • I’m glad that Dave, above, talked about Caine’s father encouraging his creativity and vision. This story could have come straight out of Sir Ken Robinson’s “The Element” as an example of helping a child find and pursue his/her passion.

    That said, I’m not entirely sanguine with the flash mob aspect. Caine seems kind of overwhelmed by the crowd, it changes the essential nature of the arcade (my favorite pre-flash mob moment is when Caine climbs into the game to feed out tickets for a win), and the crowd seems to wrest creative control from Caine with all the signs and such. I might have preferred the “Alice’s Restaurant” approach – just encouraging people to come in at all different times and ask to play the arcade.

    • Andrew Zahn

      It IS interesting how he gets a bit overwhelmed by it all. Amazing thing is that he’s so good natured that he appreciates it all and takes it in stride.

      I wish I could do that… I’m a bit more inflexible at times.

  • Finally hunkered down and watched this video. Truly inspiring. This kid has a bright and innovative future ahead of him. Reminds me of your previous post about the importance of play – so essential to creativity. As for what part of the story resonates with me, it reminded me of all the times I’ve wanted to stop and give up on my novel – listening to those deafening “voices” that the book wasn’t a good idea. This video is a beautiful illustration of how creativity, when driven by genuine passion, can turn into something amazing. Thanks for sharing, Andrew!

    • Andrew Zahn

      Ah yes Todd. And it’s it beautiful how Caine had so much joy just in doing the project. Just creating.

      I tend to side a bit with David’s comment (above) that the flashmob approach was a bit much, but it was genuine and done out of love.

  • Here’s a little kid who wasn’t afraid to create. The best part at the end, he said he was proud.

    So many times I create something and I’m afraid to share, and this little boy was proud of his cardboard arcade.

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Andrew Zahn

      Dive on in right Adam!

      Can’t wait to grab some coffee and chat soon with you!

  • This is very worthy of being shared. I love it and I am happy to see it and to see so many people sharing it.

    • Andrew Zahn

      It’s amazing what ‘goes viral’ isn’t it! Kids with cardboard arcades!

      Thanks for dropping by Dannon… always good to have ya.

  • I thought it was cool that even though he never had any customers I didn’t want to go home early that day. He’s a real believer. Awesome video. Thanks for sharing.

    • Andrew Zahn

      There’s the word: believer.

      I wanna meditate on that word for a bit….

  • Wow this really resonated with me and here’s why:

    My son Nicholas is a compassionate boy. Shortly after September 11, his Cub Scout Pack organized a fund drive to raise money for Red Cross. They set up a table with a bucket on it at a local outdoor farmer’s market and in less than three hours, 20 boys in blue uniforms had solicited about $300.00 while handing out small American flag stickers.

    When we got home that afternoon Candy and I were relaxing in the living room while Nicholas, age 7, was in the kitchen quietly engaged in making one of his many cardboard creations. We thought he was making a house for his beanie baby cats, maybe a marble maze, or even some sort of space man costume. It wasn’t until he came around the corner and announced “I’m taking this outside!” that we found out what it was that he had been working on.

    He was carrying a box that he had covered with red construction paper and across the front were written the words “Red Cross.” A slot was cut into the top of the box with arrows pointing to it and labeled “Put money in here.” A smaller box was taped inside to catch the donations shoved through the slot and a small American flag had been taped to the left side of the box. He took his homemade stand and an envelope of leftover flag stickers to the bottom of the driveway, sat down cross-legged, and waited. Candy and I watched from the front window as a car almost immediately stopped and some dollar bills were handed out the window, which Nicholas promptly rewarded with flag stickers. On that Saturday afternoon from the bottom of our driveway near the end of a dead-end street he collected nearly $40 in just about 45 minutes all on his own accord. The next day he wrote a note and that Monday he sent his donation in to the Red Cross.

    In 2004 he again embarked on a fund-raising campaign to benefit the Red Cross without the slightest bit of prompting from anyone else. The idea of organizing a neighborhood carnival simply popped into his head one evening as he was getting out of the tub. Commandeering the help of many other kids that lived near by, Nicholas brought his vision to fruition. After working for several weeks designing games, creating a “haunted mansion,” developing a prize scheme, and advertising the carnival by word of mouth his idea was successfully realized on a cool sunny Saturday afternoon at 3:00. The carnival played out for over an hour or two as kids from all over the neighborhood came and plunked down nickels, dimes and quarters to try their luck at simple games such as ring toss or marble throw in order to win tickets which could be redeemed at the prize table.

    As things finally wound down and the proceeds were tallied it was determined that he had raised $39.00. From the outset he had made it clear to worker and customer alike that this was a charity event and that no one would be getting any share of the haul they made that day and a check was eventually sent off to the Red Cross.

    Today he is 18 and an Eagle Scout and still gets mail from the Red Cross soliciting donations.

    • Andrew Zahn

      Wow. I can see why this video resonated with you Andy.

      Nicholas sounds like an impressive guy! We need more people like him.

    • Andy, thank you for sharing your story of your son! Truly awesome!

      • We like to think so. Every once in a while you have play the proud pappa…