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The Power of a Child’s Imagination: Caine’s Arcade

We know that kids have big imaginations. But sometimes we forget just how great they can be. We forget just how much joy and creative fire they can fuel. And we forget that our kids’ imaginations can actually promote positive change.

Nine-year-old Caine Monroy spent months meticulously constructing an arcade at his dad’s used auto parts store, Smart Parts, in East Los Angeles. His tools were simple: cardboard boxes and packing tape. Caine worked on everything from designing his games to creating his prizes. With little foot traffic and a lot of harried customers, he didn’t get any visitors to his elaborate, life-size arcade. But Caine kept at it.

One day filmmaker Nirvan Mullick needed a used door handle for his 1996 Toyota Corolla. He happened to pick Smart Parts. Caine asked Mullick if he’d like to play in his arcade. Mullick bought the $2 Fun Pass, giving him 500 turns.

Mullick became Caine’s first customer. He also captured Caine’s creation on camera in the below film. (Caine ended up getting a few more customers to his arcade.)

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The Power of a Child’s Imagination: Caine’s Arcade

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  1. I watched the Caine’s Arcade video some time ago, probably months, and my wife and I still talk about it. A young imagination can go so far, and it reminds me to reconnect with some of that child-like wonder. I’m glad to see that Caine’s work keeps spreading farther and triggering more young people to put their imaginations to work!


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