Using old boxes and other materials in his father’s shop, Caine invented a bunch of arcade games and sold tickets. He charges $1 for four plays. Or you can get a cool “Fun Pass” for $2 that gets you 500 plays. What a deal!
He even invented a clever security system using calculators to ensure all Fun Passes were genuine. And he designed a shirt he wore showing he was “Staff,” too.
Caine spent most of summer vacation creating his arcade, but didn’t get too many customers. Then a fellow named Nirvan stopped into the shop looking for a door handle to his 1996 Corolla, and he was intrigued enough by Caine’s arcade to buy a Fun Pass.
Eventually Nirvan got the idea to make the film about Caine and what he’d created, which included his having organized a flash mob last fall to descend upon his arcade, thus giving Caine a huge surprise as well as a sudden jump in business. Here’s the film:
The film demonstrates what is really a fundamental desire most humans possess to be creative. Caine obviously exemplifies this with his arcade, and the story reminds me of being a boy creating similar games.
I once built a baseball game out of a piece of wood, a few nails, and some rubber bands. I drew an elaborate field on the board, diving it all into little boxes where I wrote in “OUT” or “2B” or “BB” or whatever. I can’t remember exactly, but I think you shot a coin or little paper ball with a rubber band out into the field and moved players around the bases according to where it landed. I even constructed a scoreboard to go with it.
I’m remembering other, similar efforts like creating little flipbook cartoons with stapled-together pages, building a two-hole miniature golf course in the back yard, and so on. I haven’t thought about a lot of that stuff for a long time, but watching this video brought some of it back.
Of course, the creative impulse continues for a lot of us even after we become adults. We keep on building things, just like Nirvan did by making his film. We make these things to use or enjoy, but we also get a lot of use and enjoyment out of the process of making them.
The film also highlights our love of games. Nirvan’s enthusiasm about Caine’s arcade is utterly understandable, as is that of the many people he got to come play. I suppose some of us lose some of the desire to be creative as we get older, or at least find it harder to find ways to do so as we face other obligations. But just about everyone continues to want to play games and/or watch others play.
Poker kind of brings together both the desire to be creative and our love of games and competition. The game itself requires imagination, and of course there’s always something satisfying about building a bigger stack of chips from a smaller one. And it’s fun to play, too, although it can be hard sometimes to remember that.
Anyhow, if you haven’t seen the video, check it out and be inspired. And remember to keep an eye out for Fun Passes.