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MIT staff blogger Chris Peterson SM '13

Caine’s Arcade by Chris Peterson SM '13

on making your dreams

Caine is a 9 year old boy from East LA. His dad, George, runs a used auto parts store. It doesn’t get much foot traffic anymore – what business they do is done through eBay – and so their storefront is mostly abandoned.

Caine loves arcades. So last summer, while home on break, he began making arcade games out of cardboard. He made claw games and soccer games and all sorts of different games, rummaging for raw materials in the junk yard and the trash and in school recycling bins. But he never got any customers.

One day, independent filmmaker Nirvan Mullick of chanced to stop by the store to buy a handle for his old Corolla.  He started playing Caine’s games. Then he made a movie about him.

Fair warning: wherever you happen to be, it will get real dusty real quick once you hit play.


I thought about writing something kitschy and sappy here about doing whatever you want with your imagination, following your dreams, being creative, etc. But something that cute and pat I think does a disservice to the small miracle of beauty that is this movie and its star.

I will, however, say that the Caine’s Arcade website is collecting donations for a college scholarship fund, should you, like me, be interested in seeing what Caine can do with an engineering degree.