In the upcoming weeks people will be rushing around, frazzled to cook the perfect meal, panicked to find the right gifts, and stressed about being a good host. I ask all of you to take 10 minutes to watch this video about Caine’s Arcade.
First of all, I applaud Caine for being creative and literally thinking outside and inside the box. Not only did he create something he was proud of during his summer break from school, but not once did you see him on a cell phone, iPad, Nintendo 3DS or anything of the like. While many kids can’t tear themselves away from the latest gadgets, Caine used his hands and mind to build something.
What amazes me is the power and role social media played in this. While I shouldn’t be surprised because I see social media campaigns every day, the fact that Nirvan Mullick put that smile on Caine’s face is amazing. He made one post to Facebook that was shared with his friends. One friend then posted it to Hidden LA, and then Reddit picked it up. Within a couple days they had thousands of comments from around the world from people who wanted to play at Caine’s Arcade. And the day of the event there were more than 100 people who showed up.
That alone was one of the most heart-warming and inspirational act of kindness I’ve seen in a long time. But it got bigger. The video that Mullick posted on YouTube went viral. It now has more than 3 million views on YouTube and network television shows picked up the story (yet again, the power of social media – it’s where the networks get their news now). I bet Caine isn’t getting made fun of at school anymore.
The follow up video, Caine’s Arcade 2, is just as touching as the first. The creativity of a young boy and a small gesture one person created a sensation. Not only did social media facilitate the self-proclaimed best day of Caine’s life, it garnered him a college fund that could put him through a PhD education, and then some. It also inspired kids around the world to become creators, and started the Imagination Foundation.
With a boring summer break, creative kid, a fun-hearted man and three social media networks, I think an entire generation of engineers has been created.
So with the holiday season upon us, I encourage you to think about the impact a simple, kind gesture can have. And don’t forget, cardboard boxes can be just as fun as an iPad.