I don’t remember if I mentioned it before, but for the last few months Rocket Boy has been obsessed with building a cardboard arcade. It all started with watching (more than once) the Caine’s Arcade video. Then he started building. And soon the guest room (aka LEGO room) was taken over by cardboard.
Since then he built 5 or 6 different games and had friends try them out. But this week he brought the arcade out of the house and into a homeschool holiday market as part of his booth.
Before going, he gave himself a pep talk about how even one person playing his games would be a success. At the end of a 2-hr event, he had about 8 people, kids and adults, playing his games. Everyone who tried, liked it and some paid money to play again. A 4-pack of tickets cost $0.50.
Lessons learned were:
- Fun, fun, fun – a cardboard arcade is super-fun to design, build, and operate. Plus, as the owner, you get to play games for free!
- Location, location, location – Rocket Boy’s table was in the corner, not very visible. And there games were on chairs behind the table. Even less visible. Plus there wasn’t much space for the players to play the games.
- Signs, signs, signs – It is very important to have an attractive table/booth with large signs announcing the arcade.
- Design, design, design – the games were fun to play, but they didn’t look very attractive. Need to work on making the outside look great.
- Prizes, prizes, prizes – Rocket Boy also made some Perler beads spinners and other little items to sell. It would’ve made more sense to give them away as prizes instead.
- Signs, signs, signs (again) – this time, signs that would explain how the arcade works – how many tickets required for each game, how each game is played, etc. It is also part of the “design, design, design”.
Next up, he wants to improve the existing games and make a couple more, especially a claw machine game. And have a big event where he would invite lots of friends. Just like Caine.