Cardboard Arcade 2017


Back in 2012, Caine Monroy of Caine's Arcade visited the Exploratorium at the Palace of Fine Arts. In July, 14-year-old Caine returned to our new home and built cardboard arcade games with us during our Infinite Versatility of Cardboard event. For the day, we invited visitors to build cardboard games alongside Caine. The arcade was adjacent to the Tinkering Studio, spilling out onto the museum floor in the center of the day's activity. We also hosted cardboard costume making and both small scale and large scale stop motion animation in the Tinkering Studio.

The Infinite Versatility of Cardboard

We supplied a wide variety of materials to build arcade games, including various sized balls, cardboard of different sizes and thicknesses, and a colorful array of masking tape.





The most whimsical element in the space was an arcade prize wall. I ordered a grab bag of prizes from Amazon, and had the fun challenge of displaying the items for others to use. I particularly like the ring and bracelet holders, cardboard shelves, and various found containers.

The Infinite Versatility of Cardboard


I also built a ticket dispenser out of a cardboard box for visitors to use in their games. The large rolls of tickets slid around on the dowel, so we added cardboard spacers to keep the ticket rolls from unrolling and tangling.


I placed an example table along the tube wall near the entrance to the building area. Visitors lined up along the outside of the space to wait for an open seat. When we noticed that wait times were taking longer than anticipated, the facilitators and I would pass the example games over the tube wall for visitors to play with while they waited. The games also provided a source of inspiration for some - there were different incarnations of pinball machines, marble mazes, and foosball tables throughout the day.


Thanks to all who came and participated in building cardboard games!

The Infinite Versatility of Cardboard

The Infinite Versatility of Cardboard

The Infinite Versatility of Cardboard

The Infinite Versatility of Cardboard

The Infinite Versatility of Cardboard

The Infinite Versatility of Cardboard

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