What did you think of Caine’s Arcade? Didn’t it warm your heart and make you smile? If so, you’re not alone. It warmed the hearts and put smiles on the faces of several million people — all within a few days thanks to the Internet!

Caine’s Arcade is an example of what’s called a viral video. In the wintertime, viral is a word you probably don’t want to hear. Children spreading viruses from one person to another can lead an entire classroom to be sick at one time.

If you’re an Internet marketer or someone who wants everyone in the world to see your latest YouTube video, then viral is a word you love. Today, “going viral” refers to the sharing of something — often a video or a website link — via email or social media outlets, such as Facebook and Twitter.

Viral videos can consist of just about anything. Many are funny videos that make people laugh. Others may contain actual events that just happened to be caught on camera. The common theme of viral videos is that they’re interesting and they inspire people to share them with their friends.

Many of today’s smart phones contain video cameras. This allows just about anyone to shoot a quick video of what’s going on around them. Popular video sites, such as YouTube and Vimeo, allow users to upload their videos directly to their sites from their phones.

Once a video is uploaded, many people post a link to their video on their Facebook pages and Twitter feeds. Friends can watch their video and then share it with other friends. Before long, a video can have hundreds and even thousands of views.

The most popular viral videos can generate millions of views within a matter of days. Viral videos started circulating by email long before video sites, such as YouTube, became popular. The term “viral video” didn’t come around until 2009, when it was first used to describe the video “David after Dentist.”

Viral videos can turn formerly-unknown YouTube users into Internet celebrities overnight. Having a video go viral is promotion that marketers wish they could buy. Unfortunately, the very nature of going viral means that you can’t predict what will go viral and you can’t just make it happen.

That doesn’t stop people from trying, though. Many musicians will make release videos to Internet websites with the hope that the video will go viral and lead to increased popularity. Most viral videos will quickly inspire copycat videos from users hoping to latch on to the original video’s success.

54 Join the Discussion

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars  (30 votes, avg. 4.47 out of 5)
    • We’re so glad our Wonder Friends from Ms. Bayko’s class enjoyed WONDERing about Caine’s arcade and viral videos today! We bet Caine would LOVE to have all of you visit him in California– he is an inspiring kid! We can’t wait to Wonder again with you tomorrow, we think you’ve done a great job researching! :)

    • Great question, Jack! We’re glad you’re WONDERing with us today! You might have heard of the word viral if you have ever had a cold (or a virus)! When it comes to the Internet, a song, video, picture or article can go viral. This happens when a huge number of people watch the video or read the article– all because of the power of the Internet. A message or idea can go viral when it reaches millions of people. The video in today’s Wonder is an example of a “viral” video! :)

  1. We thought that what Caine has accomplished is amazing. Even though we live far away, we want to visit Caine’s arcade. We love how unique his arcade is because it is made of cardboard. It has inspired us to be creative.

    We think it’s really cool that normal people can become “famous” through the Internet. Maybe someday someone in our class will make a video that goes viral. We also thought it was hysterical how David reacted to the anesthesia after the dentist, especially when he screamed!

    We hope you have a WONDERful Friday!

    • Thanks for WONDERing with us today, Friends in Mrs. Kewrig’s sixth grade class! We agree with all of you– Caine is a great and creative WONDERer! He reminds us that if you put your mind to it, you can go after your dreams! Thank you for sharing your thoughts about today’s Wonder video! :)

      We hope your own creations inspire you– maybe we’ll see you as the next Internet sensation! In the meantime, we sure are glad you’re WONDERing with us online. Keep up the SUPER work and have a great day! :)

    • OOH, such stellar guesses you shared, Alliyah S! Thanks for WONDERing with us today– we hope to see you tomorrow! :)

  2. We loved Caine’s Arcade! It was great! Caine has a WONDERful imagination! We were impressed that everything was homemade! WAY TO GO, CAINE! Way to go, Wonderopolis!

    • WOHOO, we’re happy to hear from our Wonder Friends in Miss Burnap’s class today! We are glad that you enjoyed WONDERing with Caine today! We think he would really enjoy WONDERing with all of you today! Thanks for sharing your encouraging comment today– we hope you have a fantastic Friday! :)

    • We’re glad you liked today’s Internet Wonder, Bryleigh! Wouldn’t it be cool to visit Caine’s Arcade with all our Wonder Friends? We hope you’re having a SUPER day! :)

  3. We liked the video of Caine’s arcade. We think he worked very hard at creating his cardboard arcade. He was very creative! We wish that we could go there to play.

    We think tomorrow’s wonder is going to be about a place where not a lot of people have been. Maybe…. Antarctica or the Arctic. We will check it out tomorrow!!

    • Hello to all our Wonder Friends in Mrs. Keeling’s class! We’re happy you’re here on this beautiful Friday! We really appreciate all of Caine’s hard work and creative ideas– we bet he would love to see all of you at his arcade someday!

      We think you’ve got some SUPER guesses for tomorrow’s WOnder… until tomorrow… have a great day! :)

  4. We thought Caine’s Arcade was AWESOME!!!! This was unique. We all wish we could go there, but we live in IL. We all want to play the Games. You are one creative kid!!
    Our prediction for tomorrow is possibly Antarctica, or the desert, or maybe a small country.
    Mrs. D’s Third Grade Class :)

    • Happy Friday to our 3rd grade Wonder Friends in Illinois! We hope you’re having a great time WONDERing with us today! Thanks for sharing your SUPER comment about Caine’s arcade– isn’t it incredible to see? We bet you are all creative in your very own ways. We know you’re a few states away, but we have no doubt that Caine would have a big smile on his face to meet fellow Wonder Friends like you!

      We hope to see you again tomorrow– and thanks for sharing your WONDERful guesses! Have an AWESOME day! :)

  5. We LOVED Caine’s arcade, and if we were in California….we’d be there!! We have a few questions for you!

    1. How long did it take for Caine to make his arcade?

    2. How much money did Caine make, and how much does he have now since the flash mob happened?

    3. Is Caine’s arcade still open?

    4. Did any of the kids who didn’t believe he had an arcade come to the Flash mob?

    5. What gave Caine the idea to start an arcade?

    6. Would Caine consider making a super fun pass where a person could get 1000 turns for only $4?

    • WOOHOO, we are SO excited to check out all the WONDERing that Mrs. Spaulding’s students have been doing today! How COOL!

      We bet he’d really love to show you around his arcade, so if you’re ever in California, we’re sure he’d greet you with a smile! Caine’s arcade is open on Saturdays, because during the week he’s in school, just like you!

      You can check out more information about Caine’s success and educational scholarships on his very own website: http://cainesarcade.com/!

      Keep up the SUPER WONDERing! :)

  6. I never really knew what a viral was but now I know. I only thought that it meant that you were sick. I know that my friend is going on a virus and it is really funny the video.

    • Hi there, Ashley! We’re excited that you’re WONDERing with us today! The word “viral” often means “to spread”– so things that can be viral include a contagious illness (like a cold), or an Internet video, article or image (like Caine’s arcade)! We hope your friend who has a “virus” feels better soon! :)

  7. Mrs. Romanowski’s 5th grade class LOVED Caine’s Arcade. As one student said, “Caine is really creative!” Harrison, MI

    • HOORAY, we’re glad our Wonder Friends in Michigan are WONDERing with us today! Isn’t Caine’s arcade super cool?! Thanks for sharing your comments, we hope you feel inspired and extra-creative today! :)

  8. I read the first page to my litle brother, he wanted to watch the video, that was it.


    • How cool that you shared today’s Wonder with your little brother, Wonder Friend Awesomeness! We bet he really appreciated it! We hope you have a SUPER day! :)

    • HOORAY, Mrs. Thomas’ Tigers are using their WONDERful imaginations today! We’re glad you liked WONDERing with Caine and his cool arcade today! We bet you’re excited to use your creativity to form a creation of your own! :)

  9. I thought Caine’s Arcade was unique and cool. I am from Mrs. Dekorsi’s third grade class, but I wanted to write one of my own. I think Caine is very smart because I am 8 and he is 9. My prediction for tomorrow is Antarctica.

    Alaina K

    • Hi there, Alaina K! We think it’s pretty cool that you enjoyed today’s Wonder! Thanks for sharing your comment on your own– we think you did a SUPER job! See you tomorrow! :)

  10. I haven’t even herd the word viral until today. I thought that little boy’s arcade was really cool. I want to go there sometime he was pretty viral! I am going to build an arcade like that and be viral and become a trillionaire $$$$$$. I would not like it just because of that though I would like meeting all of those people and like to listen to every one of those wnderful fans cheering for me. But enough about me. Caine’s arcade is soooo cool. I loooooove wondering with you I hope you never stop making wonders, I would like to show my kids when I have some. THANK YOU FOR MAKING ME WONDER WONDEROPOLIS!!!!!!

    • Hi there, Gabe, we are so excited that today’s Wonder video inspired you! We bet Caine would love to meet you in person, but we are excited to hear about your very own arcade, too! Thanks for sharing your WONDERful comment today– we are glad to learn about viral videos, like Caine’s, with you! :)

  11. WHEN I SAW THE WONDER I FLIPPED OUT! But I already knew what the wonder was because I’m obsessed with Youtube and that kind of stuff. Didn’t watch the video. It has a kid in it so yeah. Tomorrow’s wonder will be about ancient Egypt.

    • We’re glad you liked WONDERing about viral videos, Chintiache! It’s fun to find the next “big thing” on the Internet– we hope you’ll check out Caine’s Arcade, which is the Wonder video. We also know of some other viral videos, such as popular music and dance videos. Thanks for WONDERing with us and sharing your guess for tomorrow! :)

    • We’re glad to hear it, Eric! Caine is a very inspirational kid and we think he would be a great Wonder Friend! Have a SUPER day! :)

    • We agree, Maya! We think Caine is a very cool, creative Wonder Friend! Thanks for joining us as we WONDERed about viral videos and inspirational people! :)

  12. Our class loved Caine’s Arcade! We watch Wonderopolis about everyday and if we miss for some reason…we will catch the next day!!

    • YIPPEE! We’re excited our Wonder Friends at The Crowe’s Nest are WONDERing with us today! We hope Caine’s Arcade inspired you to be the great WONDERers you are! We think it’s SUPER that you visit all of us at Wonderopolis each and every day! We are so honored! :)

    • Hey there, Ashley B! We’re glad that you learned something new with us today! We bet you already knew about viral videos, articles and pictures you might have seen online, but now you know why what it means to go “viral”! Thanks for sharing your comment, we’re very proud of you! :)

    • Isn’t it incredible to imagine, Diavion?? We think Caine’s arcade is inspiring, exciting and creative! We are so glad you enjoyed WONDERing about “going viral” and you were able to take a look at the arcade, too! We hope you have a VERY SUPER day, Wonder Friend! Keep up the great work! :)

    • Hi there, Henry, we’re so happy that you enjoyed WONDERing about internet sensations and “going viral”! Have you ever had a cold? A doctor may have called that a “virus” and it can easily be spread, which is why it is important to wash your hands often when you’re sick. The word “viral” is a term used to describe something that is easy spread or shared. This happens a lot on the Internet– you can’t share a cold online, but you can share videos, articles, pictures and messages! Our Wonder video is an example of a video that went “viral” — it was shared with many, many people thanks to the Internet!

      We’re excited that you are WONDERing with us– have a SUPER day! :)

  13. I like this it was a good movie I love it and it was on the news and it was amazing I wish I was there to play it because I would play the games he played and I live in Harrison, MI.

    • WOHOO, we are smiling thanks to your comment, Carla Marie S! Like you mentioned, the video clip of Caine’s arcade is very cool– he has a WONDERful imagination! We think Caine would love it if you visited his arcade, or even left him a message on his website: hello@cainesarcade.com :)

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Try It Out

Ready to be part of a viral Internet sensation? You can help make today’s Wonder of the Day go viral simply by sharing it with others. How do you do that? It’s easy!

At the bottom of every Wonder of the Day page — just above the comments section — is a set of links to share the Wonder of the Day via various social media platforms, including Twitter, Facebook, Digg, Delicious, StumbleUpon, the Thinkfinity Community and even email.

Want to be an Internet sensation yourself? Come up with a catchy idea, videotape yourself and post it to our Wonderopolis Facebook page. Your Wonder Friends will be able to see it and share it with their friends. Before you know it, you could be famous! We can’t wait to watch your video and help it go viral!

Still Wondering

Use Teacher’s Domain’s Life Online lesson to examine how digital technologies have changed the way people communicate.

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Tomorrow’s Wonder of the Day will take you to the remotest areas of the Earth!

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