Now, I love my fiancee more than anything in the world and there is absolutely nothing that I would give up for her. That's how I know I'm in love. This guy in the picture not so much. He let his fiancee leave so he can build his own old-school arcade in his apartment bedroom. Personally, if she couldn't compromise and like what he liked, then she probably wasn't for him anyway. Then again, if he was willing to let her go that easily so he can have what he wanted, he probably wasn't in love with her anyway. I have to admit, though; This room is cool as hell, but might be better fit as just a "man cave!"
This is Chris Kooluris from Murray Hill, New York. He transformed the bedroom of his Murray Hill apartment into an old-school arcade, then watched his fiancee walk out of his life. Now, the only scoring he's doing is on his Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, and Tron machines. Kooluris did say that he learned a valuable lesson in all this every time he fiddles with that joystick, however. He says, "If you're going through relationship issues, you need to invest time in the relationship and work on it. Do not work on your arcade more than your relationship." He might be right, but there are complicated emotions at work when 37-year-old man sells his bed and furniture and spends $26,000 to build an arcade.
The story began, as many complicated emotions do, with love. Koorluris moved in with his fiancee to her place in Brooklyn and put his own apartment on the market, but three things happened that would change Kooluris' life forever. First, the apartment didn't sell. Second, he began feeling claustraphobic living in his fiancee's apartment with all HER stuff. That's a huge red flag! Third, he happened to stumble upon a sci-fi novel called Ready Player One, which was about the 1980s video game culture. He says, "The boook just blew me away. It awakened something in me and I started thinking that I can't believe I'm bit surrounded by all these things that I grew up loving." So, he decided to transform his old living quarters into his own personal Candy Land.
Kooluris became a real-life Pac-Man himself, gobbling up everything he could about the arcade culture. He spent hours online with other obsessive gamers. He custom-built a four-player panel board that houses thousands of games from Street Fighter II to Michael Jackson's Moonwalker. He invested thousands of dollars in first edition Transformers action figures and he installed a high-score board. Somewhere in there is when his fiancee finally said, "Game Over!" Here's the cool part of the story, though. Chris is not the loser in this game. He's not a blubbery, unemployed fanboy, who lacks in social skills or hygiene. He's actually fit and outgoing. He's also a senior VP at a global public relations firm. In fact, he helped engineer the release of Guns 'N' Roses 2008 release Chinese Democracy through a Dr. Pepper promotion. He just happens to love his video games.
Moving back into his apartment without a bed was not ideal, so he bought a foam topper for his pullout futon, along with a set of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles bed sheets and a matching blanket. Now, he invites friends over for weekly game nights. Needless to say, they think his home arcade is the greatest place ever! I would too! Kooluris' fiancee may be out of the picture, but he can't forget the woman who inspired his apartmentcade. He says, "Now that my fiancee and I are no longer together, it's hard to enjoy the room as much as I want to. I always end up thinking about her."
Could this just be a phase that Kooluris is going through? I mean, once this whole arcade thing runs it's course, will he want his fiancee back? After all, when you're in your 30s, friends do start to disappear and start having families of their own. Will he be kicking himself in the ass if and when that happens? I'm curious to see what happens to Kooluris in a few years. I wouldn't be telling you the truth if I didn't say that I'm also curious to see his bedroom arcade, either! The place is probably like a museum. If you want to play in his arcade, you can email him at email@example.com.