Sure, there's a Barcade in Chelsea now (and another one bound for St. Marks). But wouldn't you prefer to have Street Fighter II or whatever at your disposal on demand, with Guile prepared to fight M. Bison to the death post-sunrise yoga stretches, sans the interference of some drunken mouth-breather flipping quarters at you? Such was the whim of one Manhattan man, who managed to turn his bedroom into a spectacular, full-fledged arcade right out of the Reagan era—to the tune of $32K-plus, of course. Sadly, his fiancee ended up breaking up with him, but priorities are priorities.
Murray Hill resident Chris Kooluris started creating this dream arcade in August 2013, after reading a book about 1980s arcade game culture. "It awoke a monster in me,” he told Wired. “I just had this revelation that, you know, why shouldn’t I—in this short time that we’re here—surround myself with the things I really enjoy?” And so, having just moved into his fiancee's apartment, he started to do just that, transforming the bedroom in his old place into the 1980s gamer's paradise.
Kooluris apparently poured all his time (and money) into getting the arcade together, ordering and restoring collectors' games like Tron, Donkey Kong and Ms. Pac Man, and decorating the place just so. He ended up spending $32,725 on games, with a Lord of the Rings Limited Edition pinball machine running him $6,900 alone. He also got dumped by his fiancée in the process ("If you come home every night and want to talk to your girlfriend about arcade or pinball machines, that relationship is going to end really fast," he said) and riled up some backlash on video game forums.
Now, his friends come over for weekly games, and he sleeps alone on a futon covered with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles sheets. "Now that my fiancée and I are no longer together, it's hard to enjoy the room as much as I want to," he told the Daily News. "I always end up thinking about her."
But hey, he's got Punch-Out!! There's bound to be a lady or two out there who finds virtual boxing irresistible.