NYC’s Chris Kooluris is living every man’s childhood dream: His bedroom is a full-blown arcade. Yeah, you read that right. With $30,000 and six months to spare he made his dreams a reality. What inspired such a bold and finicky move? A trip to the Grand Canyon with his new lady.
In August 2013, they went on a vacation to the Grand Canyon. While on the trip, Kooluris read Ready Player One, a 2011 novel about a future world obsessed with the arcade game culture of the 1980s. “It awoke a monster in me,” he says. “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?”
Kooluris started out with some pretty ill Murray Hill digs before making the decision to scrap it all to build a late ’80s and early ’90s time capsule/homage to arcades games.
When all was said and done, about six months later, Kooluris had a full-blown arcade set up on his hands.
Here’s the breakdown of the budget for the making of Kooluris’ arcade and the cost of each system:
Those are some steep prices. All that time, money, and commitment put towards building an arcade put a strain on Kooluris’ relationship with his fianceé. In the midst of completing the arcade the two called it quits. Kooluris cites the time he spent on forums discussing and amassing his collection as the reason for their split.
Check out Wired’s interview with the marketer-turned gamer, as he recounts his love for video games and the journey, losses, and gains it took to create his dream arcade.