NYDN – It is far better to have loved and lost than never to have gotten to play your video games again. Just ask Chris Kooluris, who transformed the bedroom of his Murray Hill apartment into an old-school arcade — then watched as his fiancée walked out of his life. The only scoring he’s doing now is on his Pac-Man, Donkey Kong and Tron machines. But Kooluris is reminded of a valuable lesson every time he fiddles with that joystick: “If you are 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.” True, but there are complicated emotions at work when a 37-year-old man sells his bed and furniture and spends $26,000 to build an arcade. It started, as many complicated emotions do, with love. Kooluris had moved in his with fiancée to her place in Brooklyn and put his own apartment on the market. But three things happened that would change Kooluris’ life forever: The apartment didn’t sell, he began feeling claustrophobic living in his girlfriend’s apartment with all her stuff, and he happened upon a sci-fi novel called “Ready Player One” about 1980s video game culture. “The book just blew me away,” he remembers. “It awakened something in me and I started thinking that I can’t believe I’m not surrounded by all these things that I grew up loving.” So he decided to transform his old living quarters into his personal fantasy. “This is the extreme reaction of someone who isn’t surrounded by his own stuff,” he explains. Kooluris became a Pac-Man himself, gobbling up everything he could about 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. He installed a high-score board. And somewhere along the line, the fiancée finally said, “Game over.” He now invites friends over for weekly game nights. Needless to say, they think his home arcade is the greatest thing ever. “It’s like a ‘Field of Dreams’ for geeks,” says Josh Shabtai, 35. “From the outside it seems like Noah building an ark. It’s easy to think, ‘Oh man, this guy is a lunatic.’ But when you see how happy it makes it him, and how it provides a place for his friends to come together, it turns out to something really cool.”
Can we all just pause for a moment and give Chris Kooluris a standing ovation? Just a masterful performance from this guy right here. Everyone has been in a relationship they don’t want to be in at some point or another. Its lingered on too long but at the same time you don’t wanna dump the chick. Maybe there’s extenuating circumstances and you can’t pull the trigger on the break up. Maybe you’ve got a heart. Maybe you’re a pussy. There’s a million reasons why guys just sit in relationships that are completely fucked.
So what do you do? You just start living your life like a single dude. Just start doing literally whatever the fuck you want, intentionally sabotaging the relationship until she has to break up with you. The reverse break up. This way you don’t have to be the dick that breaks it off but you still get your freedom. Sure, it leads to a prolonged, drawn out, slow painful process thats way more hurtful than just breaking it off with a chick, but lets not over think this technique. Its tried and true and it always works and nobody has ever done it better than Chris Koolhuis. Dude was getting claustrophobic after moving in with his girl. He felt pressured. He felt uncomfortable. And rather than just dumping her he dropped $26,000 and turned his apartment into a full blown video arcade. Commitment to the Reverse Break Up like this is something that would bring a tear to Costanza’s eye. You know he tried almost everything under the sun aside from cheating on her and it got to the point where he had no other choice but to transform his apartment into a Dave & Busters.
And so now he got out of the relationship, didn’t have to be the bad guy, and he has a fucking awesome live in arcade. Guy’s real life is like Tom Hanks in Big. Perfectly executed plan and his bitch fiancee takes all the heat. Bravo, sir.