Like most serious video game collectors with an internet connection (are there any that don’t?), I love watching videos about video game collecting. If you have done any digging for these videos at all on YouTube, than you have probably come across a guy by the name of LukeMorse1. Luke is an American who works and lives in Japan. He is also a fanatical video game collector. When I say fanatical, I mean absolutely balls-out fucking hardcore. This guys owns at least 50 consoles, with multiples of each, three arcade cabinets, dozens of arcade boards, and so many games stacked in rubbermaid containers filling his tiny game room to the max that I don’t think even he knows how many he has anymore.
For the last 9 or so months this guy has been putting up an average of 3 video videos per day (!). Everything from game play videos, console fixing tutorials, and adventures to local Japanese video game shops. He documents every spending spree and soldiering job he has done for the sake of his hobby. I found his videos around the time he started putting them up and immediately subscribed. It was simply amazing to see the bulk of his collection and how much care and love he put into his gaming. I always looked forward to his next video to see what he would show off this time and to let the shock wash over me seeing just what in the hell he would acquire next.
Being a long time viewer as I was, I often wondered how in the name of shit he paid for his endless stream of compulsive video game shopping. It also became clear through watching his videos that he had a wife and a very young son. It always astonished me that he could find the time and money to make all his videos, buy all his stuff, and play all his games, while still maintaining a civil relationship with his wife and finding time to spend with his baby. I myself, have a wife and we had our first and (sorry mom and dad!) only baby in October of 2007, so I could certainly relate with trying to make your very new life fit in with your old, very comfortable, life.
Two days ago Luke posted a video entitled “Final Video” on his YouTube channel. Many of the most devout of his 3000+ subscribers had started to ask questions about when his next video was going to be uploaded. It had been nearly a week, and it was highly unusual for Luke to go longer than 18 hours without posting a new video documenting his latest conquest or trials with trouble shooting a junked console.
The wait between videos was made painfully clear with his announcement that he would no longer be posting because his wife and young son had left him. The video is completely heartbreaking to say the least, and the happy-go-lucky attitude and positive enthusiasm that made him so beloved in the YouTube video game community is completely stripped away. What’s left is a somber, remorseful, broken man saying goodbye to his friends and subscribers. The video also serves as a warning to others that may be going down the same path as him, in which he cautions against becoming to sucked into any hobby and advises all to stop and take the opportunity to realize what they have before they end up at a point of no return. The video oozes with humility and genuine grief that will pull at your heart strings, even if you are not a “hardcore” collector. Take the time to watch his final video below:
Am I trying to make excuses for Luke? No. In reality, he has only himself to blame and honestly, I am amazed that his wife hung in there for as long as she did. He seems to be beginning to realize this in his final video, and the first step is admitting you have a problem, right?
I think that all serious video game collectors can take Luke Morse’s story to heart. Judging by the out pouring of video responses is which friends and fans alike offer their compassion, criticism, and support, there is a genuine feeling of loss at not just the end of one of the most popular and prolific retro gaming channels on YouTube, but also in the personal loss that Luke has suffered.
I myself am one if the lucky ones. I manage to maintain a large circle of friends, have an incredible relationship with my best friend and wife Kira, and spend every precious second I have watching my little girl grow up, while still being able to collect and obsess over video game playing and collecting.
The thing that scares me the most about Luke’s story is that I know without the proper balance that the exact same thing could very well happen to me. I think that’s why there has been such an out-pouring of support for Luke Morse. The reason is that we all know, whether you collect CIB Atari 2600 games or colonial era coins, that the same thing could happen to anyone of us. It’s just a goddamn tragedy that it took something like the destruction of someones life to offer the introspection that many collectors so vitally need.
I thought that instead of showing off pictures of gaming stuff I have picked up recently, i would show some pictures of the things that I really care about the most. Later.