The Angry Video Game Nerd
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|The Angry Video Game Nerd|
The Angry Video Game Nerd logo
|Also known as||Angry Nintendo Nerd
|Genre||Insult comedy, surreal comedy, physical comedy, slapstick comedy, black comedy, off-color humor, review|
|Created by||James Rolfe|
|Developed by||Cinemassacre Productions|
|Written by||James Rolfe
|Directed by||James Rolfe|
|Theme music composer||James Rolfe (lyrics), Kyle Justin (music)|
|Opening theme||"Angry Video Game Nerd Theme"|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||7|
|No. of episodes||111 (as of April 30, 2013) (List of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s)||James Rolfe|
|Location(s)||Newark, New Jersey (season 1–3)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (season 3–present)
|Camera setup||Liam Mulvey|
|Running time||Varies, usually 3–26 minutes per episode|
|Picture format||480p / 720p WMV / FLV / MOV|
|Original airing||Original series:
May 16, 2004 - May 28, 2004
February 10, 2006 - present
|Preceded by||Bad NES Games (Cinemassacre Special)|
The Angry Video Game Nerd (also referred to as AVGN or The Nerd, formerly known as The Angry Nintendo Nerd) is a web television series of comedic retrogaming video reviews created by and starring James Rolfe. The show's format revolves around Rolfe's commentary and review of older video games which are deemed to be of particularly low-quality, unfair difficulty or poor design.
The series began as a feature on YouTube, later becoming a program on ScrewAttack Entertainment before moving to GameTrailers exclusively. The show was renamed The Angry Video Game Nerd to prevent any trademark issues with Nintendo and due to the fact he started reviewing games from non-Nintendo consoles such as those made by Atari and Sega.
Rolfe's character, "The Nerd" is a short-tempered and foul-mouthed video game fanatic. He derives comic appeal from excessive and inventive use of anger, profanity, and habitual consumption of alcohol while reviewing video games.
Angry Nintendo Nerd 
The series began when Rolfe made a short review of the NES game Castlevania II: Simon's Quest in 2004 under the title "Bad NES Games". Rolfe decided to make another video which was intended to be the last, because Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was his most disliked game. The videos were produced and published on Cinemassacre.com and the only release outside of the website came as "The Quickies" tape, part of a four VHS tape set called the "Cinemassacre Gold Collection" that Rolfe put together himself with what he considered to be his best films. On April 6, 2006, a friend, Mike Matei, made him a YouTube channel under the name of "JamesNintendoNerd", where the first four episodes were uploaded and began to gain popularity.
As of March 2013, the YouTube channel has reached one million subscribers.
On September 12, 2006 Rolfe's series received mainstream attention when his review of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles went viral on YouTube. It was reported in an MTV segment called "Viral Videos Infect the Mainstream". On November 2, 2008 his videos were featured on the nationally syndicated radio show Opie and Anthony. Rolfe was soon interviewed by Opie and Anthony on January 9, 2008. Rolfe would go on to host a segment on Opie and Anthony's XM Satellite Radio (now Sirius/XM) channel for their "Saturday Night Virus" block, but only completed one episode before leaving the program entirely. On February 4, 2013, the character (along with the Nostalgia Critic) made a background cameo in the anime Zettai Karen Children: The Unlimited.
Angry Video Game Nerd 
Rolfe later changed the name of the program from "The Angry Nintendo Nerd" to "The Angry Video Game Nerd" to prevent trademark issues with Nintendo. Additionally, Rolfe began to diversify his reviews of games to other platforms such as the Atari 2600, Super Nintendo, Sega Master System and Sega Mega Drive/Genesis. Some episodes began to feature other video game-related subjects, such as console accessories like the Power Glove and the U-Force, films such as The Wizard, and Nintendo Power magazine. Rolfe stated almost every episode has a reference from the documentary American Movie.
Rolfe has stated on his website that the first videos he made were "just a joke" and he had no intention of making them public, instead showing them only to friends. After two years passed, Mike Matei suggested he put the reviews online. They soon did, and since then, his reviews have become increasingly popular and have developed a large fanbase. Rolfe's videos grew longer, soon turning into a series complete with title cards, an intro song, official merchandise, and DVDs of past seasons.
After his fourth online review on YouTube, ScrewAttack invited him to have his own section on their website and he began his employment by MTV Networks' GameTrailers.com. Beginning July 23, 2012, with the 107th episode entitled "Schwarzenegger Games", the series returned to YouTube.
As of December 22, 2011[update], Rolfe is currently focusing most of his efforts on producing Angry Video Game Nerd: The Movie. Rolfe has stated on his website, the film is mostly finished with the exception of a few key scenes, and many special effects. It is slated to be released "this life time" as stated on the teaser poster. James Rolfe released an update in April 2013 stating that he didn't know when it would be finished, believing that 'it will be a long time' and 'any attempt to guess would only prove us wrong'. Until then, Rolfe and Matei will continue to put out AVGN episodes periodically.
Special guests 
Occasionally, "special guests" based on famous film and television characters make appearances. These guests often provide additional commentary on the games and mock the Nerd's anguish. Most of the characters are played by Mike Matei, who also co-writes many of the episode scripts and illustrates the show's title cards. His roles have included characters such as Freddy Krueger and Bugs Bunny, among many others. Freddy Krueger was also played by James Rolfe, with Matei taking on the role when both the Nerd and Freddy were in view. The show's musician, Kyle Justin, played both Spider-Man and Cousin Itt in separate episodes, which were accompanied by him performing the theme songs from Spider-Man and The Addams Family, with reworked lyrics. Justin was also featured in the Battletoads, the Ikari Warriors, and the second Bugs Bunny (Crazy Castle) episode, episode as himself. Kevin Finn played a ninja master inspired by Ryu Hayabusa in his Ninja Gaiden review as well as the "Game Graphic Glitch Gremlin" in the game glitches episode and the Zelda II: The Adventure of Link episode. Cult filmmaker and Troma president Lloyd Kaufman guest-starred on the Toxic Crusaders episode, making him the first celebrity guest on the show.
Some episodes have a basic storyline inspired by the plot of the game or the movie the game is based on being reviewed (e.g. in the Halloween review, the Nerd is stalked by Michael Myers while he goes babysitting). In these cases, guests are used to play the episode-specific characters. The Nostalgia Critic appeared in the Nerd's house and together they had a violent duel, in which the critic is nearly killed by the "Super Mecha Death Christ" character (more specifically "Super Mecha Death Christ 2000 BC Version 4.0 Beta!... bitch"). In the Nerd's take on A Christmas Carol, Stuttering Craig and Handsome Tom, co-founders of ScrewAttack, appear as the Ghost of Christmas Past and the Ghost of Christmas Present, respectively. A Dracula sprite from Castlevania II: Simon's Quest represents the Ghost of Christmas Future. Another guest is Robotic Operating Buddy or R.O.B., which is voiced, puppeted, and stop motion animated by Rolfe. R.O.B. appears in episode #100, in which he acts as the main antagonist, demanding that the entire world should play the only games that he can play, Gyromite and Stack-Up.
Original animated characters 
The show also makes use of original animated characters to add commentary or advance an episode-specific plot. The review of Master Chu and the Drunkard Hu uses a character called "Shit Pickle" to comment on the game play (which simply consisted of him repeating the words "shit" and "pickle" sometimes, but not always together). Shit Pickle did not appear again until Rolfe placed him in his own animated shorts and part of a comparison joke to certain enemy sprites in his Action 52 review. In the Wizard/Super Mario Bros. 3 review, the Nerd calls upon the "Super Mecha Death Christ" and are voiced by James Rolfe and created by Mike Matei. Rolfe explained on his website that Super Mecha Death Christ was created as a spoof on the numerous Mecha-characters found in the Godzilla movies, such as Mechagodzilla. During his review of the Magnavox Odyssey a character called "The Nerdy Turd", a piece of fecal matter with Rolfe's head and face on it, was introduced out of necessity as the Odyssey does not support single player games (although Mike Matei helped Rolfe play with the system during shooting). In the Star Wars games episode, the Nerd introduces the "Beer Droid", a beer supplying Droid, which is a vacuum animated through stop motion effects.
The Angry Video Game Nerd theme song was composed by independent New Jersey musician Kyle Justin. Justin left the program in 2009 and has ceased music-related activity while still remaining close friends to Rolfe. The lyrics were the work of both Justin and Rolfe. Some of the lyrics come from comments made by Rolfe in his review of Back to the Future. Justin appeared with Rolfe at a MAGFest 2010 panel and performing the theme song live. He has also appeared in a video with Rolfe and Matei recalling their experience in video stores. For numerous episodes, musical scores and covers were performed by Chris Holland that were subsequently used in episodes which includes the Batman, the Nerdy Christmas, and many others.
- On November 18, 2007, the first AVGN DVD set was released. It includes all of the episodes up to the first Bible Games episode. Some material, such as movie clips from Back to the Future and Rocky, were removed to avoid copyright infringement and replaced with new material. The DVD includes extended versions of the "Wally Bear and the NO Gang!" and "Rocky" reviews as well as an original documentary, deleted scenes, and most of the videos posted exclusively on ScrewAttack.com. In all, the DVD set contains approximately three hours and 15 minutes of content. According to Rolfe, the initial pressing of the DVD sold out in less than a week. In addition, there were 100 DVDs sold with James Rolfe's autograph on the front cover.
- Around November 15, 2008, the second AVGN DVD set, which spans three discs, was released. It includes the GameTrailers.com episodes from the Atari 5200 review to An Angry Nerd Christmas Carol as well as a scene from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III review, the trailers posted on YouTube, commentaries, outtakes (from the 2007 videos as well as some from 2008), and other material.
- On December 12, 2009, the third AVGN DVD set, which spans three discs, was released. It includes the GameTrailers.com episodes from Chronologically Confused about the Zelda Timeline to Bible Games 2; however, the review for The Wizard and Super Mario Bros. 3 has been reduced to cover only SMB3 to avoid copyright infringement. Three of the episodes have been extended. The DVD set also includes outtakes, a tour of the Nerd's room, and other material.
- On December 15, 2010, the fourth AVGN DVD set, spanning three discs, was released. It includes the GameTrailers.com episodes from Michael Jackson's Moonwalker to Winter Games as well as bonus features such as a look at Sega 3-D Glasses, outtakes, behind-the-scenes footage, and other material.
- On December 8, 2011, the fifth AVGN DVD set, complete with three discs and special features, was released. The packaging parodies the cover of the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde NES game. All DVD packaging is done by Mike Matei.
- On December 1, 2012, the sixth AVGN DVD set, again three discs with special features was released. The packaging parodies the cover of the NES Contra game. Packaging was done by Mike Matei.
See also 
- James Rolfe (2007). What Was I Thinking?: The Making of the Angry Video Game Nerd (DVD). ScrewAttack.
- James Rolfe (August 8, 2007). "AVGN: Bugs Bunny Birthday Blowout". GameTrailers. Retrieved December 1, 2007.
- James Rolfe (2008). CineMassacre 200 (YouTube). CineMassacre.
- Guzman, David (March 3, 2011). "Top 20 Angry Video Game Nerd Freak Outs". AllMediaNY.com. Retrieved March 10, 2011. "Ever since James Rolfe – the filmmaker who brought the Nerd to life – started posting tirades about awfully ancient video games on YouTube in 2006, the following he’s gotten there has become pretty big."
- "Cinemassacre FAQ". The CineMassacre Productions. 2010. Retrieved June 4, 2010.
- MTV (September 12, 2006). "Viral Videos Infect the Mainstream". MTV. Retrieved March 22, 2011.
- Opie and Anthony (November 2, 2008). "Angry Video Game Nerd Opie and Anthony Interview Pt 1". Opie and Anthony Radio Show. Retrieved November 2, 2008.
- Saabedra, Humberto. "AVGN and Nostalgia Critic Cameo in "The Unlimited: Hyobu Kyosuke"". Crunchyroll.
- Weprin, Alex (June 2, 2008). "Spike TV Revamps Web Presence". Broadcasting & Cable (Cahners Publishing) 138 (14–25): 28. Retrieved March 10, 2011. "The new Spike.com features a high-resolution full-episode video with the ability to embed episodes of Spike programming on outside sites, social-networking features and exclusive original content from YouTube stars such as "The Angry Video Game Nerd" and established entertainment brands such as Playboy Enterprises and Ultimate Fighting Championship."
- Carrasco, Carlo. "Do you play?". Sun.Star Publishing, Inc. Retrieved December 4, 2007.[dead link]
- James Rolfe. "James Rolfe resume". Cinemassacre. Archived from the original on July 16, 2007. Retrieved April 14, 2013.
- James Rolfe. "AVGN: Nightmare on Elm St commentary". GameTrailers. Retrieved December 30, 2007.
- James Rolfe. "AVGN: A Christmas Carol Pt. 1". GameTrailers. Retrieved December 25, 2007.
- James Rolfe. "AVGN: A Christmas Carol Pt. 2". GameTrailers. Retrieved December 25, 2007.
- "The Wizard of Oz 3: Dorothy Goes to Hell" at Cinemassacre
- James Rolfe (October 13, 2008). "Godzillathon No. 20 – Godzilla Vs. MegaGodzilla (1993)". CineMassacre.com. Retrieved October 25, 2008.[dead link]
- Kyle Justin. "Kyle Justin's AVGN Music Page". Retrieved March 24, 2009.
- James Rolfe (November 25, 2007). "AVGN DVD SOLD OUT!". Cinemassacre. Retrieved November 25, 2007.
- James Rolfe (March 12, 2008). "AVGN DVD Autograph". Cinemassacre, ScrewAttack. Archived from the original on June 12, 2008. Retrieved March 16, 2008.
- James Rolfe (August 8, 2008). "Updates from me". Cinemassacre. Retrieved May 5, 2011.
- "Angry Video Game Nerd DVD FAQ". The CineMassacre Productions. Retrieved March 25, 2008.
- "Official AVGN Merchandise". ScrewAttack, Yahoo!. Retrieved November 22, 2008.
- James Rolfe. "AVGN DVD – Volume 2". Cinemassacre, YouTube. Retrieved December 1, 2008.
- "AVGN DVD Vol. 3". Cinemassacre. Dec. 12, 2009. Retrieved Dec. 12, 2009.
- "AVGN DVD Vol. 4". Cinemassacre. Retrieved Nov. 3, 2010.
- James Rolfe (December 15, 2010). "AVGN DVD VOLUME 4 IS HERE!". YouTube. Retrieved December 15, 2010.
- Cashmore, Pete (December 16, 2009). "Open Web Awards 2009: The Winners". Mashable. Retrieved December 16, 2009.
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: The Angry Video Game Nerd|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: The Angry Video Game Nerd|
- Official website
- The Angry Video Game Nerd's channel on YouTube
- The Angry Video Game Nerd at the Internet Movie Database
- Angry Video Game Nerd: The Movie at the Internet Movie Database
- Cinemassacre Productions on Blip
|Most Subscribed Channel on YouTube
Ranked 45th as of 2010
|Most Subscribed Director on YouTube
Ranked 14th as of 2010