The Angry Video Game Nerd
The Angry Video Game Nerd (AVGN for short and originally called Bad NES Games and The Angry Nintendo Nerd) is a comedy/review web series created and starring independent filmmaker James Rolfe, owner of Cinemassacre.
While he was originally the Angry Nintendo Nerd, he changed it to Angry Video Game Nerd to focus on other consoles (and of course merchandise).
The series has produced over 160 episodes.
The series is about a foul-mouthed, ill-tempered gamer who often forces himself to play terrible old games (like for example Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde or any of the LJN-published games) from older consoles such as the NES or Atari 2600. He becomes more and more enraged the longer he plays these games and sometimes destroys them out of anger.
Why He Rocks
- His series is heavily responsible for popularizing internet reviews, which has inspired other internet reviewers from around the world such as the Nostalgia Critic, Angry Joe, Joueur du Grenier (English: "Attic Gamer"), ColoniaContraAtaca (Portuguese for "Colony Strikes Back"), Irate Gamer, just to name a few.
- He turns swearing into an art form.
- While his series is heavily focused on humor and unusual events happening to the Nerd, he does give legit reasons why a game sucks.
- The Nerd's battles with memorable antagonists like Jason Voorhees (from Friday the 13th), Freddy Krueger (from A Nightmare on Elm Street), The Joker (from DC Comics), Bugs Bunny (from Looney Tunes) and R.O.B. The Robot.
- Popularized videogame collecting.
- Showed people that the Virtual Boy actually had some decent games despite being a bad console.
- In addition to just playing video games, he's also reviewed consoles like the CGW accessories like the CGW and even some video game history like the SwordQuest contest.
- The special effects in earlier are so cheesy, they're actually awesome. Newer episodes have significantly improved production values.
- Had a famous crossover feud with the Nostalgia Critic.
- James Rolfe and Doug Walker confirmed that they never antagonized each other and the feud only applied to the characters they portray. AVGN and NC did reviews together for the 2014 Michael Bay-produced Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film, the 2016 sequel Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows along with Andre The Black Nerd and the 2017 reboot of The Mummy.
- Has even defended some games like Zelda II: The Adventure of Link and only focused on why they were difficult rather than bad.
- Some episodes follow a plot, like R.O.B. The Robot plotting to replace all video games with Stack-Up and Gyromite.
- He's not paid to give good reviews on bad games, unlike CGW
- Every year, he has an annual Halloween special related towards crappy horror-related games, and (with the exception of 2012) a Christmas special focusing on religious or holiday-themed games.
- The Nerd's iconic catchphrase, "What were they thinking?".
- The theme song for the show is vulgar, but well made and sometimes awesome such as the heavy metal covers of it.
- He recently brings guest stars that are related to the games that he reviews; for example, he brought Mike Butters (who plays the TV Game Guy in Pepsiman), Macaulay Culkin for the Home Alone games, and in the Life of Black Tiger review, he brought Gilbert Gottfried to play the Nerd's previously unseen nemesis Fred Fucks.
- "You're a poopy head!"
- The Nerd often complains about LJN being terrible game developers, which is technically incorrect because LJN only published games (he mentions getting corrected in Episode 121 that they were publishers). This has led to a general misconception that LJN were actual developers due to the show's popularity.
- The actor James Rolfe has also stated that referring to LJN as "developers" is supposed to be a running gag of the Nerd character.
- Some episodes have the Nerd yell and scream highly bloody-murder, which can be cringeworthy, disturbing, and hard for viewers to listen. Recent episodes have toned down the loud yelling and instead focus more on the Nerd getting angry at the strange things happening around him.
The Angry Video Game Nerd has such a large following that most of the games in James Rolfe's home were donated to him by his fans. His full length film, Angry Video Game Nerd: The Movie was entirely fan-funded.
The Angry Video Game Nerd currently has a 8.4 out of 10 on IMDb.
The series created three spin-offs: Board James (2009-2015), You Know What's Bullshit? (2007-present) and James and Mike Mondays (2013-present).
This is dedicated to the original Awesome Games Wiki, who, in a rather petty manner, got shut down in September 2018 by FANDOM.
R.I.P. Awesome Games Wiki 2015-2018. You will be missed.
- James is a big fan of hard rock and heavy metal music and his favorite band is Black Sabbath. His other favorite bands are Iron Maiden and Pantera.
- In an episode of Game Theory, it is suggested that the Nerd suffers from Paranoid schizophrenia (which is why he presumably hallucinates of encountering The Joker, Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees) as well as Crohn's disease (which is where his very bad bowel movement consistency comes from). However, none of this is confirmed.
- James' favorite film of all time is the 1963 epic comedy film It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World while his other favorite films are King Kong (1933), The Wizard of Oz, Back to the Future, Rocky, Jaws, Jurassic Park, Godzilla (1954), Universal monster movies like Frankenstein (1931) and Dracula (1931), Halloween (1978), etc.
- In his "Top 10 Popular Films I Don't Love" video, James mentions that he is of Italian descent.
- He is a huge fan of the Godzilla franchise and made his second Monster Madness season in 2008 solely focusing on the franchise. He reviewed every single Godzilla movie from 1954 to 2004 (including the 1998 American remake).
- The series has been unofficially translated into many languages, including Portuguese, Spanish, French, Russian and Italian versions with subtitles and or/dubbed versions.
- There's been some misconceptions among fans regarding the Nerd character. "The Nerd" is strictly a fictional character portrayed by the actor James Rolfe, as such all of his angry yelling and tendency to use terms like "shitty" are purely a characterization given to "The Nerd", not James Rolfe's real personality.
- The same often occurs with the Nostalgia Critic, who also is only a fictional character portrayed by Doug Walker who has a similar style of angry humor.
- James has appeared at the Portland Retro Gaming Expo for every year since 2016.