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Web Video / The Angry Video Game Nerd

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He's gonna take you back to the past,
To play the shitty games that suck ass
He'd rather have a buffalo take a diarrhea dump in his ear
He'd rather eat the rotten asshole of a roadkilled skunk and down it with beer
He's the angriest gamer you've ever heard.
He's the Angry Nintendo Nerd
He's the Angry Atari Sega Nerd
He's the Angry Video Game Nerd

James Duncan Rolfe plays the Angry Video Game Nerd (formerly Angry Nintendo Nerd before he stopped focusing on just the NES and realized he couldn't sell T-shirts with someone else's trademark on them), a chronically ill-tempered and foul-mouthed gaming geek with a huge collection of bad video games, and a predilection for Rolling Rock beer. He is celebrated and credited as a Trope Maker and Trope Codifier for online video reviews, with the show being seen as a Gateway Series for the medium to transition to the mainstream. He was christened by Doug Walker as the greatest video game critic of all time and inspired many a number of reviewers to come.

The Nintendo Entertainment System was a landmark in the history of video gaming — it was the first Japanese console to make a splash in the US, and the first console that younger members of Generation X have firsthand memories of playing. During its lifespan of over a decade, the console introduced now-classic characters like Mario, Mega Man, and Link, and saw video games shift from thinly veiled excuses to kill bad guys to complex plots, and produced scores of truly great games, some of which remain classics to this day.


But it also produced some real stinkers, and that's where the Angry Video Game Nerd comes in.

He plays weird, old, and, more often than not, Nintendo Hard games, some of them with the worst Fake Difficulty imaginable. We're talking truly terrible here. The Nerd holds a specific torch of hate towards licensed games, especially ones published by LJN Toys, which he sees as manipulating hopeful and oblivious kids into buying complete trash.

His reviews inevitably spiral downward into a barely-coherent rant peppered liberally with Cluster F-Bombs and scatological references culminating in a violent frothing rage that puts the Incredible Hulk to shame. The Nerd gets frequent unwanted visits from the stars of the games he plays, from Bugs Bunny to Freddy Krueger.

Note, however, that a handful of episodes are not so much about a single shitty game as they are about a certain console or accessory (there are even a few that aren't about video games at all.) Aside from giving reviews, the Nerd has also given a bit of video game history, such as a summary of the infamous Console Wars.


When he isn't getting his nerd on, James Rolfe maintains a website at where he showcases various other ventures, including his own independent films and an annual "Monster Madness" feature each October counting down to Halloween. He also play-comments on good games alongside Mike Matei on the James and Mike Mondays feature, although sometimes they also look at some hilariously bad games (including a few the Nerd himself has reviewed).

The AVGN had a long and violent "rivalry" with The Nostalgia Critic that came to a head with a big battle in October 2008, and another in May 2009, this time a Massive Multiplayer Crossover with his guitar guy (Kyle Justin) in the fray. See the Critic's page for more details (and TGWTG Year One Brawl for said crossover.) In Real Life, Rolfe and Doug Walker (The Nostalgia Critic) are good friends and Rolfe has even guested in several other Channel Awesome projects, including cameos in the site's following three anniversary specials. Walker returned the favor by being a Recurring Boss in Rolfe's second video game.

In 2010, he cut back on episodes doing approximately only one a month for the time being, releasing each around the first Wednesday of each month. Previously he had a new one every 2-3 weeks. In September he announced his intention to make an Angry Video Game Nerd movie!. In 2011, he announced that due to pre-production on the Nerd movie, he would be scaling back production on videos further, to videos that are about as long as his early YouTube ones. The film's plot involves the Nerd, after finally being convinced to review the infamous E.T. game, traveling to the New Mexico desert in order to disprove the old urban legend of the game's landfill burial, only to get caught up in a government conspiracy. Angry Video Game Nerd: The Movie began premiering in select theaters on July 21st, 2014.

On September 21, 2013, The Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures was released on Steam and later on other gaming platforms. It's a throwback to Nintendo Hard NES platformers, developed by FreakZone Games, published by ScrewAttack, and starring the Nerd himself. It had gained enough of a following for a 2016 sequel, called The Angry Video Game Nerd II: ASSimilation.

Rolfe also does two other web-based video shows that are strongly associated with The Angry Video Game Nerd: You Know Whats Bullshit where he rants on daily annoyances (keeping a foul language and a sharp sense of observation) and Board James, where he reviews board games (keeping with the game-reviewing aspect, though milder).


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Alternative Title(s): Angry Video Game Nerd


The Angry Video Game Nerd

From the "Silver Surfer" episode, the Nerd attempts to explain this game's legendary difficulty.

How well does it match the trope?

4.85 (27 votes)

Example of:

Main / NintendoHard

Media sources:

Main / NintendoHard