Angry Video Game Nerd

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Rolfe in-character as The Nerd, in a rare moment of the character not being angry.

“The Angry Video Game Nerd can be seen as a post-war response to the PlayStation fanatic. At the heart of the Nerd lies an almost late-Shakespearean homogeny of regality and vulnerability. The Berlin Wall fell, and the Iron Curtain blew open, but the Nintendo Nerd remained unaffected, almost more his original self than ever before.”

~ Matt Casamassina on the Angry Video Game Nerd

James Duncan "JDROFL" Rolfe (born July 10, 1980), better known by mortals as the Angry Video Game Nerd (AVGN), is an American filmmaker, actor, and YouTuber. He is best known as the mastermind and star of the popular Internet series the Angry Video Game Nerd, also known as The Artist Formerly Known as the Angry Nintendo Nerd and The Guy Who Irate Gamer Ripped Off. The series centers on the titular Nerd, a basement-dwelling, foul-mouthed, Power Glove-armed jenkem addict with serious anger management problems, who rants about poorly-made retro games from the 1980s2000s, perfectly capturing the childhood frustrations of his viewers.

Rolfe's boyhood plans to break into the film industry floundered continuously, until he was able to attain fandom in one short year after putting up YouTube videos movies of him (literally) shitting on shitty games as the Angry Nintendo Nerd. He had originally created the "Angry Nintendo Nerd" character as a joke amongst his friends in college, and only reviewed NES games, but after his original two reviews became Internet-famous, he changed his character's name to "Angry Video Game Nerd" to avoid copyright troubles with Nintendo and expand his console-reviewing pool. Many gaming nerds saw James as their savior sent to Earth to vanquish it of bad games, and he thus inspired a late 2000s wave of cheap imitation Angry Internet Reviewers™, though most of them couldn't hold a KISS kandle to the original.

In recent years, James has expanded beyond the Nerd videos, posting videos of him reviewing monster movies, ranting on inconveniences in life, and playing games with his friend Mike "Motherfucker Mike" Matei (who actually knows more about video games than James). Rolfe also runs the Cinemassacre production company which specializes in amateur B-movies, though no one seems to care about them other than his hardcore fans. Since 2017, James has gone on to bore viewers by abandoning the original concept of the Nerd videos, instead posting videos of him playing games and reviewing movies with his comedically-deficient corporate masters at Screenwave Media, in a snorefest of endless CGI skits and NordVPN/Raid Shadow Legends endorsements. Now captured by this group of used game-hocking schlubs, Rolfe is forced to forever review shitty games like Grand Theft Auto 555: Disneyland, Madden 420, and Captain S vs. Captian N, a shell of his former self.

He's Gonna Take You Back to the Past

The Nerd to Be

James at age 9.

James was born in 1980 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and raised in Haddonfield, New Jersey. The first thing he did upon birth was complain that he was cold, and then he went to other things like the taste of his mother's milk was not to his satisfaction, and that The Dukes of Hazzard was an "unrealistic piece of monkey-shit" because cars do not make skidding noises, like on asphalt, when they are speeding along dirt roads. He proved to be a handful to his parents, often berating the food they served him and refusing to eat it. The only thing he seemed to accept was Rolling Rock beer, chilled and served in a baby bottle.

James never lost this hatred of things that are bullshit. During his induction day at Kindergarten, James wrote a three-page-long letter in red crayon expressing his anger at the cafeteria for not supplying enough straws for the milk boxes they were drinking. He then expressed his anger towards a fellow student named Chris "Stinky" Bores, who James said copied one of his drawings but Chris told the teacher that James had copied his work. The teachers believed the bogus story Chris told them, and sided with him, to which James was then suspended from Kindergarten for two weeks when he said: "What a shitload of monkey-fuck this is... and I don't like it."

For James's seventh birthday, he received a brand-new home video game console, the NES. The console came with Super Mario Bros. and Duck Hunt. This seemed to calm down James's anger towards anything and everything, and he finally found something that he enjoyed doing. For weeks on end James would play the video game until Christmas time when Santa brought him a brand new NES game, Top Gun. His relatives had not even arrived yet for the family luncheon before James had become so enraged with how bad the game was that he was using the Zapper gun to blow off all but his middle finger to give his opinion on the game.

Over the next few years, James would only be a calm and normal boy when he got to play a good video game, but all hell would break loose and he'd invent new English cuss words as he expressed his anger towards these shitty games the only way he knew how. His mother to this day cannot thank Nintendo enough for the creation of Super Mario Bros. 3.

High School Nerd

In the 9th grade, James figured he was ahead of his time, and that no girls were interested in an obsessive video-game player. Therefore, he needed to venture into some other activity in order to meet women. James figured he only had two passions in life; the first being the obvious, video games, and the second being...well, video games. Don't hold this against James, though; you need to remember that this was the mid-'90s, and every boy loved games.

In the 10th grade, James reluctantly joined the high school film department and borrowed a camera to make his first movie, Attack of the Killer Lesbian Vampire Zombie Girls from Outer Space. This 35-minute short can be viewed on the Cinamassacre website today, and receives quite a few thumbs-and-all-up votes... but back in 1995, this kind of thing was too far ahead of its time. His film teacher, Mr. Smith, deemed it "complete filth and smut," expressing disappointment that he wasn't given a part in the movie, and suspended Rolfe from school for three weeks.

After that incident, James would continue making short films, each slightly better than the last. In the 11th grade, he remade his original film with a new and younger cast and changed the title to James Rolfe and Mr. Smith Present: Attack of the Killer Bisexual Vampire Zombie Girls from Outer Space Do the Whole Football Team. This time, he received an A++ and a scholarship to TCNJ. He had to use CGI girls, as when he asked female students to star in his movie, they responded "Fuck off, Nerrrrrd."

James excelled in all academic classes and was well on his way to becoming his class's valedictorian with a 4.0 GPA. However, his English class would prove to be his downfall, as his teacher would deduct points for every time he used the words "fuck", "shit", or "ass", often being presented in that order and combined with other words, which resulted in a negative score to his English results, but an A+ in his creative writing classes. Reports have it that James will forever be remembered as the student who apparently was constantly seen shoving Atari 5200 controllers up classmates' bums in the latrine because they could land the plane with ease in Top Gun.

College Nerd

The "Zelda Strip Nights" were wild times in college, according to James.

“I'd rather wipe my bum with my tongue if I ran out of toilet paper, then run off and blog about how awesomely green to the environment I am, than play this shitload of fuck again.”

~ The Angry Nintendo Nerd on Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

James spent four years at The College of New Jersey, where he majored in filmmaking. He made several short films, as well as a feature-length film titled Chris Bores Sucks. The movie was about James's built-up anger from his younger days, and was also the first movie he made that was not XXX rated. The film won "Best Runner-Up" at the Sundance Short Film Festival in 2001, coming in second to The Corner of My Bedroom Where Two Walls Meet.

In 2004, James also created two short films about him blowing his top off at how terrible certain NES games from his childhood were, titled Angry Nintendo Nerd Tells You Why Castlevania II Sucks and Angry Nintendo Nerd Tells You Why Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Sucks. The shorts were only to be passed around by his friends to warn new-friends that this guy has a short temper and if he doesn't like you, he will invent new words to express his inner hatred towards you.

As per usual when you study something in the arts, the only job James could get upon graduation was creating industrial training videos, and later an even worse fate: editing together wedding videos at Cinemacake. It wasn't until 2006 that, as a joke, James's buddy Mike put the Angry Nintendo Nerd videos up on YouTube, and James found his calling in life. To this day, those videos have spawned millions of views across the world. This was the beginning of James making big money, without the fear of having to actually go and work a normal job from nine to five...lucky bastard.

To Play the Shitty Games That Suck Ass...for a Living


AVGN reacts to being forced to play Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde for all eternity.

With the phenomenal success of the first two viral videos, James figured he would make some more videos of him getting angry at shitty games he hated as a kid. Soon new titles as Back to the Future, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, and Friday the 13th followed, each gaining James more and more popularity with Internet folk. But it was when he reviewed Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles that he went beyond viral. People stopped merely observing how pissed off this guy was, and actually started to find it humorous. A particular line of "Shredder is my balls, and Splinter is my ass" had viewers rolling on the floor laughing.

I guess you had to be there at the time, it's kinda lost its novelty now, but it did manage to make James's Angry Nintendo Nerd videos go so viral, that he became the #1 most viewed YouTube user in six countries, quite an astonishing feat for someone who isn't being viewed because they have gigantic tits. James has gone on to make so many more of these Angry videos and is still going strong... sort of... to this day he has created nearly 200 of these things. 15 episodes in (starting with the video on chronological confusion about movie/video game sequels), James changed the series' name to the Angry Video Game Nerd, because Nintendo consoles were far from the only ones to have shitty games.

He's the Angriest Gamer You've Ever Heard.

James soon signed a deal with ScrewAttack to put his videos on their site, allowing him to spread his comical tomfoolery far more efficiently through geek-oriented videos and game conventions, and he is arguably the only reason anyone knows that site exists. In 2007, he began to upload AVGN videos on GameTrailers — which, as the name implies, sells used video games out of their vast fleet of mobile home trailers while traveling the countryside in gypsy-like fashion — and for the first time raked in cash to make these reviews. Since AVGN became so popular and got so many subscribers, people at the time tried to copy his style, thinking Internet fame would get them laid or something. The results were mostly lackluster; only 10% of the "Angry Reviewers" were not shit, and most of them who did originally churn out a good product went downhill later, thereby upping the cowafuckinpieceofdogshit-meter to 97%.

Mike Matei joined Cinemassacre as James's writer, illustrator, producer, best friend, and personal butler, writing most of AVGN's first 100 episodes. In addition, he was also responsible for censoring tidying up negative comments on the JamesNintendoNerd YouTube account, yelling at the Irate Gamer and (briefly) Joueur du Grenier every other week, and getting the living shit kicked out of him in every AVGN video. He had the shit kicked out of him in-character as Jason Voorhees, Freddy Krueger, Bugs Bunny (twice), Michael Myers, The Joker, and the Glitch Gremlin. Kyle Justin joined the Cinemassacrew as the composer of the AVGN theme song (which sounded suspiciously like "Smells Like Teen Spirit"), as well as playing the in-show character the Guitar Guy.

Irate Gamer Rivalry

James and his mom salute the Irate Gamer.

During the time of James's rise to internet fame, he was also receiving attention from other sources on the web. Just after James posted a AVGN video based on the Back to the Future video game, another name from the past emerged on the Net as competition for James. Another very similar character popped up who was also reviewing the same game, almost word-for-word. James received information about this copycat and was angered to see that it was his old kindergarten archnemesis, Chris Bores, whom was calling himself the Irate Gamer. The Irate Gamer persona was created when an evil being known as the Game Genie desired to take over all of Video Game Reviewer Land and summoned Chris (the IG was confusingly abbreviated to "IGN" by the Game Genie, presumably because he was drunk at the time). Bores's first profession was ghost-hunting, but he betrayed Ernie Hudson and went on to the only career where he won't look like a weirdo spouting "breakfast is ruined": old-school Nintendo game reviews.

Chris had caught on to James's uprising, and chosen to use his trademark tactics of stealing James's work, and claiming it was his own. Speculation began to spread that James may have been copying Chris, so James filed a complaint to the authorities, but this did him no good, as the FBI just laughed about it saying it was ridiculous for two grown men to use the Internet for anything but pr0n. James felt he was on his own, and that even with his legion of followers at his beck and call, he couldn't do anything about this by reporting it. This was 2007 mind you; the Internet was not yet available to any schmuck with an iPhone, so few rules and regulations were enforced.

James figured he would have to look back into his past, to the time when they met, and find a solution. James knew he had a problem, and if you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire the A-Team. Unfortunately, the A-Team was busy trying to stop the motion picture remake of their show, so James had to resort to lower tactics, and do something more drastic, more horrifying, and more cunning. He ordered one of the Irate Gamer's DVDs, and sure enough, there it was, clear as day, printed right there on the box it was shipped in... the home address of Chris Bores. With a quick Google search, James was able to find the home phone number of Da Bores, and he did what any other true-blooded American man with a pissed-off vendetta would do to get a no-good dirty copycat son of a bitch with... he got his mom to call Mrs. Bores and tattle on her son about what a naughty little brat her son was.

The day after this harsh event had taken place, Chris's YouTube channel had ceased to accept comments, and he was no longer allowed to make videos. He did, however, post on his website that he had been grounded for six years, was sent to bed without supper, and his mother has confiscated his Xbox. James celebrated this well and truly deserved victory by beating up Bugs Bunny in his next video and taking a massive dump on his face. Bugs Bunny was a clear metaphor for Chris Bores; any old fan knows this because the video game being reviewed Bugs Bunny's Birthday Blowout was not really all that bad of a game as James made out. However, real fans knew what the hidden meaning to the video review was.

In 2020, Chris and James finally buried the hatchet. First they made a collaboration video on Chris's Minecraft Puppet Steve channel, where they acted out as Street Fighter 2 action figures who went "from enemies to friends". Chris also put "Inspired by AVGN" in his intro, after years of not doing so. Later, the Irate Gamer and AVGN crossed over in Chris's Dick Tracy review. However, the "crossover" turned out to be nothing more than a pithy three-minute cameo from James, with the characters not even interacting directly (due to the COVID-19 pandemic). Chris also took some swipes at Nostalgia Critic's infamous review of The Wall, possibly as revenge for Doug and Linkara mocking the Irate Gamer for years.

Nostalgia Critic Rivalry

AVGN and Nostalgia Critic confront each other in their natural nerdy habitat, a video game store.

When AVGN fans started to draw comparisons between him and That Guy With the Glasses's Nostalgia Critic series, Doug Walker (a man who owes his entire career to AVGN's style) made a joke video calling the AVGN out, and urged him to "keep [his] fans under control." This was a thinly-veiled attempt at generating a response and a future collaboration by piggybacking on his popularity. The Nerd responded with a forum post like one would do with something so blatantly transparent, to which the NC responded with a video, causing AVGN to take the bait and fall into the trap of unoriginality and pointless fluff.

And hell, it worked. The two fanbases merged and grew, and the two websites (Cinemassacre and That Guy With the Glasses) are now partnered and exchange each other's hits every day, thereby benefiting the two reviewers. All this, simply because they existed alongside one another and participated in a staged "fight" where they exchanged each other's punches and accused each one of being the other's brother from the same mother. Following their fake crossover rivalry fight, James made a 30-second cameo in Doug's 2010 "movie" Kickassia, the biggest Internet travesty possible.

Making a Movie: The End...Or Is It?

This is what happens when James goes off for a vacation and Mike is left in charge.

In 2010, James announced plans to follow his filmmaking dream and create the AVGN movie. He raised donations from his fans via IndieGogo, earning $300,000 (far beyond the initial goal of $75,000), with many fans expressing disappointment that they weren't able to donate more. Jealous haters believed James would take money and run without delivering a movie, but true fans held out hope. James was so overjoyed that he promised his fans a "Thank You" video for all of their efforts. A couple of hours later, Cinemassacre posted a video of James (surprisingly not in-character as the AVGN) reviewing the N64 game Elmo's Number Journey, in a crude, off-the-cuff style akin to Mike Matei's own Elmo review. With his movie donation drive coming to an end in 2011, James sold plushies of him and his side-character Shit Pickle for $18 each, further capitalizing off his success. His fans bought these by the hundreds.

James began doing AVGN videos once per month instead of once every two weeks, so he could spend more time working on the movie as well as his new series Board James. In spite of doubling his per-video production time, the Nerd reviews gradually declined in quality, and it became apparent to James that he was running out of ideas for new curse word combinations to make up. Thus, as a palette-cleanser, James posted random side-project videos that somewhat related to The Nerd, but not quite, and were mostly for diehard fans. These included a video of him juggling a ball on a split-screen camera; old footage from years ago as James sits around and scratches himself for an hour; James visiting his childhood dragon at the local park; bad game cover art; vlogs from E3 and Comic-Con; videos of James visiting the sets of B-list horror movies; a look-back at all the concert ticket stubs he's collected; appeals to his international audience to spam the online ballot box in a Philadelphia-based videographer competition, in which he is competing against small, local wedding photography studios; indie horror videos where James plays a character based off of James Rolfe; a five-part video series where James reads some crappy paperback tie-in book for Mega Man II; top-ten movie lists of increasingly obscure nature (i.e. Top 10 William Shatner Movies); an Adult Swim pastiche called Munkey Cheez; James's home movies from when he was a little boy; a Christmas review that consists of James replacing the words to How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (him making fun of Fist of the North Star's name resulted in a significant amount of dislikes from weeaboos); and a video of James's cat where he lifts up its back tail. These videos each generated over three million hits in the first six minutes after their uploads alone.

While James was off working on his movie in California, Mike Matei took over production of Cinemassacre videos. His first video was a nine-minute commentary on Elmo in Grouchland, which consists of Mike imitating Elmo, inserting sex jokes into the context of a kid's movie, and laughing at his own wisecracks. His second was a video review of Minecraft Pocket Edition, which featured Inspector Gadget discussing with Mike how he "loves to build with brown bricks in Mineycrafta." Many AVGN fans disliked the videos and left a flood of hateful comments; Mike deleted and blocked negative comments and defended the Mineycrafta video, claiming it was a "statement against the low quality garbage" like The Annoying Orange that was plaguing YouTube. Of course, this apparently flew over fans' heads, and Mike pulled the videos from YouTube in embarrassment, but eventually reuploaded them when he saw how people were making loving post-ironic memes of them. During this time, some accused Mike of damaging James's reputation, and implored him to get his own YouTube channel. However, Mike couldn't just make his own YouTube channel since James's was partnered. Some speculated that Matei was biding his time and waiting for the Emperor Nerd to let his guard down, so that he may usurp James and take over his game reviewing empire.

In 2012, Cinemassacre uploaded a video advertising a Kickstarter to help patch the infamous NES game Cheetahmen II, requiring $65,000 in donations. For donating $60, each donor would get their own copy of a patched Cheetahmen II reproduction cart. Greg Pabich, the old man running the Kickstarter, desired to make Cheetahmen the next Angry Birds via overpriced Cheetahmen merchandise. The Kickstarter was rejected as a scam by some fans, since there was already a free ROM hack that patched the game years ago, but James appearing in the video was apparently enough to buoy the project to a grand total of $94,270. Mike Matei at first attempted to reason with the hopping-mad fans, saying supporting the fundraiser was a mistake, then disabled comments and ratings on the YouTube ad; James ultimately left the Kickstarter link up and told fans it was their choice to donate or not. Many videos were made to fuel this drama, and even the Irate Gamer hopped on the opportunity to mock James indirectly. In 2013, enthusiastic Steam users greenlit the less-controversial AVGN Adventures, a game where you play as The Nerd while shooting—though oddly enough, not shitting on—enemies. The game was done in a retro style, complete with 8-bit graphics and sound effects replicated from famous NES games.

In 2014, Angry Video Game Nerd: The Movie was released to the joy of thousands of adoring fans to rent on YouTube, then was uploaded to YouTube for free a year after its release along with bonus features, a commentary track (probably with a friend next to James who had nothing to do with the movie), and outtakes of James eating dinner and enjoying the wholesome comments from his fans as they reply with things like "I love seeing this guy drink, I drink Pepsi too, mmmm yum. James has helped me feel a connection with Pepsiman." and "James, you should post the recipe, that-a spicy meatball with mushroom looks awesome!" The movie follows AVGN on his quest to review Eee Tee for the Atari 2600, the "worst game ever made" which was allegedly buried in the Nevada desert. The film was considered something of a disappointment by fans, mainly due to its overblown plot and corny humor that resembled a Disney movie moreso than an AVGN episode, though hardcore fans defended the movie, claiming it was "intentionally bad" and a throwback to 1950s sci-fi B-movies. Even though James initially said he'd retire the AVGN character after the movie, fan demand made him decide to keep making AVGN episodes, and so he soldiered on. James soon began to realize how starved for entertainment his legion of fans was, and how they loved every little move he makes, and every breath he takes.

In 2016, Rolfe (without his AVGN persona) released what is considered by some to be one of his most "controversial" "reviews". In it, he explained why the all-female Ghostbusters remake does not deserve his attention or money, as he felt that the movie is a disservice to the fans, creators, and actors of the original. Soon the clickbait vultures furiously descended upon James and pecked at him over this non-issue, showing this was a slow day in the news. Despite James giving a straightforward explanation, in the eyes of folks like Patton Oswalt and The Daily Beast, he committed the sin of criticizing a movie that according to Jezebel is a "Is a Punch in the Dick to All of Mankind" and so, this "dudebro manbaby" is egregiously oppressing women with his mansplaining. Later, Patton had a moment of clarity with James, and apologized for creating temporal bad blood between them.

This Isn't the End: Enter Screenwave Media

James congregates with his Screenwave buddies in the Fortress of Nerditude.

Following the flop of the AVGN Movie and James's wife demanding he look after their two daughters after 5:40 PM every evening while she attends a wine class, Jimmy Boy decided to outsource 90% of his creative output to Screenwave, a company focused on phasing electrons through the reality of the YouTube algorithm. The Three Stooges of Screenwave were Justin Silverman, a Wayne Knight lookalike who has an altar dedicated to Gengar from Pokemon; Kieran Fallon, a long-haired greasy biker dude who wears a denim jacket that has all but fused to his torso; and TonyFromHackTheMovies, a self-proclaimed prestigious curator of film whom nobody quite hacks the movies like. Tony is no longer associated with Cinemassacre and Screenwave as of 2021.

With Rolfe obviously not being the same angry young man he was a decade ago, this would have been fine, had Screenwave not helped accelerate the downward spiral of the Cinemassacre YouTube channel. Also at this time, James began saying he had "no time" to run Cinemassacre hands-on anymore, due to taking care of his kids and running tech support so convoluted that it would make LinusTechTips freak. Some fans became paranoid over how over their beloved hero was phoning-in his performances in newer AVGN episodes, how Mike left the Cinemassacre channel to (surprisingly) run his own, how Mike drew the controversial Loco Bandito comic years ago, how Mike thought it was clever to post fake pictures of his ten-inch donger online, and how fan favorites like Bootsy and Kyle "Guitar Guy" Justin inexplicably disappeared from the show.

Soon, the chubby Screenwave fellows began making their appearances known to longtime Cinemassacre fans by way of Rental Reviews, James's low-key idea for a show talking about old random movies that nobody wanted to rent during the days of Blockbuster. These half-hour "Nerd Lite" videos would feature James smiling vacuously with his Screenwave friends, sitting around and laughing at how dumb something is. The series attempted to recapture the personal/nostalgic aspect that made James a star, but was more like a reality TV show of how boring James's life is, and how the people that Funny Man hangs around with are, well, not so funny. Their distinct lack of chemistry with Rolfe showed, and the show was mercifully cancelled after 100 episodes. However, this wouldn't be the end of Screenwave's Cinemassacre involvement; before long, they helped birth even more Nerdodivergent new content with the advent of Rex Viper, Rolfe's midlife crisis band singing Huey Lewis cover songs that would make even Blackout Band jealous.

Meanwhile, AVGN continued to decline, with modern game selections and forced anger that made it clear that Rolfe's passion for calling games "AAAAAASSSSSS" and "A SHITLOAD OF FUCK" is no longer burning with the intensity of Amy and Samy Bouzaglo from that one episode of Kitchen Nightmares. In a tell-all "Behind the Scenes" video, Rolfe revealed the Nerd Room has been reduced to a small cramped set, explaining every recent episode has the same static shot of the Nerd. James even leaves things such as putting an onion in his mouth while tied up in his Shrek AVGN episode up to himself, because the Screenwavers kept eating the onion props whenever they tried to do it themselves. Some fans think James should just throw in the towel and devote more time to his family, because he doesn't seem to be having as much fun with the AVGN role anymore.

Notable works

Angry Video Game Nerd

If there's shitty '80s games, and they need to be reviewed, who're you gonna call?

“This game is so hard, that it would actually be easier to go outside in a thunderstorm and try to dodge rain.”

~ The Angry Video Game Nerd on life

In the Angry Video Game Nerd, viewers are transported back to the past, as Rolfe, in-character as "The Nerd", plays the "shitty games that suck ass". The games are of such substandard quality that Rolfe claims he'd rather have a buffalo "take a diarrhea dump in [his] ear", or "eat a rotten asshole of a road-killed skunk" and wash it down with beer. He also states then whenever you turn on your TV, you should always tune it in to channel 3 so you can play those shitty games.

AVGN is always seen wearing his trademark glasses, a white button-down shirt, and a pocket protector filled with pens, though we never actually see him write anything down. He reviews the worst games of all-time, which he considers "horrible abominations of mankind"—seriously, these games rip you off and don't care one bit. In each review, The Nerd asks engaging philosophical questions such as "Why can't a turtle swim?", "Why can't I land a plane?", "They got a quick buck for this shitload of fuck?!", "Why's the password so long?", and "Why don't the weapons do anything?" At the end of the review, he destroys the game with his trusty Zapper, concluding "This game is ass!"

AVGN's humor consists of fecal matter, excessive profanity, and random guest stars such as Jason Voorhees, Freddy Krueger, Bugs Bunny, Michael Myers, The Joker, the Glitch Gremlin, Shit Pickle, R.O.B. the Robot, and Super Mecha Death Christ 2000; these characters are oftentimes played by James's friend Mike Matei, and receive over-the-top violent fates at Mike's expense. James often comes up with creative new swear words, usually with "fuck" at the end of a word; for example, "cockadoody bullfuck" or "shitload of fuck". He also takes a swig of his favorite beer, Rolling Rock, every three minutes to keep his sanity. While many treat AVGN as a purely entertainment-based series, some have made the mistake of watching it as a factual treatise of gaming history. For example, AVGN has often taken shots at the company LJN, because they "made" such shitty games as Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Back to the Future, The Karate Kid, Friday the 13th, and A Nightmare on Elm St.; however, LJN was in fact only the publisher of those games and had little-to-no creative input.

Monster Madness

An annual horror movie review marathon, where James reviews one classic horror movie a day throughout the month of October to celebrate Halloween. In 2021, Justin Silverman accidentally plagiarized another guy's review of 23 Days Later while writing the new Monster Madness episode, forcing him to delete the video and rework it in embarrassment.

James & Mike Mondays

A Game Grumps-esque series where James and Mike play games together and exchange witty banter, minus the crude humor of the AVGN reviews. This is actually better than the newer AVGN episodes, but since Mike is in it, it's not all that funny.

You Wanna Know What's Bulllllshit?

A show narrated by The Bullshit Man, a separate character who isn't like the AVGN. He rants and raves on small annoyances in life for an hour, like how hard it is to open the flaps on orange juice cartons, or how a hamburger contains no actual ham. The Bullshit Man (later shortened to BS Man, due to YouTube's algorithm suppressing videos with no-no words) invents new words for the inconveniences, such as: shit-burger, ass-burger, fuck-burger, cunt burger, bitch-burger and burger-burger. It was clear to most viewers James was losing his creativity with inventing more intriguing and subtle word replacements. Occasionally, he'll rant on a deliberately-stupid topic (like temperature, pennies, shoelaces, or DVD packaging) in order to fool his fans, the same ones who thought AVGN wasn't a character. The shark-jump of the show came when it was revealed that The Bullshit Man's face is literally bullshit.

Board James

A show where James dresses up like a little boy and reviews board games from his childhood, alongside his friends Motherfucker Mike and Bad Luck Bootsy. It started off as a one time-thing with the game Mouse Trap, but the fans soon craved more and he started pumping out these videos on a regular basis. In the last few episodes of season 1, Board James is established as the AVGN, and the world he and Mike live in is a ripoff of Jumanji. At the start, Board James was a good show, but in typical Cinemassacre fashion it was soon ruined when Bootsy left and the show was canceled. The Omega Virus (Swayzak's friend) is notably a fan, and he even got to guest-star when James played his self-titled board game.

Personal life

Where 8-bit love takes place at the home of The Nerd.

For a long time, many people assumed that James's real persona was not all that different from his AVGN character; they thought AVGN was just James's inner anger coming outwards his frustration towards video games. However, in contrast to the character he portrays, James is actually a humble, shy, and down-to-earth gent in real life. In James's personal life, he likes to film his cat and post it on YouTube, sit around with friends and have boring conversations, play with TMNT toys and post the footage on YouTube, and make random videos of him reading wholesome fanmail. His favorite color is "Philly subway grey", he listens to AC/DC, Rob Zombie, Korn, Tool, Black Sabbath, and Metallica, and he supposedly knows whether Dr. Frankenstein's pursuit of knowledge was dangerous or justified.

Speculation also surrounded the actual existence of this guy's mention of having a wife. Many self-projecting nerds just assumed that James was not very popular with the ladies, because what woman would want to be with a 27-year-old virgin who has a penchant for shit games, posts videos for fans in hope that they won't catch on that this guy is completely out of cuss words to describe games, lives in his own Nerd Lair basement, is a self-confessed Jedi Knight, claims he is a class-78 D&D master, and owns a cat? In reality, Rolfe is married to cinematographer April Chmura since 2007, and together they have two Little Nerds.

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