Angry Video Game Nerd Wiki
The Angry Video Game Nerd

1200px-Angry Video Game Nerd Logo.svg

Created by
James Rolfe
Produced by
Cinemassacre Productions
James Rolfe
Mike Matei
Kyle Justin
Kevin Finn
Directed by
James Rolfe
Opening theme
James Rolfe (lyrics)
Kyle Justin (music)
No. of seasons
No. of episodes
Original release
May 16, 2004 - present
Written by
James Rolfe
Mike Matei
Antonio Piluso
Kieran Fallon
Justin Silverman

The Angry Video Game Nerd (abbreviated as AVGN) is a retrogaming review web series created by and starring James Rolfe. The show revolves around reviews of low-quality retro video games that involve acerbic rants against the particularly poorly-designed video games, generally being NES games and usually featuring licensed characters. The series started on YouTube and was partnered with ScrewAttack, with the episodes eventually being distributed exclusively on GameTrailers.

The show was formerly known as The Angry Nintendo Nerd as early AVGN episodes had Rolfe solely reviewed on Nintendo Entertainment System hardware, particularly its games. This title was abandoned to evade legal issues with the Nintendo trademark, and in order to branch out to reviews of non-Nintendo hardware and games.


The series began with two short reviews of the NES games Castlevania II: Simon's Quest and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, both of which were originally released on a VHS tape and published on on May 16, 2004. In the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde episode, the Nerd was drinking the beer Rolling Rock, which later became one of his character traits. In 2006, Rolfe completed the trilogy with a review of The Karate Kid, and the videos were put on YouTube under the name The Angry Nintendo Nerd.

After the review of Who Framed Roger Rabbit was uploaded to YouTube, ScrewAttack invited him to have his own section on their website, and since then, his reviews have become increasingly popular and have developed a large fanbase. His videos would grow longer, soon turning into an actual series complete with title cards, an intro song and official merchandise including t-shirts and multiple DVD sets.

Around this time, Rolfe would change the name of his series to The Angry Video Game Nerd in order to prevent trademark issues with Nintendo, and so he could branch out into reviewing games from other non-Nintendo platforms, such as the Atari 2600, Sega Master System, Sega Genesis, among many others. In addition, he would review gaming peripherals and hardware.

Rolfe's YouTube channel was suspended on May 19, 2008, due to an alleged copyright claim by GameTrailers on his trailer for the review of the Spider-Man games. Ironically enough, however, GameTrailers' YouTube account was also suspended on the same day due to a copyright claim allegedly by its own company. Rolfe's account was later reinstated the following day. The cause was due to a mix up with one of the GameTrailers staff on what videos to report.

Special Guests

Avgn matei as jason

Mike Matei as Jason in the review of Friday the 13th.

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, becoming increasingly foul mouthed and derisive as the episodes progress. The guests typically meet with unfortunate ends.

Most of the characters are played by Mike Matei, who also illustrates the show's title cards. His roles include Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees, Bugs Bunny, Leatherface, Chop Top, Mike Myers, the Cowardly Lion, a Klingon, a Metron, the Joker, and Frankenstein's monster. Matei also helps write many of the episodes, and is Cinemassacre's executive producer.

Freddy Krueger is played by James Rolfe with Matei taking on the role when both were in frame. Also, 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 episode as himself.

Some episodes have a basic storyline inspired by the plot of the game or movie being reviewed. In these cases, guests are used to play the episode-specific characters. In the Halloween review, Michael Mulvey and Lil' Liam Mulvey, wearing Optimus Prime and Swamp Thing costumes, respectively, play the parts of the neighbor's trick-or-treaters. Nicole Mulvey plays the neighbor. In The Texas Chainsaw Massacre review, Jimmy Jim Slugg appears as the hillbilly.

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 character sprite of Dracula from Castlevania II: Simon's Quest represents the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come.


The Angry Video Game Nerd theme song was composed by independent musician Kyle Justin. 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.

The original version of the theme song, which refers to the titular character as the "Angry Nintendo Nerd," features only an acoustic guitar. The second recording is similar to the original but features a more refined performance and an extra lyric at the end referring to the "Angry Video Game Nerd." This version of the theme song was used in the Sega Master System Rocky review, quickly displaced by the third version, then used again in the Texas Chainsaw Massacre review. The third version, which debuted in the "Atari 5200" video, features an overdriven electric guitar and drum set. This version significantly expands on the original song, adding more verses, choruses, and new music. However, a pared-down version, similar in structure to the second version of the theme song, is normally used. The full version is only featured in the Sega CD review and on the DVD set.

The theme song has been covered by fans in genres from heavy metal to chiptune. Rolfe occasionally features a vocal or instrumental cover of the theme song in lieu of Kyle Justin's version in the main titles or end titles of a video. The cover by Dustin Aßmuteit is featured as an extra on the first DVD set.

In addition to the Angry Video Game Nerd theme song, several songs have been parodied in Angry Video Game Nerd episodes, including "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" (both "Bible Games" episodes), the Spider-Man theme song ("Spider-Man"), and the Addams Family theme song ("Fester's Quest"). "Nintendo Power" features a cover of the theme song from Nintendo Power commercials, while the Intellivsion and the ColecoVision reviews feature a cover of Foreigner's Double Vision. All of these songs have been performed by Kyle Justin.

The scores for Angry Video Game Nerd episodes are culled from a variety of sources, including film soundtracks, television soundtracks, and pop music. Some episodes, including "Friday the 13th" (DVD version only), "Nightmare on Elm Street" (DVD version only), "Rocky" (DVD version only), "Texas Chainsaw Massacre," "Halloween", and "An Angry Nerd Christmas Carol" have necessitated the composition of original scores, some of which reference Kyle Justin's theme song. Musician Chris Holland has contributed several rock songs, including covers of the opening song from Mickey's Christmas Carol by Irwin Kostal, the Theme from Star Trek by Alex Courage, and the march from Superman by John Williams.

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. In the The Wizard/Super Mario Bros. 3 review, the Nerd calls upon the "Super Mecha Death Christ 2000 B.C 4.0 Beta" to assist in the destruction of a demonically possessed Super Mario Bros. 3 cartridge. This character is a combination of Jesus, robotic components, assorted weapons, and a tank. Both Shit Pickle and Super Mecha Death Christ are originally from Rolfe's film "The Wizard of Oz 3: Dorothy Goes to Hell" 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 Mecha Godzilla.

The Angry Video Game Nerd vs. Nostalgia Critic

The Angry Video Game Nerd was involved in a satirical battle against a fellow Internet personality known as the Nostalgia Critic (played by Douglas Darien Walker). This fictional feud has been covered by Internet Superstar host Martin Sargent who interviewed Douglas Walker's character.

The feud began when the Nostalgia Critic posted an online video where he satirically expressed his disgruntlement at the AVGN for failing to keep his fans "under control". He railed against comments, written by the Nerd's fans, which the Critic sees as "unfair comparisons between the two of them." This began a series of tongue-in-cheek video responses between The Nostalgia Critic and Angry Video Game Nerd. When Rolfe first left an advertisement to The Critic's website, it flooded the Critic's server with over two thousand new unique visitors within the first two hours - with over 18,000 videos viewed.

Ultimately, James Rolfe and Darien Walker began to film videos together based on the satirical feud. The culmination of the rivalry, called the Final Battle, features a lengthy fight scene parodying popular films and cliches; in particular, The Matrix Reloaded and Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. The video also borrows elements from the Nerd's review of Super Mario Bros 3 including his "battle armor" and Super Mecha Death Christ. The entire "fight" takes place in the Nerd's room.


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 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 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.

Video Game Movie Quote of the Week

Rolfe produced four episodes of ScrewAttack's Video Game Movie Quote of the Week segment in his Angry Nerd persona. They have been collected for his JamesNintendoNerd account during July 2007. Each episode contains a short clip with an obscure quote from a video game-licensed film.


Season Episodes First aired Last aired
1 17 1-17 May 2004 December 23, 2006
2 24 18-41 January 25, 2007 January 22, 2008
3 23 42-64 February 19, 2008 January 27, 2009
4 25 65-89 March 16, 2009 March 6, 2010
5 11 90-100 April 30, 2010 March 3, 2011
6 6 101-106 April 6, 2011 December 7, 2011
7 11 107-117 July 24, 2012 December 19, 2013
8 16 118-133 March 19, 2014 December 22, 2014
9 5 134-138 March 26, 2015 December 22, 2015
10 5 139-143 April 6, 2016 December 20, 2016
11 12 144-155 March 23, 2017 December 22, 2017
12 9 156-164 April 25, 2018 December 15, 2018
13 11 165-175 January 23, 2019 December 11, 2019
14 12 176-187 January 15, 2020 December 15, 2020
15 13 188-200 March 15, 2021 December 21, 2021
16 6 201-206 March 17, 2022 December 22, 2022
17 6 207-212 February 24, 2023 December 22, 2023
18 ? 213-? February 25, 2024 ?


  • 3-26 min per episode
  • 27 min (ep. 201)
  • 28 min (ep. 162, 202)
  • 29 min (ep. 205)
  • 30 min (ep. 198)
  • 34 min (ep. 186, 212)
  • 35 min (ep. 102)
  • 39 min (ep. 156)
  • 41 min (ep. 175)
  • 72 min (ep. 200)

Official games

External links

Official Websites

Other Articles

See Also: Popularity Section


Fan-developed video games