Angry Video Game Nerd Wiki

Sega Game Gear VHS Tapes - Angry Video Game Nerd (AVGN)

Guitar Guy: (singing) He's the Angry... Video Game... Nerd.

The Nerd: When it comes to video game promotions, one of the weirdest was Sega's hotel sponsorship. I cut my thumb. Did you even know, that Howard Johnson was the official hotel for Sega fun? Did you even know what a Howard Johnson was? Well, if you didn't, this long-haired byproduct of '90s stereotypes and corporate greed will drill it into your soul. Today, we're going to find out why cool kids go HoJo... with Sega. What the hell is HoJo? You'll find that out, too.

The Nerd: Imagine for a moment, you're trying to have a relaxing stay at a hotel, but this deranged anal belch of a human assaults your senses at every step while he tries to force you to play Game Gear, because he's obsessed with two things and two things only: Howard Johnson and Game Gear. And that's what we're talking about today: an awful line of VHS tapes called Sega Game Gear Tips. They were sold at Howard Johnson in the mid-'90s.

The Nerd: In today's age, video game information can be found everywhere, but back then, you had to get magazines, or in some case, VHS tapes, like those Secret Video Game Strategy tapes that I actually rented from the video store. It was the first time I remember seeing recorded video game playback, aside from commercials. At the time, I thought it was amazing. Nintendo produced a lot of these during the SNES and N64 generation. It was an experimental era, as many of these tapes were... pretty awkward.

(Cut to an outtake of Double Dragon's "Flying Barrel Trick" from Secret Video Game Tricks, Codes, & Strategies.)

Jim Allee: This isn't right, 'cause I didn't, I just gotta... I didn't go all the way up the wall, so I can't say "disappearing". I didn't go all the way up, and... I would cli- I went up the wall and fell, and just pushed the button and fell. I just remember that right when I was-

The Nerd: Sega Game Tips, sometimes called Sega Game Gear Tips, is a series of sponsored Sega game-related videos that are some of the weirdest things I've ever watched. I mean, almost as weird as Plumbers Don't Wear Ties. Of the four tapes, three of them star this annoying '90s fuck, who sounds like— I don't know, a mix of Gambit from X-Men and Foghorn Leghorn, maybe?

Michael B: Because next to Sega video games, food is my favorite thing in the techno jungle.

The Nerd: They were sometimes sponsored by different companies. like Oscar Mayer and Post Cereal, but the ones we're talking about today are for Howard Johnson hotels. The Post Cereal one also has the same guy as the Howard Johnson tape, Michael B. He's one of the most annoying characters in the world. He's basically what you get when a bunch of out-of-touch corporate morons try to appeal to the youth of the '90s.

Michael B: (tries to catch popcorn in his mouth) What am I doing? What?

The Nerd: So obviously, the tapes were made to promote Sega, and if you were staying at a Howard Johnson, you could rent a Game Gear, I guess mostly for parents to occupy their kids with. It's kind of like when you go into a hotel, and there's a game console built into the TV. You could also get a VHS tape or a FunPack that was filled with stickers and... buttons and shit. Two different tapes were released during the promotion. They're exactly the same, except for the Game Gear tips, which, suck balls anyway.

The Nerd: The video is just a thinly veiled advertisement with some bullshit game tips sprinkled in once in a while, and trust me, calling them "tips" is generous. They're usually, something anyone could figure out easily, by just playing the damn game! This tip for Taz is literally, how to go through a door. Thank God, I have a tape that tells me the basic functions! How else would I have figured out the way to go through a door, is to go through the fucking door?

The Nerd: The tips are there, just to make you forget you're watching a long Howard Johnson commercial; that's what this is, except it's a commercial you paid ten bucks for. The video's plot- yes, plot- is beyond absurd. It starts with this cranky-ass business guy who just wants to relax at Howard Johnson, but everywhere he goes, he's pestered by this long-haired douche bag who tries to force him to play Game Gear. The camera work and editing is some of the most annoying shit you could imagine. The camera's always moving, like the operator filmed it while being beaten by rabid baboons. There's also a strobe light or something that keeps going off. This tape is an assault to your senses. It's like some kind of CIA torture method. I'd rather hook my balls to a car battery! He also has possibly the most irritating catchphrase I've ever heard.

Michael B: And you know, sir, that Howard Johnson is the family vacation hotel, and kids go "HoJo"...

Off-Screen Voice: HoJo!

Michael B: ... with Sega.

The Nerd: So, what is HoJo? I think it's some kind of abbreviation of Howard Johnson, but I've never heard one person in my entire life say, "Go HoJo!" Imagine stopping at some shitty hotel, and all the kids there, are running around with their faces glued to these low-res Game Gear screens, screaming "HoJo!"

Off-Screen Voice: HoJo!

The Nerd: (looks around) Who said that? Who said, "HoJo"?

Off-Screen Voice: HoJo!

(The Nerd looks around again and exclaims in fear.)

The Nerd: If I knew anyone who ran around with a Game Gear and screamed "HoJo!" and they weren't trying to be ironic, I'd shit out my dick. That's a real stretch to try to make the name Howard Johnson sound cool to '90s preteens. That's like the chain restaurant, Buffalo Wild Wings. It's sometimes called B-Dubs. Yeah, I've heard people call it that, and it actually shows up on their menus. But come to think of it, B-Dubs puts a smile on my face. (laughs) I... I'm callin' it fuckin' B-Dubs. Also, instead of HoJo, shouldn't it be How-Joh, because it's How-ard John-son? Why am I thinking so deeply into this shit? I'd rather talk about B-Dubs. Fuckin' B-Dubs, yeah... So anyway, this poor guy just wants to take a nap, but everywhere he goes, he's hounded by this crazy dude. It's like the plot of a Looney Tunes cartoon.

Michael B: What'd you bring me, daddy?

The Nerd: He always speaks in extreme close-up, and with all these trippy angles, flashes and jump cuts, it comes off like he's some kind of pushy drug dealer from a public service announcement. It's almost like the Game Gear is the drug. It actually feels like it's trying to advertise not to play Game Gear! Every so often, this weird disembodied head pops up, and gives random tidbits about the Sega promotion.

Disembodied Head: From Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend, a child accompanied by an adult staying at Howard Johnson has a choice of a free FunPack or Sega Game Gear game tip video, but without a kid, (chuckles) you grownups have to pay for it.

Businessman: Who is that guy?

Michael B: Beats me. I thought he was with you.

The Nerd: I guess he's like the hotel's lawyer or something, and it's a good thing they have one, because if I were this businessman, I'd sue the dick off this hotel chain for causing me anxiety! Like, shit, if the guy doesn't want to play a fucking Game Gear, then just leave him alone! So, after some more shitty game tips, the business guy goes to grab some food and, of course, the same guy is also... the waiter. What a wacky motherfucker.

Businessman: Nevermind. I just wanna get something to eat.

Michael B: No problem, sir. Our specials today are the Sonic Salad, a Knuckle Knockwurst...

The Nerd: Knuckles Knockwurst sounds messed up. Makes me think they ground up Knuckles into a sausage. Seeing how fucked up this hotel is, I wouldn't be surprised. I'd rather stay at the Bates Motel, or the fuckin' Overlook. So the same thing keeps happening over and over for the entire tape. Business guy wants to do something, long-haired jackass whips out a Game Gear, tells him how Howard Johnson (mocks Michael B.) is the official hotel of Sega video game fun, and then the business guy has a mental breakdown. It's like a nightmare! Eventually, the business guy heads to his room, where it just so happens a member of the housekeeping staff is fixing up. So he walks in, sees this attractive woman, and then... Oh. No. He turns into a total creep and starts putting on the moves. Oh, holy fucking shit. This is so insanely inappropriate. It's unbelievable they let this pass in an advertisement for a hotel. It's another reason why this tape could never exist today.

Disembodied Head: If something's not quite right, just let us know. If it's within our control, we'll make it right or that night is free.

Businessman: Well, that's very nice.

The Nerd: But things take a twist, because when she turns around, take one guess who she is. Yep, you guessed it. It's the crazy dude in disguise, complete with pigtails. Then the business guy passes out.

(The businessman passes out, and Michael B. walks out of the hotel room and slams the door.)

The Nerd: So after all the different types of harassment we've witnessed in this psychotic hotel, the businessman finally decides to play the Game Gear, and enjoys it. He reacts to it like someone's tickling his anus.

(The businessman plays the Game Gear and giggles in a quiet, strange manner.)

The Nerd: After all that, it's time for him to head out, hopefully to B-Dubs. This next part puts a nice little bow on this package of flaming dog shit. Check this out. First, the guy pulls some sick moves when he's leaving. I love how they tried to make his little jump look badass. They put in slow-mo and added some kind of shake effect, like this dude pushed the entire earth down! And then he bumps into the car.

(The Businessman bumps into the car while playing the Game Gear.)

The Nerd: But after he gets in the car, he gives the crazy dude his tip, the Game Gear, and then he turns... into... the crazy dude. Oh, what a fuckin' twist, ho ho... o-h... B-Dubs. Then we get a closing voice-over, like a shitty version of The Twilight Zone. It even goes to black and white, with the crazy dude using Rod Serling quotes, like "Little did he suspect..."

Michael B: Now, little did he suspect that it was all waiting for him right here, at this Howard Johnson.

The Nerd: Rod Serling's spinning in his grave so hard, he's probably drilled to the center of the earth by now.

The Nerd: (imitating Michael B.) To sum it up, this might be the wor-wor-worst gaming thing I've ever seen, and the worst thing the '90s has to offer in general! It's m-m-m-m-mind numbing bullshit your grandparents could have returned. It'll make you avoid a Howard Johnson hotel at any cost, where kids go "HoJo!"

Off-Screen Voice: HoJo!

The Nerd: (imitating Michael B.) You-You-You'd rather jump in a pool of venomous sna-sna-sna-snakes than stay here. You'll want to shove a Game Gear up Howard Johnson's asshole, sideways! A Game Gear inside of Howard Johnson's asshole sideways is what you call a fu-fu-fun pack, and that is packing in the fu-fu-fun. It's a shitload of fuck. It's a bullfuck, B-Dubbing, motherfucking sucker of shit... (normal voice) and I don't like it.

Michael B: Welcome to the next level. Sega!

(The video explodes, revealing the end credits.)