Interview : James Rolfe, AVGN(Angry Video Game Nerd)

This time, Pig-Min did an e-mail interview with James Rolfe, who does AVGN(Angry Video Game Nerd).

AVGN is extremely famous all over the world, for his Retro-but-Bad-Games review. Started with Youtube, and now with Gametrailers. Especially, he became very famous even in Korean internet, and that's why Pig-Min decided to do e-mail Interview with him.

Thanks for his answer, even if he gets THOUSANDS e-mails per day. :)

Korean version of this Interview


User image

He even sells official T-shirt



1. First of all, please introduce who does AVGN(Angry Video Game Nerd). We all know AVGN itself very well, but not sure who does it.

Hi. My name's James. I write, record, and edit the Nerd videos as well as star in them.

Most people on the internet now know me as the foul-mouthed Angry Video Game Nerd, but I'm a film buff, independent filmmaker and retro video game fan. I've made nearly 200 short videos, ranging from horror to comedy.

You can see more about me at www.Cinemassacre.com which further explains who I am.


2. AVGN(Angry Video Game Nerd) became extremely popular among Korean gamers, because some people did Korean Subtitle for [Silver Surfer] few  weeks ago. After that, lots of AVGN videos are fan-subbed & spreaded,  and became tremendously famous. However, [Silver Surfer] was NOT your  first AGVN work, and you have made tons before that, but Korean people don't know about them yet. Could you please let us know, when you started AVGN (or older name Angry Nintendo Nerd), what game you reviewed in the first place, and brief history about AVGN?

In 2004, I made the first two angry game reviews, "Castlevania 2: simon's quest" and "Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde". It was only meant for a little joke to share among close friends.

2 years later, in 2006, I made a third one "Karate Kid" and posted the three of them as a trilogy on the internet calling them the Angry Nintendo Nerd trilogy. Soon I began uploading them to YouTube.com and Myspace.com where they catapulted to internet popularity.

I teamed up with ScrewAttack.com who also produce comedic video game reviews and together, we both got a deal with MTV's GameTrailers.com at the beginning of 2007. To this day, there's about 47 Angry Video Game Nerd (AVGN) episodes, as referenced by Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avgn


3. AVGN is extremely famous, but that's NOT the only 1 project which you do. You're doing 'Cinemassacre', and AVGN is just the part of that. Could you please introduce us what 'Cinemassacre' is, and what kind of  other stuffs you have made?

I appreciate the mention!

Cinemassacre is the name of my one-man production company. The name refers to massacring cinema, just doing it your own way and throwing away the rules. I've been inspired by movies, comedy, horror, action, all kinds, and since childhood, have been making my own home-made movies.

From there, it just grew. Ironically, the Nerd has taken away time I would be focusing on my other videos. But the Nerd is also bringing more attention to my other work. Soon, I hope to get started on another big project of my own.


4. When we see AVGN, we could see also the name of 'GameTrailers' &  'ScrewAttack'. We could assume they are all connected to AVGN franchise, but not sure exactly how they are connected. Please let us know about them. And sometimes people mistook some other 'ScrewAttack' series as 'Video Game Vault' for 'AVGN' series, because you are doing few (or some) of them. Please make clear about them, too.

Oh, okay. I understand it can be a bit misleading at first. Wish I read ahead with the questions, I seem to have accidentally answered it already. But I can elaborate further.

ScrewAttack is another website, separate from CineMassacre. They produce the Video
Game Vaults and Top 10 series. I now work together with them. I still produce the Angry Video Game Nerd totally independent, but I feature it on the same site with theirs.

GameTrailers.com is paying ScrewAttack and I to host the videos on GameTrailers exclusively which makes it possible to produce these videos on a more routine basis. Sometimes ScrewAttack and I appear in each others' videos or help each other out when necessary.


5. AVGN has very cool title song, and it's re-played as several genre, as Hair Metal - Electronic - ... etc. Please let us know who did the original title song & other re-played songs, and what you think about them.

Kyle Justin at KyleJustinMusic.com is a friend of mine from college. He's a musician, although his own work is very different from the AVGN theme song, he also has a humorous side and was willing to do the song for me. I wrote the lyrics, he composed the song to music and sang vocals.

To this day, its a tradition to open the videos with the song and many people all over the internet have been doing their own covers of the song. In fact, I think it's been done on every instrument imaginable.


6. You do review every game with ORIGINAL PACKAGE, NOT Emulation. They are very old titles & could have hard time to get, and even need 1-200$ in ebay. How do you get all of them? Purchased when it's released, hunt Goodwill or Flea Market, get Donation of games, ... etc. And do you have any reason to review all of them with ORIGINAL PACKAGE, NOT just downloaded emulation?

I never use emulation. I always use the original games, because I feel that makes the videos more authentic.

I spent about $200 for the Halloween Atari game which doesn't even have a proper label. But fans have been donating. I have a Paypal donate button at AngryVGnerd.com which helps out.

I'm now becoming quite a retro video game collector.


7. You reviewed A LOT of bad games, but not reviewed real fames as [Cheetahmen 2] - [E.T.] yet. And you don't review recent jewels as [Big Rigs], nor you do review any PC Games. Any reasons about that?

I'm all about the consoles, so I don't have any PC games, except Doom 1&2 which I play on a laptop from the 1990's. So my show is also all about the games from your childhood past.

E.T. is always referred to as the worst game ever, which is just about as true as Plan 9 from Outer Space being the worst movie ever. It's just reputation, and not necessarily correct by any means. There's much worse games, and much worse movies out there.

But I'll continue to let E.T. be my biggest request until I eventually review it.


8. Please recommend 5 GOOD & 5 BAD (Really BAD) games, and the reason why.

It can be a little biased, I was always a Nintendo guy.

GOOD
1. Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (SNES)
2. Castlevania 4 (SNES)
3. Super C (NES)
4. Super Mario Bros 3 (NES)
5. Super Metroid (SNES)

BAD
1. Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde (NES) : makes no sense
2. Dragon's Lair (NES) : insane difficulty
3. Ghostbusters (NES) : bad gameplay, bland design, boring
4. Jaws (NES) : redundant simplicity, impossible ending
5. Wizard of Oz (SNES) : Terrible layout, glitch where you fall through anything you try to jump on. impossible to play.


9. Did you try some Korean games, or even heard or experienced about them? If so, please share your thoughts about that.

I don't think I have actually.


10. Please leave some message for Pig-Min readers, especially for newly added Korean fans.

Enjoy the videos. Don't take them too seriously. They're just for entertainment. I'm glad you're fans. Keep watching.

You can see a list of all videos at AngryVGnerd.com


Korean version of this Interview
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